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Thanks to transferability of trademarks, it may not be the end for Hostess' Twinkie

By now, lots of Sacramento readers are probably in mourning over the closure of Hostess, the company that made Ding-Dongs, Zingers and, most famously, Twinkies. The company recently announced that it was closing after about a decade of financial trouble.

But does that mean we have to go without these sugary lunchbox staples? Probably not.

Even though Hostess had its troubles, the brand names of several of its products, like Twinkies, are quite famous and sold reasonably well, even as Hostess was floundering. Thus, it is likely that another business will buy the trademarks from Hostess and continue making them.

If that happens, will these be the exact same Twinkies we've come to know and love (and know we shouldn't eat)? Maybe, maybe not. That depends on whether Hostess sells the recipe for Twinkies along with the trademarked brand name or just sells the trademark itself, if it sells anything at all.

The legal element we're trying to express here is that intellectual property assets such as trademarks are transferrable. That means they can be sold, given away or traded. In other words, the intellectual property assets your business holds can be quite valuable in a literal sense.

To make sure that your business has taken the necessary steps to properly claim and secure your intellectual property assets, it might not be a bad idea to speak with an attorney who practices intellectual property law.

Our Sacramento office often works with business owners, inventors and entrepreneurs. If you want to develop a better understanding of our approach, you could visit our Trademark page.

Source: Forbes, "Hostess With The Most-est? No Wonder That These Twinkies Will Not Join The Trademark Graveyard," Jess Collen, Nov. 16, 2012

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