Trademark Registration Services
Our Trademark Registration service can help protect your name – and your work – from misuse and infringement. We conduct Trademark Search, Prepare and File Application with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment.
Unlike Music Copyright, which automatically assigns rights to the creator or owner of a piece of original work, trademarking doesn't come about automatically. Instead – it’s something that you must register to do.
So although trademarking your artist or label name isn’t necessarily mandatory, it’s really important to do it anyway.
Finding out you share the same name with another artist or act can cause major issues down the line – in terms of both cost and reputation. Changing your name is not a route you wanna go down, so best avoid it from the get go.
Trademarking your name also gives you the right to shut down any phoney or fake profiles trying to impersonate you online or make money from your music.
It is also important in a situation where as an artist, you have a fallout with your record label, trademark would prevent that label from using your name or mark for publicity.
Music Trademark Registration Features
Registering a Trademark helps you to establish your own brand and stops others from using it. It is a valid legal protection that you obtain by registering.
Registering your trademark automatically gives your brand a unique identity, different from others.
Creation of Asset
There are numerous instances whereby registered brands can easily sell the franchise or lend the name for huge fees or royalties (economic right).
Registration protects you against other artists making music under the same or a similar name.
The Trademark provides you with the best evidence that you have exclusive rights to the name. it allows you to sue for statutory damages (more money)
Prevent someone else from selling a merchandise with your mark on it and if it happens, trademark registration gives the proprietor the power to seek legal redress for the infringement.
Check out some of the Most Frequently asked questions relating to Music Trademark Registration.
Trademarks, similarly to copyrights, are a form of protection. They tend to protect anything that’s used to brand a good or service. In terms of the music industry, you can protect your name, as well as your logo, song titles, and phrases included in your lyrics or symbols.
As a form of identifier, trademarks are used to help people identify the source of the product or the service. Trademarks aim to prevent any unfair competition, such as someone causing confusion by having a name/logo/slogan similar to yours or entirely the same.
This means that trademark protection legally reassures artists that no other musicians or bands can take advantage of particular identifying factors to confuse the buying public. It may for instance happen that another band performs under the same name as you do, causing misunderstandings among your fans. Instead of buying tickets to your gig, they may mistakenly buy tickets to the other band’s concert. In such a case, trademarking the band’s name will prevent you from encountering such situations.
No. It is not compulsory to do so and many artists never do so. However, if you’re serious about a recording career and have your sights set on big success in the music industry, it may be a good idea. If you don’t and someone else comes along after you and trademarks the same name as yours, they may be able to stop you using your name to make music.
If you’ve already had thousands of downloads and garnered hundreds of followers on each social media channel, this is a problem. You may be made to stop using your name and fans will struggle to find you.
So if you do decide to trademark your name, the sooner you do it the better. Depending on your name a duplicate scenario may be unlikely though. We’ll take a look at who should and shouldn’t be trademarking their name, shortly.
Yes. There’s nothing to stop this. But therein lies the problem. Imagine plugging away for years, building up and reputation and following, only to find another musician arrives on the scene with the same name. This would confuse your fans and may result in them being redirected to the other musician’s tracks and ticket sales. Worse still, if they act inappropriately, or offend influential people in the music industry, you may be tarred with the bad reputation too.
If you’re considering trademarking your name, here are the factors to take into account when making the decision.
- Are you planning a high profile career by yourself? If, for example, you gig on a part-time basis and teach music the rest of the time, it may not be worth the hassle and outlay.
- Are you a solo artist, or part of a band? If you’re part of a group, is it worth trademarking your name as an individual? Similarly, if your band is taking off, you should think about trademarking the band.
- Can you afford it? There will be fees involved, which we’ll explain further into the article.
- How unique is your name? If you have a super unusual name and self-manage a relatively low profile career, it’s probably not necessary.
- Do you sell merch, have a domain name, and big streaming/album sales? If so, you need to protect your overall brand, of which name is a part. So a trademark is sensible.
- What’s your role? If you’re a bassist in a band or a session guitarist, it may not be relevant to trademark your own name. Not all working musicians operate as a business brand in the way a solo artist or pop band would do.
Don’t pick a name hastily. This is a key part of your artist branding and should be just right. It’s not wise to change your name once you’ve started to build momentum. So choose well and get it right the first time. Some artists trademark more than one name, but each name must be proven to be in use.
Beyonce has trademarked not only her artist name, but also her nicknames Yonce and Beyhive. Her husband owns the trademarks, Shawn Carter and Jay-Z. Unless you’re a big star like this musical power couple, it’s unlikely you’ll use more than one name.
ust like trademarks, copyrights, too, are a type of property protection.
So, what is the actual difference between trademarks and copyrights? Copyrights are used to protect the creative, original works of art and provide the rights to artistic works that have been created through a tangible medium, such as digital track, tape, disk, or other formats. They are essential for the protection of almost any type of artistic expression. These are namely, in the context of music, sound recordings, and musical compositions, but also lyrics, melodies, arrangements, performances, etc.
While copyrights tend to protect the artistic side of intellectual property, trademarks protect their commercial side aligned with the law. More importantly, however, trademarks are used to protect the unique and specific identification of a brand in our case, the artist or the band, and the product. meaning their name, the album’s or song’s name, slogan, logo, etc. Meanwhile, copyright in music shall prevent unauthorized copying, reproduction, or distribution of a specific piece of work.
Additionally, copyright is generated automatically upon the creation of work. However, one needs to take additional steps to ensure that the copyright is enforced. (Note: this very much depends on where you are based - e.g in Europe, no further registration is required to enforce the copyright protections, but in the USA, you need to register the copyright with the Copyright Office). Trademark protection needs to be applied for.
As said before, the ultimate benefit of trademark protection is that it prevents unfair competition and the chance of confusing your audience. More than that, a registered trademark allows you to have more protection than the one given to you by ‘common law’. With trademark protection, you may be legally entitled to financial remedies and compensation in case of potential infringement.
Furthermore, trademarking your song/album’s name or a particular part of your lyrics may turn out to be profitable to you, especially when it comes to merchandise. It’s fairly common for unauthorized brands and companies to produce pieces of merchandise with lyrics and phrases of various artists.
What they may not know though, is that the artists are often legally entitled to these lyrics because of a registered trademark. This gives the trademark owners the ability to stop the illegal production and sale of goods and even request compensation for potential financial loss (which is possible only with official trademark protection).
Trademarks are also beneficial should the artist be accused of infringement. That’s because registering for a trademark automatically prevents you from infringing on an already existing mark as the whole process is supplemented by thorough research on the topic.
This means that a trademark can defend you against the chance of both being infringed on by somebody and being alleged to infringe upon someone else. It may therefore be convenient to register your trademark as soon as you decide to use it. That's because, upon its registration, a trademark will give you the right and priority of usage.
Although the duration of trademark protection can vary, the most common duration period is 10 years. Afterward, the validity of the trademark can be prolonged indefinitely as long as the trademark is still used in commerce. You will need to pay renewal fees to prolong the validity of your trademark.
Sometimes it happens that the trademark owner decides not to use the trademark anymore. In such a case, after three years of not being used in commerce, the trademark falls through, after being presumed abandoned.