Can a band name be trademarked [Expert Approved]

Last updated : Aug 29, 2022
Written by : Jacqueline Vant
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Can a band name be trademarked

Can you use a brand name as a band name?

Band names are protectable under trademark law, because like brand names they allow us to distinguish one band's music and identity from another.

Can you have a band name that same as someone else?

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 is it to trademark a band name?

Basic Trademark Registration Costs The basic cost to register a trademark with the USPTO is $275 per international class. The USPTO has 45 classes of goods and services, and you will need to select one or more classes that represent how you plan to use your mark.

How do I get my band name trademarked?

  1. Carry out an initial Google search. Before you can apply to trademark your performing name, it first needs to qualify for trademark protection.
  2. Carry out a search via your chosen trademark database.
  3. File your online application form.

What if my band name is already taken?

The first step in trademarking your band name is to check to see if your band name is actually taken - and trademarked. Don't skip this. If you try to register a trademark that's already taken, not only do you not get the trademark, but the filing fees will not be refunded.

Can 2 artists have the same name?

In the world of actors, for example, no two actors are allowed to have the same name as each other and both belong to SAG (the actors union). That's why Samuel L. Jackson is Samuel L. Jackson, and not Sam Jackson or Samuel Jackson -- those names were taken.

What do you do if someone takes your band name?

Seriously, Stop Using Our Name. Perhaps it's best to talk to someone who can reason with them. Perhaps they have a manager or their own lawyer, who understands the severity of trademark infringement. It may be time for you to start looking for legal representation.

How do I protect my 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.

What trademark class is a band name?

The three most commonly used classes for musicians include: Musical recordings in Class 9. Apparel in Class 25. Entertainment Services in Class 41.

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.

What band names are not taken?

  • Logan 's Sun.
  • Icy London.
  • Giant Rats of Sumatra.
  • Klondike Kittens.
  • Finches of Attica.

Can two musicians have the same stage name?

Yes, an artist can have as many names as they wish.

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 a band sue you for having the same name?

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. As an owner of a trademarked band name, you have a right to enforce unauthorized use and sue an unauthorized user for trademark infringement.

Do music artists trademark their names?

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 I trademark my artist name?

Trademarking an artist or stage name is an important legal protection for artists in a variety of fields. Whether you are an actor, singer, musician, painter, sculptor, writer, or another type of artist, a trademark can help protect your name – and your work – from misuse and infringement.

How long does trademark last?

A federal trademark lasts 10 years from the date of registration, with 10-year renewal terms. Between the fifth and sixth year after the registration date, the registrant must file an affidavit to state that the mark is still in use.

Can I trademark my record label name?

You require a business license, which you obtain from the county clerk's office, to run a label. Registration of the name as a trademark allows you to put the label logo on music records you sell, or on events you organize or sponsor.

What is a Class 35 trademark?

Trademark Class 35 is a service category that includes a range of business and professional services. Most of the included services help with carrying out, managing, or advertising a commercial or industrial enterprise.

What does ACDC stand for?

AC/DC in American English abbreviation. Electricity. alternating current or direct current.

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Can a band name be trademarked

