Are band names copyrighted or trademarked [Must-Know Tips]

Last updated : Aug 7, 2022
Written by : Tristan Reid
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Are band names copyrighted or trademarked

Is a band name trademarked?

Nope! A name (brand name, band name) cannot be protected by copyright. Copyright is only one form of intellectual property (IP). There are other forms, like trademarks, patents and trade secrets.

Who owns the rights to a band name?

Typically, the issue of who owns the band name is dealt with in the Band Agreement. Often a leaving member will forfeit their rights in the name when they leave the band. In such a situation, the remaining members can continue using the name.

Can you use someone elses band name?

Musicians cannot use someone else's trademarked name without first obtaining consent from other musicians. Furthermore, musicians may not be able to use band names that are likely to cause confusion with other band names or substantially similar to other names.

Does a band need a trademark?

Firstly it's important to note that trademarking your band or artist name is by no means compulsory. Unlike music copyright, which automatically assigns rights to the creator or owner of a piece of original work, trademarking doesn't come about automatically. Instead – it's something that you must register to do.

How do you legally own a band name?

Visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office online to do a trademark search. You need to make sure no one has already trademarked your band name before you can trademark the name yourself. Click on "Search Marks," "Word and/or Design Marks" and enter your band's name.

Can 2 bands have the same name?

And trademark for similar band names… So, yes, similar band names happen, and they can cause sticky trademark issues. Therefore, it is helpful to be equipped with proper trademark registration to ensure your trademark ownership.

How much does it cost to copyright a band name?

You can copyright something related to your band's name, such as a logo, according to the U.S. Copyright Office. As of the time of publication, the basic online registration fee for a copyright is $25.

Can stage names be copyrighted?

Yes, you can trademark a stage name that you use to promote or sell your products or services. If a stage name is trademarked then it will prevent another individual from performing similar services under the same name.

Do you need to register band name?

You can establish rights in your band's name without a trademark, through the simple use of the name. However, absent a federal trademark registration, your rights in a mark are limited geographically to the scope of your reputation.

What if another artist has the same name?

Technologically, artist names are totally independent from earnings tracking. So you're all good and have nothing to worry about.

Where do you trademark a band name?

Registering a Trademark for Your Band Name Trademarks are registered through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The two primary types of marks that can be registered are trademarks, which identify goods or services, and service marks, which are used exclusively to identify services.

Can a band have the same name as a company?

Band names are protectable under trademark law, because like brand names they allow us to distinguish one band's music and identity from another. They are what enable us to distinguish between a “Beatles” record on the one hand, and a “Chipmunks” record on the other.

Can you name your band after a song?

Sorry to correct you, but All Time Low came from the song "Head on Collision" by New Found Glory. But they're all right ^, it's words, there's no legal repercussions for taking the name of a song and using it to name your band.

Can you use a song title that's already been used?

You're still legally allowed to use the same song title, but you should know that your song “Crazy” is never going to show up above more established artists in the search results. That's why it's usually better if your song has a memorable, unique title.

What is the difference between copyright and a trademark?

Copyright protects original work, whereas a trademark protects items that distinguish or identify a particular business from another. Copyright is generated automatically upon the creation of original work, whereas a trademark is established through common use of a mark in the course of business.

Do you have to copyright an artist name?

The name of a performing artist or the name of a band may be registered as a trademark, but not the name of a single song or a single album. The proposed trademark must be used on a minimum of two creative works to be considered a series.

Should musicians form an LLC?

Should a musician form an LLC? In most cases, the answer is yes; musicians can benefit greatly by forming an LLC. With an LLC, a musician can receive limited liability protections and will also be able to more easily resolve disputes with band members.

How do you use a stage name legally?

You do not have to change their name legally. You do need to make the decision before they join the union. Standard contracts for actors have a line for “professional name” as well as legal name. The stage name should be listed on the work permit.

How do you know if a name is trademarked?

You can search for federally registered trademarks by using the free trademark database on the USPTO's website. To start, go to the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Business Center and choose "Search trademarks." Then follow the instructions you see on the screen. Check state trademark databases.

How do you protect a stage name?

To prevent others from using your name for any reason, including merchandise, you should register it as a trademark. Once your name is trademarked, you can file suit against others who are using the name without your permission.

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Are band names copyrighted or trademarked

