A trademark is recorded as an asset of a corporation. It is recorded in the balance sheet under the intangible assets section. In the books of accounting, a trademark is capitalized, meaning it is recorded in the corporation account books as an asset by making a journal entry. The accounting treatment of trademark costs is governed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) rules. Recording the actual trademark costs in the financial books/accounts of the corporation depends on numerous aspects like the useful life of the trademark, fluctuations in its fair market value, and the method used for developing the trademark. When a business purchases a trademark, an intangible asset account of such business is debited, and, on the other hand, a cash account is credited.
Accounting for New Trademark Registration
Corporations or businesses can capitalize only those charges or fees that are directly related to the registration of a new trademark. It may be noted that corporations or businesses can capitalize on both registration fees as well as the legal fees incurred during the registration of a new trademark. For example, if the registration of a businessâ€™ trademark is disputed in a court of law, then, in that case, the business can freely capitalize on the legal fees allied with that particular case. Expenses spent on promoting and marketing the trademark are not capitalized. It increases the worth of the trademark, but the costs will be measured as operational expenses and will not be recorded in the corporationâ€™s balance sheet. If a corporation or business intends to sell its trademark, then the first current valuation of the trademark will be calculated and considered instead of relying on its book value.
Points for Accounting Treatment of Purchasing a Trademark
A purchased trademark will come at fair market value, whether it is bought along with a business or standalone. The valuation of a purchased trademark is generally done through a third party. After that, the market price of the trademark determines it, whereas it can be valued by the company itself depending on the situations and the rules. The market value of the trademark will be calculated by considering the remaining life of a trademark. Usually, the life of a trademark is of 10 years from the date of registration. A trademark holding business has to renew the trademark after every 10 years. If the trademark holder fails to do so, then they can lose possession of their trademark.
Advantages of Registered Trademark
Exclusive rights and protection against infringement: The owner of a registered trademark enjoys the exclusive right over the trademark. They can use the same trademark for all their products or services for which they had applied. No other corporation or its competitor can use the logo, symbol, word, or phrase of such a company without the prior approval of the owner of a trademark. If any person uses the registered trademark of other companies, then the owner can get legal protection under the Act and compensate the corporation or the person doing so.
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