A complaint filed by Hard Rock Cafe’s trademark owner underscores the importance of good contingency planning (the contingency here being that a licensee might decide to assign the license to another player, which is exactly what happened). Now the owner is suing the assignee for misusing the mark — this being the owner’s only recourse because there seems to be no non-assignment clause in the original licensing agreement.
Looking at the license, I can’t imagine any reason for leaving a non-assignment clause out other than simple oversight. The take-away: Non-assignment clauses are important, particularly if you want to protect the integrity of your mark. (Proofread your contract drafts!)
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