Want to know how to trademark your music name ? This is what I ‘m going to show you how to do today. Look below for a footstep by footstep guidebook to trademarking your appoint for musicians, a well as a look at the remainder between trademarks and copyrights. This scout was written by myself, Richard Jefferson, Esq., owner of LawyersRock.com .
I am an Entertainment lawyer. That said, please note that you should n’t take the below as professional or legal advice, I am fair providing you with general information on the procedure.
flush if you decide to use an lawyer to file your brand lotion, knowing how the process works should be very helpful .
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The Difference Between Trademarks and Copyrights
In the music industry, you frequently hear about the importance of protecting the copyrights in your music, but what about protecting your name ? Copyrights protect creative, original works such as healthy recordings and musical compositions, but Trademarks protect things like names, son, and slogans .
With the music occupation making a substitution class shift from a concenter on selling records to branding artists, the value of copyrights have been decreasing and trademarks have become the money makers .
If an artist ( or the label ) wants to engage in branding deals, such as becoming the spokesperson for a product or military service, then the artist must own the hallmark, or the legal right in his or her perform name .
For exemplar, Katy Perry® is a spokesperson for COVERGIRL. The conduct that she did with them required her to formally grant COVERGIRL the right to use her mention in connection with its makeup line .
then how do you obtain possession in a hallmark ? In the U.S., you basically need to secure a trademark adjustment from the United States Patent and Trademark Office ( USPTO ) .
This post is going to explain the three steps to this process. There are nuances to each step depending on your specific position, but if you plan to do-it-yourself, this position will be very helpful .
note : you can besides see how to copyright your music here .
How To Trademark A Music Name, The Step By Step Process
here ‘s how to trademark a music artist name .
Step 1 – Perform A Search To Make Sure Your Mark Is Available
Your perform name, ship’s company appoint, or logo needs to be singular in holy order to qualify for trademark protective covering. This means that you are not going to be able to call yourself Drake, Jay-Z, or Taylor Swift .
You can ’ t even put a slight tailspin on it like Drizzy, or Jay-P, or Tyler Swifty. It ’ s not going to fly. Trademark law calls these types of spins as “ bewilderingly alike ” .
This is not allowed because it would confuse the public when they go to buy an album. Can you imagine how you would feel if you went to iTunes to get the new Drake album and you ended up mistakenly downloading an album from an unknown rapper named Drizzy ?
You wouldn ’ metric ton be excessively happy. That is the kernel of why brand law exists .
so, the first measure is to see what trademarks already exist thus that you can choose something singular. A simpleton Internet search will give you some insight, but a more helpful room to know if to search the USPTO database .
This will reveal any registrations and pending applications. To do this, start by going to the USPTO Website .
From the homepage, click on Trademarks and then on the first link under Trademarks named Searching Trademarks.
From the home page, click onand then on the first link under Trademarks named For name searches, choose the first link – Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). FYI, below that is a link that allows you to search designs if you are doing a search for logos.
For name searches, choose the first yoke –. FYI, below that is a link that allows you to search designs if you are doing a search for logo. You will be presented with a few different options. I normally use the third option, which is called Word and/or Design Mark Search (Free Form).
You will be presented with a few different options. I normally use the third gear choice, which is called Once you are on the search page, type in the trademark you are looking for and follow the codes, which are explained on the page.
once you are on the search page, type in the trademark you are looking for and follow the codes, which are explained on the page. For model, suppose you want to call yourself Lady Gaga and you have never heard of any recording artist that uses that identify ( an obvious extreme point exercise but this would apply to any performer name that you want to use ) .
You would follow the steps above, type in LADY GAGA and use Boolean search techniques to narrow your search ( i.e., quotes, AND, OR ), and astir pops two listings for LADY GAGA ( see below ) .
Note: recorded music is in International Class 009 thus I entered 009[IC] in the research, and I alone want to see active trademarks so I added the discussion LIVE .
Bottom line, there is a conflict so you better use another name!
Step 2. Choose The Proper Description
Bottom line, there is a conflict so you better use another name ! Trademarks are categorized into 45 external classes, which represent respective products and services. Since this mail is for musicians, the primary applicable international classes are 009 ( for physical and downloadable recorded music…CDs, and downloads ) and 041 ( for bouncy and public performances…concerts and streaming over the internet ).
The following gradation is to determine what description accurately describes the product or service that you offer. The USPTO web site has a database that you can search to find the best pre-defined description .