Comment by Sibyl Hedley

hello hi yes i i formed a new band uh and i'd like a slot on that new festival that's fine amazing brilliant yes the band name yeah yes it's metallica nice try mate that's not gonna work why not so you spend years releasing music and building your name only to get an email and find out the name that you've been using wasn't quite as yours as you once thought that is unless you've trademarked it hang on i can smell some full-on geekery it's time to talk trademark law so what is a trademark a trademark is a way of legally claiming your name and your logo so they are legally yours and no one else can use them to misappropriate your music now just because you got there first and you have the socials and you have the domain name that doesn't mean that they are legally yours whilst you are still using them this is about ownership and that's where the trademark comes in now this means you can trademark the name if you're an artist or a band but also you can trademark your logo so if you've got an amazing logo or an amazing band name no one else can use it let's say your rage against the machine or the grateful dead or cold play nobody else can legally claim that name and let's face it that's not the real reason why no one's claiming the name coldplay in 1998 one of the beach boys mike love acquired seoul licensing rights to the name the beach boys now even though other members of the beach boys were still alive they didn't seem eye to eye al jardine one of the other beach boys was touring under the name al jardine of the beach boys and brian wilson had just released another album which was called smile unreleased works by the beach boys the issue with this is they didn't own the rights to the name the beach boys so anything that they did was misappropriating the name the beach boys even though brian wilson one of the main members of the beach boys was releasing music by the beach boys crazy and this is why ownership is so important and why you need a trademark imagine this you've just built an awesome house and it is looking sick inside you have kitted it out you've even got those taps where the water like comes over the top amazing and then someone comes along turfs you out knocks your house down and says this is not your land you have no right to build this house guys quick interruption you're clearly releasing music and serious about getting results so have you checked out dk music business academy it's got over 50 hours worth of courses including the road map to one million streams course on top of that you've got live sessions with me every single week and a community of like-minded musicians from all over the world and as well as that there's even my playlisting tool sonar where you can get in touch with playlist curators when you're releasing music what have you got to lose seven day free trial links in the description let's crack on with the video so when should you trademark now this is where you have to be clever because it does cost money to trademark not only do you have to trademark the name potentially you're trademarking the logo but also in different areas which we'll come to in a minute so we need to be clever and not just trademark from the start only to waste money but the right time for me is when you have income and outgoing let's say you're bringing money in from streams from regular gigs or tours maybe some merch at this point you are a bonafide business now a business doesn't mean you have a trademark but if you have a business then you need a business bank account if you have a business bank account you're going to be paying taxes at which point this is the time that you should think about having a trademark so then comes the million dollar question how did coldplay get so big sheer luck comically bad music i'm the quiz master and even i don't know it's b the answer is b no that's not the question the question is how do you trademap well first you have to do a search to make sure that no one else has that name because if they do you can't trademark it so once you've discovered that the trademark is available at which point you need to decide who is going to own this trademark could be yourself if you're an artist or it could be one person two people or all of a band now what's really important is that this is agreed with because people will leave a band people will join a band but ownership is forever so whoever owns that trademark can literally put a stop to everything that happens from that point onwards with that band next you need to decide where the trademark will be because every territory needs its own trademark so i happen to be in the uk right now so if i trademark the name granddad's belly button fluff extractors i'd be an idiot but also it means i haven't trademarked it in germany or australia or america so if granddad's belly button fluff extractors exists in america with an american trademark they're fine it means i can't step on their toes and they can't step on my toes and lastly you need to decide on the category that your trademark will fit in this is where it gets complicated because there's different trademarks for things like education or entertainment or merchandise as in clothing and so you need to buy a trademark for each of the categories that you're going to fit in this is where it starts to get quite expensive trademarking in your country will cost a different amount depending on where you live but let's take the us as an example it costs around 350 dollars to trademark your name and 350 to trademark your logo now if you want to trademark your name and your logo in entertainment but you also want to trademark your name and your logo in merch or parallel then all of a sudden you're not talking about a 350 across the board payment you're talking about four lots and if if you start looking into different countries all of a sudden it gets more and more expensive now there are a few ways of doing this it usually takes around 18 months to trademark a name and a logo you can do this yourself with some painstaking google searching and form filling or you can hire a lawyer in fact i do believe that if you are outside of the us trying to fulfill a trademark in the us i think you do need a lawyer anyway legally but you can do a lot of this yourself depending on what you want to trademark so in summary we have to be protective over the brand that you are building that someone can't come and steal it or knock it down but at the same point we also have to be mindful that it's quite expensive so the timing is right in fact a lot of major artists didn't even start trademarking until six months after their debut album at which point they were like okay this is making some money we really need to protect this but as this can get quite expensive my advice is make sure you are onto a winner because this is about priorities and if you are going to invest a thousand dollars into a trademark think of what you could do with that thousand dollars should this be about music promo to make sure that you can get your name out there first get some money in and use that money to then build your trademark so there you go

Thanks for your comment Sibyl Hedley, have a nice day.
- Jacqueline Vant, Staff Member

