Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Artists should consider getting trademarks, sometimes


I’ve noticed that a number of artists, including musicians who make CDs and DVDs (even classical music pianists), composers, and filmmakers distribute their material for sale under their own name without the assistance of major media companies.

It’s a good idea for any such musician, even with relatively low volume, to apply for and get a trademark on his or her own name or on the business name (“brand”) that he or she wants to use. Sometimes there are conflicts over names that have been duplicated. Sometimes there are conflicts when Internet domain names conflict with existing marks. Probably, the artist will need to demonstrate that there is some significant level of commercial activity and sales (at least intended), even if carried out informally, as with a family business.

The main website for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is this.

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