Keep your friends close – how to stay partners in co-ownership

By Catherine Levalet

While co-owned patents are not uncommon, it is unusual to find trademarks being jointly registered by more than one user. Are businesses missing a trick and how can co-owners ensure that they remain on good terms?

While joint ownership of Community trademarks is permitted, unfortunately for brand owners, there is no harmonised or unified European law regarding co-ownership. Instead, the national law of the first recorded owner applies. Paragraph 16 of EU Regulation 40/94 notes that where this is not European, the law of the second or subsequent owner(s) will apply – if none of these are European, then Spanish law will apply.

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Issue 72