Trademark your Artist Name or Band Name
Protect your Artist or Band Name with a Trademark
How important is your Artist or Band Name to your career as a performance artist? Very important - that's how your fans and other business opportunities find out about your work as a musician and reach you. And if you had to change your name tomorrow? It would be devastating. File a trademark and own your Artist or Band Name!
Should I trademark my artist name?
Considering your performances are your livelihood, it would be prudent to ensure that your "Brand" remains yours, and the only way to legally do that is with a trademark filing. Not only does it prevent others from using your trademark without authorization, but it can be a basis for merchandising and sponsorship. In fact, all larger commercial acts have a multitude of trademarks for various classes, which cover not only their musical performances but merchandising as well. Taylor Swift has 57 trademarks that consist of her name or initials - and there are others based on her song or persona.
How do I trademark my artist name?
The process is straightforward, you can file in a few minutes answering a few questions on our Artist Trademark Filing Form down below, with a special discount for performance artists like musicians and bands.
Basically, you should finalize the name you will be going with, or are already using. Then, make sure you know of any obvious similarities to existing acts, particularly famous ones. Google is a good resource. Also when you file for a trademark we'll perform a direct hit search to see if your name is free. If there is a logo, that is a separate trademark application from the word mark, and you should ensure that the logo is in its final version before filing.
One of the hurdles is when an artist or musician trademark consists of their name. Names are generally prohibited from filing, unless they are well-known, and from the date of registration of your trademark you will have five years to show that your name has become well-known, to permit the mark to register on the Principal Trademark Register. In the meantime, you get provisional protection with the Supplemental Trademark Register. Contact us if you have any questions, as we are the experts in getting names through to registration for your artist's or band's name.
Another issue is when your career takes off - there can be a lot that happens at once. With merchandizing opportunities, the goods and services can be added later, so they do not need to all be named at the outset (and it would be difficult to imagine what products your name would be used with). In fact, naming a number of different classes that have not been used yet, at the first filing, will delay registration of your trademark until you have use of those product classes.
Artists and Band Names often are filed in class 41, which includes performances and websites. There may be some other services you offer, and if you sell music as CDs are LPs then an additional class for those products is added (along with the fee for an additional class from the USPTO. If you let us know which goods and services you intend to associate with the brand, we can provide you with a full rundown of how many classes you might expect to need, down the line. But at first, you can file them all in one class, to save money.
Click below to start trademarking your artist or band name.