Ask any musician a question about trademarking their own music, and they’ll be the first to let you know that it’s one of the most important steps an artist can take. Having control over what you’ve created is vital in any line of work, particularly the music industry. In this article, we’ll look into how you can go about trademarking your name as a musician/artist.
Whether you’re an established musician, an aspiring musician, or have just had a general interest in the process, it’s important to know the process of how to trademark your name.
The Difference Between Copyrighting and Trademarks
If you’re involved in the music industry, you’ll know the importance of copyrighting your music, but maybe not so much about protecting your name as an artist. While copyrights protect creative and original work such as music and sound recordings, trademarks help to protect an artist’s name, logo, and any slogans they may have.
With the rise of the internet, streaming services, and torrent sites allowing users to pirate music, copyrighting and trademarking have become ever more critical for the modern musician.
Make Sure Your Artist Name Is Available
Whether you’re looking for a band name, a logo, you need to make sure it’s unique and not mimicking an existing band or artist name. It may seem like common sense, but the first step to take before deciding upon a name is to make sure it’s available.
The easiest way to check your band name is to do a quick google search on the name you are thinking of using to see what comes up.
To be totally sure you aren’t using an already taken name, check out the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office) to see if the name is already in use or if there is a trademark against it.
Getting Your Classification and Description Right
When you’ve checked out the USPTO website to make sure the name you are looking to use is available, you need to make sure you choose the proper classification and description that best describes the product or service that you offer.
For musicians, the two classifications to focus on are the 009 (for physical and downloadable music) and the 041 (for live and public performances and streaming over the internet).
Filing Your Trademark
Once you’ve completed the necessary due