How to Trademark Your Artist Name

by Garrett Gomez in Content Protection June 06, 2017

The music industry is awash with band after band, and sometimes it can be difficult to come up with a unique name. Moreover, once you achieve a distinct name, it’s incredibly important to make sure no one else is using your name. After all, you own your music, why shouldn’t you own your name as well? To prevent others from using your name for any reason, including merchandise, you should register it as a trademark. Once your name is trademarked, you can file suit against others who are using the name without your permission. Below are the steps you can take to legally trademark your artist name.

  1. Access the United States Patent and Trademark Office to familiarize yourself with their process. It’s important to read through and make sure you’re taking the correct steps to trademark your name. Likewise, they discuss the difference between copyrights and trademarks which will be useful information for you as an artist in the future.

  2. If you are a single artist, then you will own the trademark. However, if you are a collective or group of people, you will have to ensure that each band member has shared ownership of the name.

  3. After you read through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office material, you’ll have to identify the field class(es) you want your trademark to cover. Do this carefully, since you can only protect specific class areas. For instance, you may want to trademark your name in recorded music and live entertainment services, but note that trademarking in more than one field class requires an extra cost.

  4. We know that your name is important to you, especially how it’s formatted. Sometimes artists will space our the letters in their name or using special characters or symbols. Be sure to decide whether or not you will file a trademark in the standard character format or using the stylized format of your name.

  5. By now, you should have all the information you need to file the application. Fill out the Trademark Electronic Application on the government website carefully.

  6. Three months after your file, you should check in on its status. Most trademarks can take up to a year or longer to complete, but you can check the process using the serial number you receive once you file your application.

If you have any difficulty, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is available to help you. Likewise, you can explore more of our blog if you have different questions about furthering yourself as an artist.