How to Play the Name Game: The Why and How of Trademarks

By Spellman, Peter | International Musician, December 2009 | Go to article overview

How to Play the Name Game: The Why and How of Trademarks


Spellman, Peter, International Musician


Excerpted from the book Indie Business Power: A Step-by-Step Guide for 21st Century Music Entrepreneurs, by Peter Spellman

Whether you are starting a new band or founding your own recording company, your business's name will be its number one asset, so it makes sense to take care in choosing one. The right name will help distinguish you from a sea of bland competitors, provide customers with a reason to hire you, and aid in branding your business or music. Here are five guidelines to help you decide:

* Make the name meaningful. It may be the first thing someone knows about your music or your business; consider it an important marketing tool.

* It should be easy to pronounce and remember.

* Make sure it's unique and available.

* Choose a name that you can grow with. Be forward thinking so that it can expand with you.

* Check if you can obtain a suitable Internet domain name for it, too. This can be done through a registration website, such as godaddy.com or register.com.

Once you have selected a name, it is important to get it trademarked. A trademark protects the distinguishing identity of goods and services. A word, name, symbol, phrase, slogan, or a combination of these items, can be trademarked. Unlike patents and copyrights, trademarks affect all businesses because they distinguish the goods and services of one company from those of another. When you use the name of your group or business publicly, you are using a trademark.

Both the federal government, through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and each state have the power to grant trademarks. Federal law requires marks to be used in interstate commerce (i.e., doing verifiable business between two or more states), while state registration can be used to protect a regional mark from competitive use. The ® symbol means the USPTO has reviewed and registered the mark. A "TM" symbol, on the other hand, indicates that the word, phrase, or design is being used and claimed as a trademark, but is not yet federally registered.

Before applying for a trademark, you will want to ensure no one else has already registered the name. You can do a trademark search for free on the Internet by visiting the USPTO website (www.uspto.gov). Or you can visit one of the Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries available in every state. Most of these libraries have step-by-step instructions for searching registered and pending marks. One place to search for unregistered trademarks is The. Thomas Register of Goods and Services (thomasregister.com). To check artist and band names, you can check online directories, like the Ultimate Band List (www.ubl.com) and the All-Music Guide (www.allmusic.com).

Because the name is a valuable asset of your band or business, it's crucial to protect it relentlessly. You automatically have some protection for a trademark, if you were the first person to use it in commerce, even if you didn't formally register it with USPTO. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

How to Play the Name Game: The Why and How of Trademarks
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.