Erwin, NC asked in Trademark for North Carolina

Q: If you have paid for a trademark, have the registration number, a 700-registered, does it have to be renewed?

My brother died a year ago and I was his partner and have taken over the business. Nothing official on paper.

He was not married and had a minor son at that time (now 18). What should I do to make sure

it stays mine.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Dallas, TX

A: There are a lot of legal issues in your question, more than can be resolved in a forum like this. A few points may be helpful:

1. Trademarks must be renewed.

2. Trademark rights are not obtained by paying for a registration, they are obtained by using the mark in commerce. Registration is a mechanism to expand and protect those rights.

3. You do not necessarily own the trademark because you were his business partner, particularly if there is nothing in paper. Ownership of the trademark involves federal trademark law, state inheritance laws, and the corporate documents for the business. An attorney would need to know know many more facts to advise on how obtain or maintain ownership of the trademark.

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