When you started your band in your friend’s garage, did you think you’d have to worry about IP protection?
Your band’s reputation – and hence bookability and potential record deals – is indisputably associated with the band’s name. If someone else sets themselves up under your band name, what rights do you have?
The law will generally favour the reputation established under that band name, whether the band name is registered or not, however it is always a good move to register your band name as a trade mark, along with any associated symbols or designs. This will also help you establish whether a domain name is available.
It may be advisable to register your band name in a number of classes:
- Class 9– audio, video, downloadable music files, computer games
- Class 16 – books, music magazines, posters and sheet music
- Class 25– T-shirts, clothing, footwear and headgear
- Class 38 – delivery of digital music by telecommunications
- Class 41– entertainment, films, live entertainment, concerts and music production
You may also need to consider other countries in which you anticipate touring or establishing a presence, as holders of the same – or a similar – band name could take exception to your band ‘cutting their grass’ and launch legal proceedings against you.
So – in addition to worrying about amps, drum kits and recalcitrant guitarists, don’t forget to get your legal basics right!
Article written by Paula Hogg.