Trademark Your Band Name

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www.music-law.com takes the guesswork out of trade marking your bands name. If you have a unique name that you want associated with your music, then you should take steps to protect that name, because as you grow and succeed, that name will epitomize you.

They go on to say:

The two key concepts involved in “protecting” the name of a band are “territory” and “priority”. Territory means the area where you use the name, e.g., Chicago, Illinois, Mid-West, United States, world-wide, etc. Priority, as the word implies, involves who uses the name first. These two concepts work together to limit the scope of protection for a name.

If you started using your name first, you can prevent others from using it. However, the law allows you exclusive use of the name only in the area where you have used it. For example, if you started playing the Chicagoland area in 1989 and never played or distributed music outside the Chicagoland area, you could not prevent a band from using the name in Florida. However, they could not use the band name in Chicagoland since you were the first to use the band name there. You also may acquire the rights to your name for Chicago in 1989 and nation-wide in 1992 when you release your first record for a major. If someone started using your name in another part of the country in 1990, you could not prevent their use in their territory since they have priority in that area.

A famous case involved two bands both performing under the name, “Flash”. The first was a small band in San Francisco who had never recorded a record and the second was an English band that had a major label deal. Since the San Francisco “Flash” was a prior user in that area, the English “Flash” was not allowed to sell albums in the Bay area.

Before investing money in the name of your band, you should investigate whether anyone else is already using the name. If someone is already using your name, as explained above, they have priority in their territory.

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About the Author

Linda Lane is a 5 star writer for The Music Business Center, read more of her music business success articles and subscribe to the Music Biz Center blog free of charge at www.MusicBizCenter.com/blog

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