TMEP 1306.04(b)(iii): Patent Licenses

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1306.04(b)(iii)    Patent Licenses

Sometimes, the owner of a patent asserts ownership of the mark that is applied to goods that are manufactured under license from the patent owner, in accordance with the terms and specifications of the patent. Typically, these marks have been registered as trademarks, on the basis of related-company use, rather than as certification marks. Generally, the patent owner’s purpose, in arranging for the application of a mark to the goods manufactured under his or her license, would be to identify and distinguish those goods whose nature and quality the patent owner controls through the terms and specifications of the patent. Therefore, registration as a trademark (on the basis of related-company use) rather than registration as a certification mark would be appropriate.