Comment by Francesco Lutter

he folks today we're going to be discussing the differences between copyright and Trademark just a quick disclaimer to say that I am NOT an IP professional if you do require intellectual property advice please do seek out professional help so what is copyright copyright is there to protect your original creative works you can't copyright an idea you can copyright things like literary work dramatic works Musical and artistic work as long as they are in a tangible form what do I mean by a tangible form well things like books film recordings websites software photography paintings or graphic design elements like business cards or brochures having the copyright then gives you the exclusive rights to perform distribute make copies of or even make adaptations of your original creative work here in the UK there is no requirement to register your copyright it just happens automatically as soon as the work is created this may be different in your location so please check with your local Copyright Office or intellectual property office to get the full facts on how copyright is assigned in your country protection on copyright generally lasts for the lifetime of the author Plus 70 years again this may be different in your country so please check once you have created your work and the copyright is assigned you then have permission to use that little copyright symbol the little C inside the circle along with the year that the work was created however there is no requirement to use that little C symbol the copyright still remains with you at all times so let's move on to registered marks there are two types of registered marks and both of these can be used to protect the sale of products or services for a business the first is the trademark which is used to protect goods or products and the second is a service mark which you would use to protect services that you provide generally though people tend to use the town trademark to cover both our trademark and the service mark for the purpose of this video I will be using the term registered mark which covers both examples of things that can be covered by a registered mark would be a company name a slogan a sound a color under logo once you have that registered mark you have the exclusive rights to use that mark with your product or service it allows you to stop other companies businesses or organizations from using a similar mark to promote or sell a similar product or service what you can't do is you can't prevent someone from using a similar mark if they are using it to promote or sell a dissimilar product or service let's look at this example of two locals one for Sun Microsystems and the other for Columbia Sportswear now visually these two logos are very similar especially if they were both in black for example and you just had a quick glance at the logos the reason that both of these similar logos can exist and be registered as marks is that there are two completely different industries Sun Microsystems is in software and computing and Columbia is in sportswear two very different industries now however let's say Sun Microsystems were in the spa for businesses while then we would have an issue because they would both have similar marks selling or trading similar products this can't happen so what would happen here is that the company that registered their mark first would be able to prevent the second company from registering the mark which is similar to theirs and in a similar industry in its simplest form registered marks are there to help the consumer differentiate between brands and the products and services that they sell if when you try to register a new mark the internal Property Office will look at existing marks and if they feel that by registering your mark this may cause confusion for the consumer when they are looking to buy a product or service from someone who is in the same industry as you they will deny you that registration once you have registered your mark though you can use the little R symbol inside the circle next to your logo or your brand name unlike copyright registered marks can last indefinitely but they do have to be renewed every 10 years one thing that you cannot do is you cannot register a mark and sit it on a shelf for use at a later date for a registered mark to be viable it must be in constant use so those are the main differences between copyright under registered mark or as I mentioned earlier most people just use the town trademark I hope this cleared up any confusion you may have had in the past about the two terms and you can move forward safe in the knowledge that you have the correct understanding for both for more brand and design advice why not join hundreds of other brand rockers who have signed up to my rock your brand monthly email newsletter it's absolutely free and the advice that I give in there will help you to strengthen your brand and stand out from your competition head on over to rock your brand or quote at UK and sign up until I see you next time folks stay creative

Thanks for your comment Francesco Lutter, have a nice day.
- Tristan Reid, Staff Member

Comment by Jarrett

the universal music sue's investment platform over alleged republic records trademark infringement so upon coming up across this article it made me think about just artists in general independent artists specifically uh how soon should we be jumping to get things trademarked for example uh if i have a merchandise line or a clothing line associated with my music and there's image or phrase on there i want to get trademarked and i'm a few months old i'm not that established but i know that there's a demand for what i have um should i be rushing to get that trademarked or should i let you know a couple m's come in the bank first to show that it's a viable product in the market and then go after it what do you think i would say wait until you have a little bit of money in there not that it costs that much a trademark uh but you do want to make sure that it's something that you are going to actually pursue yeah before you go through any trouble that's with it so you know give it give it a i don't want to put a dollar sign on it yeah like you know i want to make 200 000 or something but yeah just make sure you're serious about it before you trademark uh now just so we're clear uh trademark is it can be a name word logo or a symbol that represents a company uh so when people use your let's see you have a logo for your artist name and somebody uses that logo in a a way that could be defamation um you know you just want to have your ducks in a row that you have your trademark and um you know you have your this makes you this is paperwork in general not the most exciting stuff but good reminder of make sure you have your llc and talk to your tax advisor on if that's the best classification for your business maybe your tax advisor is going to say that an s election at a certain point is best for your business because of certain tax advantages whenever you um think of the tax code like you're um i think tom wheelwright said this who is a cpa like a big cpa he um thinks of the tax code like a way to work with the government it's just a set of incentives yeah of if you do these things you're making the burden on the government less that is why certain people get tax breaks when others don't so the more the easier you make the job on the government and you know the more you have your your stuff straight you got your trademarks your your llc you pay your taxes on time um but also i'm of the mindset that you legally pay as little in taxes as possible yes and be generous with whatever else you have a lot of them are not all of it but a lot of the money used by the government probably not used in the best fashions yeah so if you are better at managing that money and you want to start a foundation or you like these foundations and charities and churches and all this other stuff you can give that whatever you were going to pay in taxes you can then take that and put it towards something that is working a bit better the government system right now so uh sorry if there's any socialist listening but there's a lot of things that make a whole lot more sense than that anyway regardless so uh have your paperwork your ducks in a row yes and it's also just a sign you're taking yourself seriously so i i said i didn't want to put a number on it because you could take yourself more seriously by making i don't know 500 for somebody and then another has made 10 000 and they still don't take themselves that seriously so just depends on the person uh but that would be my those that'd be the steps that i take to to make sure that you're you are protected and you're making your taxes easiest um and just just making your life easier yeah yeah that's good

Thanks Jarrett your participation is very much appreciated
- Tristan Reid

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