Everything you need to know about selling a Trademark in India?

Published On: Mar 17, 2021Last Updated: Mar 17, 20213.9 min read

The trademark owner can sell it to any legal entity or individual via the process of trademark assignment. By doing so, the owner can allocate the right of his/her trademark to a person or entity. The process of trademark assignment is governed according to the provisions of the trademark act, 1999. Now, let’s see whether a trademark can be sold in India.

In the trademark assignment procedure, the entity or a person who is selling the trademark labels as the assignor and the other party (who is obtaining it) is the assignee.

For the trademark assignment, either assignee or the assignor requires to apply. The transfer procedure generally takes 6 to 12 months for completion, subject to the credentials’ successful verification. In the case of registered trademarks, such assignments require to be recorded with the trademark registrar. 

Trademark assignment types in India

There are various types of trademark assignment available in India as given below;

Complete assignment – the complete prerogative of the trademark is provided to the assignee by the assignor. Only the trademark rights will be given and not the whole rights of the company.

Limited assignment – only specific rights of the particular service or product will be for the assignor and the rest to the assignee.

Assignment with compassion – the assignor transfers the trademark rights and the trademark’s value in the market. The assignee will have the complete rights and value of the trademark.

The assignment without goodwill – it is not allowed by other countries, but it is only allowed in India. Such a type of selling means both seller and buyer will have the trademark’s rights for various products or services.

Limitations on trademark assignment

The trademarks act, 1999, has put various limitations on the assignment of registered trademarks. These limitations will be applied in case of a trademark that brings the possibility of creating uncertainty in the minds of the public or users if sold or transferred.

Such limitations apply to;

– An assignment that makes exclusive rights on more than one person or entities about the same goods or services.

– An assignment leads to the simultaneous usage of the same trademark by various people in various parts of the country.

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How can one make a concrete valuation of the trademark before sale?

A trademark is intangible or movable property. A concrete estimation or valuation is needed to sell a trademark at its reasonable price. This process involves both direct and indirect measures. In a direct way, the process is fundamental. Here, investment for creating and promulgating the mark will be considered. The calculation will be on the other aspects or sources like brand awareness and brand image among people in the indirect one.

Now, let’s see the prevailing approaches for concrete valuation of the trademark before assignment.

Cost approach – it is directly concerned with the cost incurred in creating or positioning the brand.

Cost replacement approach – it values the mark via calculating the expenditure and investment requisite to replace it with a new brand or mark that would offer equivalent utility to the current owner.

Market-driven approach – it takes the highest value the assignee is inclined to pay or the maximum value the assignor wishes to acquire.

Brand sale comparable approach – brand value will be calculated based on the identical brand’s recent valuation in the resembling industry. This valuation, in this case, notices from the consideration of a third-party not concerned with the assignment process in question.

Trademark symbol

The ™ symbol is for a specific association or a person while waiting for the trademark registration process to be done. When a specific product has a trademark, that does not mean it’s a registered one. ® symbol is for a registered trademark, but ™ symbol is for unregistered trademarks. It is only for trademark registration objectives.

The ™ symbol has no safeguard, while ® has one with legal rights. The ™ symbol is used to demonstrate service by a person or a company but not manual products. It is imprecise to use the ™ symbol if one sells services instead of products or vice versa. Fees for trademark registration are high, but in return, you will get many benefits from it. With registration, you can use the ® symbol for your product. Trademark registration international will have the usage based on registration in India. 


The process of selling a trademark is straightforward and easy, and it does not need a lot of paperwork. Selling a trademark provides a chance to utilize a trademark without finishing the trademark registration process.  

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Mansi Solanki
About the Author

Mansi Solanki

Mansi Solanki is associated with Legalwiz.in as Account Executive. She has a good knowledge over Accounting and Taxation.