Taxing matters — have you assigned the goodwill?

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In a recent case involving the efficacy of a tax scheme, the First-tier Tribunal found a series of unregistered trademark (UTM) assignments were ineffective.

The case serves as a reminder that when assigning UTMs, the underlying goodwill should also be assigned. Where the goodwill is not assigned (both on paper and in practice), the assignment will be ineffective and the assignment may be void for mistake. The court will look beyond the wording of the assignment document. In this case, the assignment did purport to assign the goodwill as well as the UTMs. However, what was happening in practice undermined the assignment documentation…

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