In starting a musical band, choosing a good name is a real difficult task that you have to perform at first. And along with a name that will show off your unique identity, you also need to consider some legal aspects that relate to the name of your group. If you are thinking of making it big in the music industry, with making records and selling merchandise; you necessarily have to trademark. And this is applicable to both, if you are a solo musician or artist, or a lead member of the band.
Registration and trademarking the name plays a central role in preventing its use by other musical groups. As per trademark laws, you cannot one use a name that is similar to another band. There have been many cases where bands have ended up changing their names just because they used a name similar to another group. If you are using a name that has already been trademarked, you may get into legal trouble.
It is recommended to come up with a unique name that does not sound or seem similar to another group, and trademark it as soon as possible to preclude others from using it. Trademarking also allows you to legally distribute merchandise, sell records, and carry out music industry dealings.
The first step is to visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and obtain the forms therein. You can file the application either electronically or print it and send it to the appropriate mailing address. You will be asked to fill in some details in the form; such as name, contact details, kind of entity, name, and similar information. It is suggested to file the application online itself, for which you will have to pay the amount using a credit card.
If you are submitting the application by mail, a check is required to be sent along. For those wondering about the cost, you will have to pay from $275 to $375 approximately. The complete amount has to be paid altogether for the application to be accepted. A temporary serial number will be sent to you via email or mail, according to how your send in the request. After the submission is done, the attorney will examine all aspects of your application. Whether there are any possible discrepancies, any symbols or marks that do not stand as trademarks, and other details.
He most significantly will check the availability of the trademark requested. The attorney also posts it in the official gazette, a weekly publication referring to which another party can oppose the approval. Once all detailed verifications are carried out, it is trademarked and you will receive a notice of the same. The notice is also sent in case the application is disapproved. You will have to renew registration after the fifth year and before the tenth year of formal registration.
The process usually takes a year or even more. When it comes to this process, it is recommended to take legal advice from an attorney.