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Trademark: Is it possible to register in one’s own name the trademark of a firm that has now become insolvent?

Is it possible to register in one’s own name the trademark of a firm that has now become insolvent?

A lot depends on the reason of the “insolvency”. If an insolvency procedure has been opened against the firm, owner of the trademark, this does not mean that the company is non-existent. Until this has been defined and closed, all the rights are still effective with the difference that the firm’s owner does not deal with them any more but the insolvency’s trustee. In this case it is not possible registering the mark in question in one’s own name, but it is possible to ask the trustee to buy it. The judge can decide whether selling it directly to the requestor or opening a sort of auction and sell to the highest bidder.

If, on the other hand, the insolvency case has been closed, i.e. all assets have been settled and the mark has not been sold during the procedure, then it is still in the name of a non-existing subject. So it is possible to make a new application of the same trademark in your own name even if, from the legal point of view, a certain period of time should pass, this is considered to be 5 years, before a second holder could use the mark.

It is however usual, even before that time has passed, to deposit trademarks of no longer existing firms, as seldom there are possibilities of oppositions, as the original owner is missing, but with time going by they could automatically become stronger.