Craske & Co.
patent attorneys since 1982


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Recording the Death of a Proprietor

In the unfortunate event of the death of a proprietor of a patent, trade mark or registered design it is important that the Register maintained by the Patent Office should be amended without delay.

Why Record a Death?

The Register is the official record of ownership of a patent, trade mark or registered design. If the death is not recorded the beneficiaries may not receive notification of important matters affecting the property. Failure to keep the Register up to date may also cause complications in subsequent sale of the property, or in the issue of infringement proceedings, which might destroy the chances of obtaining an immediate injunction against an infringer. There is also a risk that non-registration could make it impossible to obtain damages for infringement prior to the date on which the death is recorded. As time goes on it becomes more and more difficult to obtain documentation which is essential for recording an event such as a death, which may eventually make it very expensive, if not impossible, to record the event.

Documentation Required

In most cases the procedure is relatively straightforward. In order to record the death we require:

  • A copy of the Grant of Representation (Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration) which vests the property in the executors of the deceased's estate.
  • The full name and address of each beneficiary who is to inherit the property. This will enable us to prepare a simple Assignment transferring the property from the executors to the beneficiary or beneficiaries.

We then file the documentation at the Patent Office together with the appropriate forms and payment of the official fees. Confirmation that the Register has been amended usually follows in a few weeks.

Craske & Co., 1998

Last updated: 12 February 1998