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If you decide to start a business in the UK or the EU and purchase an already registered trademark at an auction, this material will be in handy for you.  Purchasing TM in the EU, Britain and other jurisdictions has its own peculiar features that must be considered before bidding.

Possible reasons for buying a trademark in the EU

If you intend to start a business in Europe, you can buy a brand that has already functioned in the market, is well recognized and has a loyal audience.

Such a purchase is a good investment, as in the future, it will allow you to reduce marketing costs for brand promotion from scratch. In addition, it is logical to assume that in a particular market there are consumers who avoid new and unknown products and are more likely to buy a product under the brand name that is already known and tested.

We should not forget that a trademark is also a product that can be sold profitably. Promoted trademarks often exceed the value of the tangible assets of the company. Profit from a trademark can also be obtained by concluding licensing agreements with third parties granting the right to use a trademark.

The relevance of TM auctions

With the rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic in global markets, there is a clear tendency for the economic downturn and the associated need for companies to completely or partially curtail their activities, as well as liquidate brands. Some businessmen decide to auction their trademarks. They view their trademarks as assets and place TMs on the open market in order to earn revenue from the sale.

If you want to buy a ready-made TM in Europe, then an auction is a worthy option. However, when buying a TM at an auction, one should take into account some subtleties and exercise due diligence.

How to prepare for the auction

Before bidding, due diligence verification is absolutely necessary. One of the most important issues that needs to be clarified first of all is whether the brand can be transferred in full. For example, the registration of a trademark in the UK is only fully transferred after the registration and signing of the TM assignment.

Further, comprehensive checks should be carried out to find out the following:

  • if the seller has the right to sell TM;
  • whether the mark is currently valid;
  •  whether there is a likelihood of objections to the trademark by third parties;
  • whether the brand can be withdrawn due to prolonged non-use, etc.

If you are interested in buying TM in the UK or the EU, take the time to check the current register of trademarks to make sure that the trademark you intend to purchase is listed there and that the seller is registered as the owner of TM and has the right to sell it.

Exclusive right to TM

After acquiring a trademark at an auction in Europe, you receive the exclusive right to the trademark, which is expressed in the following:

  • the owner of a registered trademark has the right to prohibit the use of a trademark by other persons;
  • no one can use a protected trademark without permission of the owner;
  • illegal use of a trademark entails civil, administrative, criminal liability.

In case of violation of the TM use, its owner has the right to demand compensation for losses incurred by the violator, bringing the violator to criminal and administrative liability, and destruction of counterfeit products.


It is likely that due to the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the number of companies’ bankruptcies will increase even after weakening preventive measures in many countries of the world. An increase is expected in the number of registered European trademarks put up for auction in bankruptcy situations, or because the company sees an opportunity to generate revenue on sale.

If you have any questions about this topic, fill out a special form for quick contact to make an appointment with our legal experts for a consultation on the regulation of TM in the EU and the United Kingdom. If you intend to start a business and register a trademark in the UK, you can also contact us for more information and assistance.