Comment by Mary

called fair warning fair warning of course what's going on everybody i'm adam johnson and this is cover band confidential the video you're about to watch is a conversation from episode 140 of the cover band confidential podcast where we talk about band names in a super competitive market your band name is one of the easiest ways to separate yourself from your competition choosing the right one may involve some due diligence and some challenges you may not have anticipated now while this conversation pertains to cover bands i think this pertains to any music artist or creative venture in general just wanted to thank all of our new subscribers if you're enjoying this content don't forget to like and subscribe we post new videos on this channel every friday and there are other ways that you can support us as well you can follow us on facebook instagram or twitter we do have a patreon or a paypal account if you're not into monthly payments or you could just share this video or any of our other videos with your friends there's a lot of fun stories and anecdotes in this one and with that out of the way let's get into it are we ready to get into like business talk let's do is it bit is it business time business time let's talk about band names so you got a band name i do i got a band name most of the guys who uh and gals who are consuming this content have band names and and i feel like we've gone to great lengths to explain how we got to our band names yours being a completely original thought that you kind of wrapped the band around that's right where i took a very obvious cultural reference and repurposed it like many many others absolutely it is something that we talk about a lot when we're talking about branding and talking about making unique products for the marketplace and how to differentiate yourself you know one of the easiest ways to do that is with a name mike schulte would say that you know the pork tornadoes being a memorable yet arguably terrible name is part of the reason why they've been so sticky as far as their popularity and their brand awareness absolutely they play the same game i do with the clanky lincolns where the name doesn't quite make a ton of sense it's a little sticky to say in your mouth like it's a little tough it's not too smooth i find that a smooth name disappears from your brain whereas a sticky one it sticks in your brain better and so you know we have different kinds of problems though in your case you have to start completely from ground level in order to build your brand awareness there was no clanky lincoln's before you and god willing there won't be one after so yeah it is incumbent upon you and your bandmates to make that brand something yeah actually it's even worse than that because when people haven't heard of us often they think we're we're like some kind of folk or rockabilly thing because they think of the car the lincoln it's not it's the president we have no cultural background that our that our name references that says anything about who we are so you know in my case i have an 80s band called members only like the jackets and a number of other references the other thing about that name is that there's a lot of other 80s bands called members only they're all around us and it's an interesting position to be in because when you're using a reference or something that is technically copyrighted or trademarked by another entity you don't have a lot of say in who does or doesn't get to use your name right in my case there was a band called members only that did exactly what we did in the atlanta area about 15 20 years ago and we still get inquiries from people thinking or asking if we're the same group which we're not but we also have other members onlys that i'm friends with online there's one in missouri and we get inquiries from their perspective clients all the time we just kind of just redirect them that's that's what we have to do the other thing about something being so ubiquitous is that there's a lot of brand confusion there being multiple members only even even in the atlanta area also there's other things anything could be members only like a club can be members only a restaurant an event can be members only so we get tagged in a lot of stuff that like isn't related to us at all the biggest thing that i'm dealing with is that in atlanta two chainz the rapper opened up a restaurant called members only yeah and our handle on instagram is members only atl and their tag is atl members only so i get tagged in a lot of really interesting stuff and uh most the time when i get an alert on my phone that says members only was mentioned in a story i know i'm immediately about to log into instagram and shoot them a message that says hey not us someone else yeah and it can also cause negative stuff i had to do some damage control because somebody tagged us on twitter because a bunch of cars got broken into at that place and so it said members only you know all these breaks and it was like a video of this guy like with all these smash windows and i had to like i literally responded like on the spot said not us there's never been any kind of break-ins in our show just want to make sure that we all know that you know you're talking about one and not the other but it does raise an interesting question common names aside what do you do how do you navigate this kind of thing especially in a situation where there might be other people who have thought of it before you and how do you navigate those kinds of things yeah so you had a you had an interesting story that kind of came up in in your scene that's been yeah a little steeny yeah a little bit so salty there is a brand new van halen tribute act here in raleigh north carolina called fair warning fair warning of course shots fired so hey fair warning new van halen tribunal it's new the premier van halen you know yes premiere you know whatever well there has been a van halen tribute act in raleigh north carolina for about 20 years named fair warning not these guys different guys so these guys came out and immediately a bunch of people like are you aware that that's kind of spoken for in this market and their response was like we'll see who can outlast the other so i mean i guess we will see really as if like somebody was like no now we're members only right and you know to be perfectly honest that very well could have nothing stopping them exactly nothing but market forces right and technically that's what we did but the funny thing is like we didn't we didn't get a ton of blow back but if this is like a somebody playing the corner of the bar right you'd have something to say about that i would have something to say about it because it does affect your reputation in your market so for these guys i don't know if it was something that they did intentionally or maybe it was like they messed up and then like decided to double down that is the sense i get is that they didn't they weren't aware they were stepping on somebody else's name and then they didn't care when they found out i feel like that's a pretty low level of due diligence oh yeah oh no yeah th

Thanks Mary your participation is very much appreciated
- Jacqueline Vant

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