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My son and friends have a garage band. they were notified today by another band, by email, that they have the same name and that the name of their band has been licensed and copyrighted with the US copyright office since 1996. My son's band plays for local friends parties, school events, etc. and do not sell any tapes, etc. My son's band does have a domain name and a website. We are in Texas. Can you please advise how we can find out if the other band has the legal rights to the name? Also, can my son's band continue to use the name if they are not selling their services or products with the name?



Trademark infringement

If the other band has has the name since 1996, they have the right to use it and to exclude others from using it in the geographic areas they play in or sell music in. You can search the US trademark registrations at http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm. If they have registered the trademark you can not use the name. If they have not registered it, you can use the name in your geographic area if they have not used it there.

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