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How do I Trademark a Band Name?

Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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The steps you'll have to take to trademark a band name may depend on where you live and the unique requirements of the trademarking agency in your jurisdiction. In most places, however, you can start out by conducting a search to determine whether or not the name you want has already been trademarked. Many trademark organizations provide a free database through which you can conduct this type of search online. In addition, you may have to conduct a search for any designs or logos you intend to associate with the band. Once you have completed this, you can typically submit an application for your band name trademark and pay your fees online, through the mail, or in person.

The first step you’ll need to take to trademark a band name is locating the agency responsible for trademarking in your area. This office is often responsible not only for trademark applications, but also for patent applications. You can find your jurisdiction’s trademark agency by searching online or looking in a local telephone directory. You may also obtain the information you need by contacting the agency responsible for business licensing in your area and asking it to point you in the right direction.

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Once you’ve located the trademarking agency in your jurisdiction, you can usually visit its website to learn how to trademark a band name. Many trademarking agencies require you to start out by conducting a search to make sure your band name isn’t already trademarked or pending trademarking. Usually, these agencies provide databases through which you can conduct your search online. In most cases, you can conduct your search free of charge.

After you’ve made sure your band name isn’t trademarked, you may also search major search engines and phone directories for bands using the same or similar name. A name might not be trademarked, but if it is already in use, choosing it could cause legal problems for you later. You may seek an attorney's advice in deciding whether or not you should use a name that is similar to a business or band name that didn't appear in your trademark search results.

When you’ve made sure your band name is free of trademarks and checked for trademarks of any related designs you plan to use, you will typically have to complete an application to trademark a band name. You can usually apply online and submit application fees via the Internet, though some agencies may require you to apply through the mail or in person. You may also have to provide proof that you have made a reasonable effort to ensure the band name isn’t already in use.

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Post 1

I'd say unless your band has reached the same level of commercial success as a U2 or a Radiohead, your need to trademark the name is minimal. Trademarking usually protects things like the Rolling Stones' distinctive "lips and tongue" graphic. It doesn't protect local bands from a little confusion in the regional marketplace. Trademarking a band name like "The New Originals" isn't going to prevent another band from calling themselves "The Even Newer Originals".

I'm not even sure a band's name can receive copyright protection. There are a lot of bands touring the country as "The Vogues" or "The Platters" who really aren't authorized to use those names. At least one surviving member of the original group must be in the band in order to use the name, but that is still no guarantee against deception.

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