Special Feature

Trademark Name: Protecting Your Brand

Acquiring an alias or stage name may be as simple as a friend giving you a name that represents yourself. You can go around and build a following to the point where that name is recognizable to you. Perhaps you begin to get recognition beyond your local scene and your brand is starting to spread. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, this is only great news if you have taken care of all of your legal obligations in protecting your brand. This goes beyond brand design and begins with a trademark name. Securing a trademark for yourself is a necessary step in becoming successful within the music industry. It is very easy for a young fan or a rival to screw you over by using the same alias if you have not done your due diligence in this regard.

To begin the process to trademark name you must check to see if your current name is available. This can be simple by Googling the name. See how many results come up and if there is any relevant brand design associated with it that doesn’t belong to you. After you have established you are in the clear the next step is to use the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. Furthermore, searching for registered trademarks or pending trademarks will clarify if your name is available for usage. Be sure to search for similar names or misspellings. Simply visit the USPTO website and click on “Trademarks”. On the first link there is an option for “Searching Trademarks”. Be thorough in your search.

Most noteworthy, once you have established the unique name you want to trademark name by clicking the “Filing Online” link. Fill out the initial application form and fill out the necessary information. Ownership information is who will own the trademark (you). Evidence of use will allow you to prove that you are using the name already in real-life scenarios. Correspondence information will determine who the examining attorney can speak to if there is an issue within the filing process.

Especially relevant, the best way to protect your brand is to be thorough. Be prepared through your filing process and make sure everything is in order.

I have seen the situation of name argument and fighting a lot in the music industry .mostly in our Africa music industry.

Writer: Rene Immortal Matik (RIM)

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