More Valuable than Patents? Recognizing—and Leveraging—Trademark Assets While Avoiding Potential Pitfalls Along the Way

Danny M. Awdeh and Brian R. Westley

©2015. Published in Landslide, Vol. 8, No. 1, September/October 2015, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

By the time RadioShack filed for bankruptcy in February, the once-mighty electronics chain had long been in decline. Yet nostalgia for the 94-year-old brand continues to linger, as evidenced by the recent auction of the iconic RadioShack name for $26.2 million.1 Its sale in May to hedge fund Standard General LP, which will reportedly keep more than 40 percent of RadioShack stores open, underscores the value of a trademark—even in the case of a declining business struggling to survive decades after its prime, something RadioShack itself acknowledged in a self-mocking “Goodbye ’80s” Super Bowl commercial in 2014 featuring Hulk Hogan, Mary Lou Retton, Alf, and other 1980s pop-culture icons.

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