Document Type

Article

Publication Year

2005

Journal Title

Florida Law Review

Abstract

Historically, starting from the premise that trademark protection is about consumer welfare, trademark law has required trademarks to be assigned with the goodwill of the business to which they refer, to deter assignees from changing the quality of the marked products. Yet, ever since its adoption, this rule has been hard to enforce because it hinges on a concept that is ambiguous and difficult to frame in a legislative context: trademark goodwill. Additionally, regardless of this rule, trading in trademarks has been a recurrent practice in the business world, and trademark practices have traditionally provided instruments to assist this trade. Unsurprisingly, the consequence has been inconsistent case law. More recently, the discrepancy between the rule and its enforcement has escalated, with the courts de facto drifting away from the goodwill requirement in assessing the validity of trademark assignments. Still, this trend has not established a clear path to what represents a valid assignment, and much confusion continues to surround the application of the rule. Arguing against this situation, this Article advocates for an amendment allowing free trademark transferability or assignment with or without goodwill. In support of this change, and despite common skepticism, this Article offers evidence that this amendment will not diminish but will likely foster consumer protection and competition in the marketplace.

First Page

771

Included in

Law Commons

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.