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Trademark/Servicemark for Band name

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Mr.TTT

Junior Member
What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? MA

My business is an original rock band. I recently submitted a trademark/servicemark registration for the band name through TESS. Was I correct in doing this before we are to play our first "gigs" and distribute our first demo recordings for promotion? I notice that a lot of bands don't bother with this, and seem to get along just fine.
I did do some pretty thorough searching, and came upon nothing that I would consider a "marketplace conflict or confusion" but should I have had an attorney do a more thorough search and submit it, was it fine, or did I waste my time/money?
Also, I want to make the band a LLC, but should I wait until Trademark registration is approved so I know I can use the name, or just do it right away?
 


divgradcurl

Senior Member
My business is an original rock band. I recently submitted a trademark/servicemark registration for the band name through TESS. Was I correct in doing this before we are to play our first "gigs" and distribute our first demo recordings for promotion?
Appyling early is a good strategy -- that way, if for some reason your trademark/servicemark registration is denied, you may still be able to change the name or logo (if that's what you decide to do) to obtain registration before you build up a lot of loyalty and brand recognition. Applying early is also useful if someone else decides to register their similar or identical name/logo as well -- in such a situation, the person with priority (the first to apply) is usually the winner. Note however that your registration will not be complete until you have used the mark for at least 6 months. But applying early is not unusual, and is actually good business sense.

I notice that a lot of bands don't bother with this, and seem to get along just fine.
That is true. But there are also bands who pick a name, start playing, get some recognition, and then find out someone else has already acquired trademark rights to the name (or registered a trademark). By registering your own mark, this won't happen to you.

Further, in the event that someone else starts using the same or similar name or logo, you will be able to stop them from using the name if you have a registered mark. It's much more difficult to do if you don't have a registered mark.

I did do some pretty thorough searching, and came upon nothing that I would consider a "marketplace conflict or confusion" but should I have had an attorney do a more thorough search and submit it, was it fine, or did I waste my time/money?
The USPTO is going to do their own search regardless of whether you had an attorney search or not. Since you've already paid your fees, sit back and see what happens. If the USPTO does turn up some issues, maybe it might be worthwhile to talk with an attorney to help you evaluate your position at that point. Applications are routinely rejected, oftentimes a simple modification will do the trick, sometimes the rejection can successfully be argued against ("traversed"), sometimes you will need to start over -- when you hear back from the USPTO, an attorney can help you evaluate what your next step could be.

Also, I want to make the band a LLC, but should I wait until Trademark registration is approved so I know I can use the name, or just do it right away?
Creating an LLC is not always a simple matter, and requires certain formalities to be followed on an ongoing basis in order to retain LLC status, and tax issues are more complicated. Before jumping into creating an LLC, you might want to do some more research or talk with an attorney to determine whether an LLC is even the right way to go about things -- then, and only then, do you need to worry about timing.
 

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