Protect the Name You’ve Made for Yourself™
You may not think of your band name as a brand name, but that is how it functions in the marketplace where concert promoters and fans are the “consumers”.
Your music sells albums and concert tickets, but
YOUR NAME IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET!
Your name symbolizes your music in the minds of “consumers.” –
Promoters rely upon your name when choosing which acts to book and your fans rely on it to decide which concerts to see, music to buy and merch to purchase.
The law calls protectable band (and artist, product, and business) names “trademarks.”
The best way to protect your trademark is through federal registration.
Just like the title to a car or house evidences ownership of those assets, a certificate of federal trademark registration functions as the title to your band name by proving your ownership of it.
Trademark registrations are used to determine ownership of the mark:
- between band members
i. if a member(s) leaves the band
ii. if the band disbands
- in relationship to third parties
i. licensing (use by permission)
ii. infringement (use without permission)
Trademark registration also provides other benefits:
- serving as evidence of the mark’s validity
- providing “constructive notice” of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark on the goods / services in the registration.
Most infringers respond quickly and favorably to a “cease and desist” letter that includes a certificate of registration.
For those who don’t, it is easier and far more cost effective to go into court with a certificate of federal trademark registration than without one. Registration can enable a band to prevent infringement nationwide at the inception of a lawsuit and without a full-blown trial by obtaining a temporary restraining order that’s effective for the duration of a tour.