Registering for Trademark Protection of your band’s name
A musician can apply online for a notice of copyright ownership. The filing process is not difficult and costs only $35. Federal registration for trademark protection of a band’s name, by contrast, costs at least $325 to file for protection. The filing process is a bit complicated, and many musicians hire a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property to do the work associated with a trademark application. This adds several hundred dollars to the cost of registering the mark. Should you register band name?
You do not need to register your band name to establish rights in the name, but there are important advantages to federal registration of a band’s name if the band intends to perform beyond its regional home base:
Your “mark” will be listed on the USPTO’s database and other bands will see that you own the name.
Federal registration gives you the right to sue, or threaten to sue in federal court, other bands who use your band’s name.
Federal registration gives you the right to use the federal registration symbol ® next to your band name, putting the public on notice that you assert ownership of the name
Tips on Choosing a Band Name for Federal Trademark Registration
Some people do their own registration of band names with the US Patent and Trademark Office, but many people ask experienced intellectual property attorneys to perform this service.
When choosing your band’s name, remember that the purpose of trademark identification is to protect the public from confusion.
Search several sources to see whether the band name is already in use. Some common places to check on band names include TESS at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Trademark Office Official Gazette,
Choose a name that is original and is not similar to other band names.