You can search the site, but to speed things up I have included the yoke below :
hypertext transfer protocol : //tess2.uspto.gov/netahtml/tidm.html
You are now at the page called :
U.S. Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual
This is a database of descriptions that can be easily searched. Put the good or service that your trademark represents and you will find a number of descriptions that you can sift through .
so, why do we do this step? You want to make certain that you put in an accurate description into your application so that no one can challenge it .
It is much easier to figure our your description before you start your on-line application because it will clock you out of your session if you take excessively long completing the process .
Try it ! If you type in “ Music ” you will see 137 unlike descriptions .
These are pre-approved descriptions from the USPTO. You are allowed to create particular descriptions, but those are scrutinized a little piece more by trademark examiners, which is something you want to avoid if you can help it .
If one of the pre-approved descriptions does not work you can normally at least find something here that you can tailor a morsel to match your needs .
Ok, so we are immediately ready to file the actual trademark application. here ‘s how .
Step 3 – Online Filing
immediately that you have done your due diligence, and you know the proper international course and description, you are fix to file your brand lotion !
As we did ahead, go to the USPTO web site .
This prison term you are going to go to the Trademarks dropdown menu, and choice Filing Online .
There is plenty of data on this page to read. To do a newfangled filing, click on the connect that says Initial Application Form .
There are a few options. Again, make certain you read so that you choose the application that best fits your situation .
I try to do a TEAS Plus lotion whenever possible because it is the quickest and cheapest. To do that one, click on the connection that says File a TEAS Plus Application.
As I mentioned before, make sure that you have all of the information that you need for your application ahead, including :
- Ownership Information – who is going to own the trademark?
- Mark Information, including the files that you are actually going to submit with your application.
- Evidence of Use – if you are already using your mark (as opposed to planning to use it) you will need evidence that shows your use.
- Class Description (Step 2 of this post)
- International Class (Step 2 of this post)
- Correspondence Information. This is information that identifies who the Examining Attorney will speak with if there is an issue with your application.
Ok, back to the application filmdom .
Click on Continue at the bottom of the screen to enter the on-line lotion .
This takes you to the next step. Scroll to the bottom of the filmdom where it asks, “ Is an lawyer file this application ? ” on your behalf. Choose Yes or No and then click Continue.
The following screen covers ownership information. Fill that out appropriately .
sometimes you may want to own it individually ; sometimes your company should own the hallmark ; and sometimes there are multiple owners .
After you have filled out the ownership information, chink Continue to go to the following screen .
This is where you will enter your actual Trademark. This is where you put your performing name ! If you have a logo this is where you attach it to your lotion .
For example, if your do list is “ MOJO ”, I leave the default settings and merely character in : mojo .
If you have a design mark ( logo ) then you actually need to select the file here and upload it indeed that it attaches to your application .
once you are done, click Continue .
The following screen is where you will find your Goods and Services and International Class. Enter the data from Step 2 of this military post on this page .
After clicking on Goods and Services you go to a search screen. From here you are going to search the goods and services database .
type in part of your description so that it will pop up on screen. For exemplar, if your hallmark is for “ downloadable recorded music ” character that in .
When you have found the description ( s ) that you want, click on Insert Checked Entries.
following, go to the bed of the page and either blue-ribbon Intent-To-Use, ( meaning you haven ’ thymine used it yet ) or I n-Commerce ( meaning you already are using it ) .
The last department is for the symmetry information and, again, this is information for the Examining Attorney, the person who will review and process your application. If the Examining Attorney has questions they will contact the person listed in this section .
The very last page gives you an opportunity to go back and look over your application before you submit it. I would encourage at least looking over everything one more time before submitting fair in case you missed something .
You can make only minor changes to your application after you submit it. If you make a major mistake you may have to file an wholly raw application and pay another file fee .
That ’ s it. You are done ! If you found this guide utilitarian and want more such advice, you can check out my site LawyersRock.com .
important admonisher : It ’ s impossible for me to cover every scenario therefore please do not take anything here as professional or legal advice. I am just providing you with general information on the procedure.
even if you decide to use an lawyer to file your hallmark application, knowing how the process works should be very helpful .
Written by Richard Jefferson, Esq., owner of LawyersRock.com. P.S. Remember though, none of what you ‘ve learned will matter if you do n’t know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that ? then get our detached ‘ 5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career ‘ ebook emailed directly to you !