Seattle Trademark Lawyer
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Archive for November, 2011

Why You Should Always Do a Simple Google Search Before Choosing a Band Name

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

If you are an up and coming band and think you have the best band name in the world, you should first conduct a simple Google search to make sure that you are not going to be infringing on another bands trademark. If a band with a similar name shows up you may want to search the USPTO data base to make sure the bands name is not trademarked or consult with a trademark lawyer. If the name is not trademarked the band who was using the name first in their location will have the right to use the name there, however if you were to register a trademark thereafter, you would have the right to use the band name nationally and stop others in the future from using the band name.

The reason I bring this up is that I was recently retained by a band who has been performing since the 1990’s. They were smart and trademarked their band name in relation to musical performances. This means that any band who wishes to use their band name or any variations of the name which are confusingly similar will be infringing on the original bands trademark.

The point of a trademark is for a business or in this case a band to distinguish themselves from the competition. If you are a new band, would you really want your work to be confused with somebody else’s? My guess is that most artists would want to be considered an original and not ride the coattails of somebody else or have their work confused with somebody else’s. So if you want to avoid receiving cease and desist letters threatening legal action in the future I strongly suggest doing a thorough name search before settling on a band name. It would be a hassle and potentially costly to re-branding yourself under a new band name if you have already been performing and have developed a fan base who purchases music and merchandise which could no longer be sold.

If you have additional questions please call us as 206-682-7975 to set up a consultation with  one of our entertainment lawyers.

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Richard J. Symmes, Esq
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