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Business start ups reviving old brands

Perhaps one of the toughest aspects of forming a business start-up in New Jersey or anywhere else in the United States is developing a brand that is recognized and trusted by the masses. This is a decades-long process that surely does not happen over night.

This is probably why many entrepreneurs are opting to resurrect old brands and trademarks instead of starting their own. Even though many of these brands are old, entrepreneurs are banking on the fond memories many consumers made using the product or service.

By taking over a once popular brand or trademark, businesses likely do not have to sink as much money into marketing materials. A new business has to come up with logos and everything that consumers will identify the company with. By taking over an abandoned brand, everything is in place and already stored in the minds of consumers.

One business lawyer explained that a brand would be considered abandoned under law if those trademarks have not been used for three-straight years. New entrepreneurs can swoop in and register those trademarks. This has sprouted the latest trend where entrepreneurs are scrambling to identify old trademarks that have been abandoned and strike deals to purchase them.

This has included everything from rocket-shaped lollipops called Astro Pops, which were discontinued in 2004, to the previously defunct National Premium beer trademark.

New Jersey residents might even see the old Seafood Shanty brand of restaurants return after a man forked over $1 million in an effort to revive the chain. The restaurant chain, which was a hit in the '80s, fell on hard times when its owner ran into financial hardships during the '90s.

The man, who already opened his first Seafood Shanty restaurant location, bought the trademarks and also the original recipes. He had to track down the chef through the Internet and bought the recipes for $7,500. While the man has attempted to keep the brand as original as possible, he's added his own modern spin on it as well.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Old Brands Get a Second Shot," Angus Loten and Emily Maltby, April 18, 2012

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