Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 19, 2012 04:27 PM
If hard times killed your brand in the past few years, don’t give up your rights. You may need them down the line when you want to try and revive the brand, as Nissan is now doing with Datsun.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a slew of old brands are being revived since they already have name recognition and some brand loyalty built right in. Classic American brands including Astro Pops, Boast logo shirts, and National Premium beer will start appearing on store shelves, while the Seafood Shanty restaurant chain is getting another go.
The latter revival is courtesy of Eddie Riegel, who owns a cleaning company in Pennsylvania. Eddie took his wife to Seafood Shanty on their first date and now he wants to revive the chain, he tells the Journal. So he bought the trademark in 2010, purchased the original recipes from a chef he found on Facebook for $7,500, and picked up some fishing gear from former employees of the place.
"There's a tremendous amount of buzz around this," Riegel commented. "Anyone who grew up in the area remembers these restaurants."
And that’s the beauty of using an old brand. Entrepreneurs don’t have to shell out as much for marketing — nostalgia and word of mouth are far more powerful. That's why "It's pretty much open season for older brands," says Garland Pollard, the editor of Brandland, who tracks America's brands of yore.
Part of what enables brand resurrection, of course, is how the law defines an orphaned brand, WSJ points out: "If a trademarked brand hasn't been used for three or more consecutive years, (U.S.) law presumes it has been abandoned and it becomes available for others to register and use, according to Lawrence J. Siskind, a founding partner at the law firm Harvey Siskind LLP in San Francisco who specializes in intellectual-property law."