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| 1 minute read

What's in a name? Overstock Rebrands as Bed Bath & Beyond

Trademarks are source identifiers marketers and brand gurus use to differentiate their goods or services from competitors. But how much is a trademark worth?

Well, Bed Bath & Beyond sold its trademark portfolio to for $21.5 million. Overstock has rebranded its entire site to the new branding. If you go to now, it redirects to 

This example illustrates how a trademark portfolio is a valuable asset for any business and how a trademark portfolio can have an actual dollar amount of value for a business.  

Here, Overstock execs concluded that they had a good model, but a subpar trademark in "Overstock." It's a word that implies bargains or liquidation sales, which puts a damper on the brand's ability to expand beyond surplus inventory.  Meanwhile, Bed Bath & Beyond didn't have a winning business model, but a great name - one that suggests the types of products it sells and already has built-up fanbase and terrific brand awareness. Overstock's CEO said, "We thought we had a good operating model but a bad name... Bed Bath & Beyond had a great name but a bad operating model..."

This transaction is one of many reasons to develop a strong trademark portfolio and invest in your company by registering and protecting your trademarks because trademarks can be very valuable. 

When announced it would pay $21.5 million for the recently shuttered Bed Bath & Beyond chain—renaming itself earlier this month—its share price instantly soared around 65%, adding roughly $600 million to Overstock’s valuation. It may go down in marketing history as one of the most successful rebrands of all time. To be sure, market cap isn’t everything, and the company has only this month rolled out the official Bed Bath & Beyond identity across its U.S. site; how it operates and executes the rebrand over time will matter. But while that stock run-up struck some as a bit much, the company’s shares have held fairly steady, and, at least on a strategic level, the former Overstock’s rebranding looks sound. In fact, it can be considered a case study of sorts—one that’s hard to duplicate, but instructive nonetheless.


trademarks, trademark law, business law, branding, brand protection, intellectual property, ip