How do I protect my band's name?

A trademark helps protect a band’s name and merchandising. A trademark is any word, phrase, design, symbol, or other similar marketing devices used by manufactures and merchants to identity and distinguish them from products and services sold by others. (See our section on Trademark for more information.)

Musical acts generally provide services, not products. Since a band initially provides a "service" and not a product per se, a servicemark is the proper method to protect the name of a band. Once you start selling product commercially on a national scale, you may then want to also register a trademark for your products and merchandise (e.g. CD’s, tapes, T-shirts, stickers, caps, etc.).

(Reprinted with permission of Ruben Salazar, Esq.)