Yes. A registered Trademark can be assigned or transferred; subject to some restrictions on Intent-to-Use applications. Assignments must be recorded with the United States Patent and Trademark office.
If a business is sold, in full, the Trademark will be transferred along with the company. If, however, the sale is an asset purchase agreement, an assignment will be necessary; this type of asset will typically be referred to as intangible property or Goodwill.
If you are filing for a Federal Trademark and the same mark is already registered, simply changing the spelling will not, automatically, differentiate you from the other company.
When there is an alternative spelling or intentionally changed version of an English word, the Trademark examiner will conduct a pseudo mark search of existing Trademarks. This pseudo mark search locates spellings that are very similar or phonetically equivalent to your proposed Trademark. (For example: Kat & Cat would be interpreted as the same mark).
The best practice is to create a name that does not illicit comparisons to another company.
A Trademark is a distinctive word, symbol, phrase, design, or combination of the same, that allows customers to identify the source of goods or services. This allows customers to decipher one product from another when making a decision to purchase.
If you are providing services, you may have a service mark. Generally, the word “Trademark” is used to describe both trademarks for goods and service marks for services.
Elliott Stapleton Attorney with CMRS Law