ou have the perfect band name, a CD all ready to be released, enough merchandise to fill a truck, but is your band name trademarked? Registering your band name is one of the most important and over looked things to do on a musician’s check list.
Trademarking your band through the US Patent and Trademark Office will protect your hard working band and its glorified name across all 50 states. If you are starting to gain momentum in your career, this will stop knockoffs dead in their tracks.
If another band happens to be using your trademarked band name, they are looking at a hefty consequence for triple the damages for willful infringement. The same goes for you. It is important to check with the data base to make sure the name you have your heart set on isn’t already owned by someone else. The last thing you want is to be taken to court for triple the amount of money for the actual damage.
It is also very important when it comes to building your website. A website is the revolving door for exposure. This is the hyper link that you attach to every e-mail and digital correspondence. If you come across your soon to be domain name already in use, your trademark gives you the power to shut it down and put the site to the musical revolution that the world has been waiting to hear!
You’re probably wondering, “How much is all of this protection going to cost me?” Although it’s not as cheap as a package of guitar strings, this $275 one-time fee will keep you covered from a potentially huge financial hiccup down the road. Your safest bet is to register under Class 9: CDs, DVDs and other digital recording media; Class 25: T-shirts and other clothing and Class 41: for entertainment services. Just remind yourself to fill out the required maintenance filing every few years.
So before you get too excited and print out 2,000 CDs and more T-shirts than you know what to do with, remember that the most important thing that you can do for your band is to Trademark that name. Friends don’t let friends go without it.
[Reprinted From: http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/]