Musicians and bands are businesses. Some bands may not be protected which may jeopardize future merchandising.
Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 19, 2010 - There is value in a name. Just think Lady Gaga or any other famous, well-known singer. There is value in the name of a band as well. Think Nickelback, The Rolling Stones, etc. Any of the personalities behind the names or the bands need to protect their identities and intellectual property rights.
“This usually happens by securing trademark registrations for the band name and/or the musician’s name, because trademark protection is specific to the goods or services they provide. Furthermore, the band or musician will want to ensure their trademark registrations are broad enough to cover all of their actual and reasonably anticipated income generating activities,” said Los Angeles trademark lawyer, David Alden Erikson.
In many cases, the extent of a singer or band’s activities is mostly related to albums, song sales, live shows, TV and concert appearances. However, modern performers, bands and singers opt to extend their revenue generation activities to commercial ventures, website businesses and merchandise sales.
Why should a musician or band register their name as a trademark? “The answer is simple and complex at the same time,” Erikson said. “Generally speaking, a federal trademark extends nationwide priority to make use of the mark in relation to goods or services for which the mark was registered in the first place. It prevents unauthorized use of that registered name and any other names that are so close so as to cause confusion.”
A good example of this would be Shania Twain. She has various federal trademark registrations for her name to be used with pre-recorded records, clothing, perfumes, posters and live performances. What that means is if someone else used Twain’s name to flog products or services without her consent, he or she could be sued for trademark infringement. Protection doesn’t stop there. The trademark registration also stops third parties from using Twain’s name for any similar goods, such as calendars, memorabilia and digital recordings.
The usual process for registering a trademark is through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but only if the mark owner is able to prove the mark is genuinely and currently used in trade or commerce.
“Owners may also apply for registration on the intent to use basis before anything hits the marketplace. Even if the singer or band isn’t ready to sell posters or makeup, they can still get a trademark registration to protect their rights to sell those items – so long as it is in the near future,” Erikson said.
To learn more about David Alden Erikson, Attorney at Law, visit http://www.daviderikson.com.
David Erikson Attorney At Law
200 North Larchmont Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90004-3707
Call: (323) 465-3100