Mikołaj Lech

patent attorney

A lawyer, who specializes in industrial property law, combating unfair competition and copyright. Thanks to work in Patent Agency he has a contact with the current problems of entrepreneurs.
[Read more >>>]

19 Jul

Bankruptcy – a trademark comes to the rescue

Bankruptcy is something natural in the economy. Just as people are dying, businesess are falling. It is worth remembering, that even a monopolist can suddenly fall into financial failures. There is a great Polish example of a TP SA company. Therefore knowledge of how to help your company in such situations using a trademark, may become usefull.

 

kobietaIn today’s world, when economic crisis is something common, eneterpreneurs have to face a greater risks of the insolvency.

Creditors, especially if they are in dispose of a court judgement, may try to transfer the debtor’s assets into cash really quickly. It’s simple when it comes to movable and immovable property – the bailiff organises an auction, where all of the estates, cars or machines are sold.

But… what about industrial property?

Is it possible to sell something that is invisible?

 

This issue is regulated by the Code of civil procedure:

Article 910 1.

Upon attachment of patent rights, utility model rights, rights to a registered decorative design, rights to a registered trademark, rights to registered topography of integrated circuits, the enforcement officer shall send a petition to the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland to report the attachment in the relevant register.


Bankruptcy and a trademark

It turns out, that a bailiff may take possesion of a trademark and then sell it. You must know, that trademarks can have a real, economically estimated value. Such valuation issues are a really interesting, but quite long topic and I’ll write about it someday. There is although no doubts that a registered trademark can really help you in a situation of financial troubles and bankruptcy.

 

Article 910 4. § 1.

The enforcement officer shall appoint an expert to valuate the attached rights.

 

But we also have to remember about this legal provision:

Article 169

1. The right of protection for a trademark shall also lapse:
(…)
(iv) in consequence of removal from a respective register of the legal entity who enjoyed the right of protection for the trademark.

It means, that before it formally happen – you should transfer your rights to another legal entity.


How much can be a trademark worth?

It all depends on how long does your company exist on the market and what are its sales revenues. We are talking here about amounts of money usually oscillating between tens of thousands and millions euro (excluding such giants as Coca-Cola).

A lot of trademarks have a huge value and thereby such signs are one of the most valuable assets of the company.

In theory, registered trademarks can be protected eternally, as long as the fee for the 10 years protection period is paid.

 

Have you heard about a Polish brand, ROMET?

A company from Bydgoszcz had been on the market for 50 years, untill 1998. Back then everybody knew, that ROMET had a monopoly in the production of bicycles and motorcycles.  Their products were quite good, therefore the company was associated positively. Unfortunately, they didn’t manage to survive in the tough times of the capitalism and the company didn’t avoid bankruptcy.

In 2006 however, Arkus & Romet Group has assumed the trademark rights and ROMET products are now again popular and available in shops. I’m sure that promotion of a new trademark wouldn’t bring as big succes.


Is it possible to estimate the value of an unregistered trademark?

From the economic point of view – yes. From the legal point of view – it is not so clear, becouse nobody would decide to buy a trademark that is not registered in the Patent Office.

Why?

Becouse only a trade mark that is registered can guarantee the right for legal use of a brand. In other way, there is no certaintity that a given mark does not infringe somebody else’s rights.

In case of a bankruptcy – it is better to have a registered trademark, which is a great help while reducing your debts.

A lot of people would like to buy a recognizable brand, which exists on the market long enough. It is easier to buy a trademark for which somebody have invested a lot of time, money and energy than to spend the same amount of money for the promotion of something completely new.

Selling a trademark may help you to reduce your debts.

Mikołaj Lech

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: