Trademark of Band Name/Logo

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Latest post Tue, Mar 31 2015 1:49 PM by ca19lawyer2. 2 replies.
  • Tue, Mar 31 2015 11:35 AM

    • KMcD12345
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    • Joined on Tue, Mar 31 2015
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    Trademark of Band Name/Logo

    Hello,

    My band and I are considering trademarking our band name and logo. There are other bands out there in the USA with the same or similar name, but they do not appear in a trademark search as far as we can tell. None of us have trademarked a band before.

     

    Questions:

    1. Would we be best off having a lawyer do this for us or is it a simple process? It doesn't appear to be simple when looking at filing online.

    2. Should we only trademark the band name and logo, or should we also trademark merchandise like CD's and TShirts?

     

    I might have more questions, but these are my initial questions.

     

  • Tue, Mar 31 2015 12:29 PM In reply to

    Re: Trademark of Band Name/Logo

    A trademark is established by use of the mark in commerce. Registration of the mark is not required, but registration does provide the trademark holder with better tools for enforcing the holder’s rights in the mark. This being the case, those other bands may have established trademarks even without registration and if your band name or logo are sufficiently similar to theirs then there may be a problem. If the two are similar enough that one would infringe on the other, then the person who established his/her mark first will be the one with the right to use the mark and the other person will be liable for infringement. 

    You do not trademark t-shirts and CDs. But if someone else uses your trademark on t-shirts or CDs, you would have a possible case to bring for infringement. 

    I strongly suggest you see a trademark lawyer to ensure your mark doesn’t infringe on the marks of other bands and to assist you with registration. If you have a mark valuable enough to protect, then it's important to do it right. Smart singers like Taylor Swift, The Rolling Stones, and others have lawyers advising them on this sort of stuff on an ongoing basis to ensure their rights are protected. You might not be pulling in the kinds of money they are, at least not yet, but if you're in this band to make money then approach it like a business and pay for the legal, accounting, and other advice that business people need to do things right. 

  • Tue, Mar 31 2015 1:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Trademark of Band Name/Logo

    KMcD12345:
    My band and I are considering trademarking our band name and logo.

    The word "trademark" is not properly used as a verb.  I assume what you meant is that you are considering registering the name and logo for trademark (either with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or a state equivalent).  Correct?

     

    KMcD12345:
    There are other bands out there in the USA with the same or similar name, but they do not appear in a trademark search as far as we can tell. None of us have trademarked a band before.

    Again, I assume you mean none of them have registered their name for trademark.  Also, you referred to "a trademark search" but didn't say what exactly you did to search.

     

    KMcD12345:
    Would we be best off having a lawyer do this for us or is it a simple process? It doesn't appear to be simple when looking at filing online.

    "Simple" is in the eye of the beholder.  If you don't think it's simple (or something you can handle yourself regardless of the perceived simplicity or complexity), then it doesn't matter whether I or anyone else thinks it's "simple," and you ought to hire a lawyer.  However, please answer a couple questions for me:  Why do you want to do this?  In other words, what benefit(s) do you perceive that your band will receive by doing this?  In that regard, have you ever released any recordings on any scale beyond selling or giving away CDs at concerts?  Do you have a contract with a recording company or distributor?  Do you regularly play concerts in any geographic area that is more than 50-100 miles beyond where you live?  Do you have a reasonable expectation that any of the foregoing things will happen at any time in the foreseeable future (i.e., the next 6-12 months or so)?

     

    KMcD12345:
    Should we only trademark the band name and logo, or should we also trademark merchandise like CD's and TShirts?

    Trademark law doesn't apply to CDs or t-shirts.  You might want to read these articles:  http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/trademark-basics# and http://www.gcglaw.com/resources/entertainment/music-copyright.html.  Also would be a good idea to google things like "trademark basics for musicians" and "copyright basics for musicians."

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