Recording - December 2010 - 58

By Todd Gascon and Bruce Kaphan

Chapter 9: trademark basics
What do the Beach Boys, The Wailers and Black Sabbath have in common? They all have been involved in trademark disputes regarding the ownership rights to their bands’ names. In this article we will discuss some of the basic issues regarding trademark law and what you can do to ensure your band’s name is your own and won’t be the subject of a lawsuit. I will be using the names of fictional bands to illustrate some of the points in this article. Unlike the Grateful Dead, who selected their band name from the dictionary, I will use some of the names generated by www.bandnamemaker.com. Trademark vs. Service Mark One of the questions I’m asked most is, “What is a trademark and how does it differ from a service mark?” A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or any combination of words, phrases, symbols and designs, that identifies the source of goods and allows consumers to distinguish one source of goods from another. Think Fender vs. Gibson or Baldwin vs. Yamaha. A service mark is any word, name, symbol, device or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce, to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services. In music, the same mark can act as both a trademark and a service mark. Let’s use the fictional band Nowhere of Goober. When they sell goods (e.g. compact discs) under that name, they are using Nowhere of Goober as a trademark. When they perform live at a show under that name they are using Nowhere of Goober as a service mark, the service being entertainment services. What is the function of a trademark? In general, trademarks perform four functions that are protected by the courts: (1) to identify one seller’s goods and distinguish them from goods sold by others; (2) to signify that all goods bearing the trademark come from or are controlled by a single (albeit anonymous) source; (3) to signify that all goods bearing the trademark are of an equal level of quality; and (4) as a tool in advertising and selling the goods. (These four functions apply equally to service marks.)
58
RECORDING DECEMBER 2010

It should also be remembered that, in addition to these functions, a trademark is also a symbol of good will that a business has built up over time. In today’s music industry, the band’s name and its brand can become very valuable. Think the Rolling Stones tongue, the Kiss faces or record company names like 4AD, Blue Note, Columbia, Merge and Stax. Without the identification function performed by service marks and trademarks, consumers would have no way of returning to buy services and products that they have used and liked. How do you obtain trademark rights? Trademark rights arise from actual use of a mark or the filing of an “Intent-to-Use” application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (see more details in sidebar). The term “actual use” means that you are using your mark “in commerce”. For the majority of bands, like the fictional band Essence of Ferret, that will mean that they must use their mark outside of their home state. This can be done by touring, selling records and getting radio airplay on radio stations outside of their home state. It’s this type of activity that a court will consider when deciding whether a band has used its mark in commerce. Therefore, if you want to claim trademark rights in a name, the single most important thing you and your band can do is to continuously use the name in the public to identify yourselves. This use must be continuous as a longterm hiatus may lead a court to conclude that the mark has been “abandoned” and the band has thereby relinquished its rights to the name. If you think you might want to register your trademark, what should you do, if anything, before sending in the trademark or service mark application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”)? Avoid a name conflict As an upcoming band, your band’s name and the goodwill that you’ve built up over the years with your fans is perhaps your single most valuable asset. As a result, you want to make sure you have the freedom to use the name as you see fit and that no one else has rights in the name that conflict with yours. The last thing you would want to


http://www.bandnamemaker.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - December 2010

Recording - December 2010
Fade In
Contents
Talkback
Recording’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide
Theme Music for TV—A Production Report
Royer Labs R-101 Ribbon Microphone
Recording SFX—A Career Option?
Primacoustic IsoTools
Avenson Audio IsoDI
Getting Your Music Heard In Today’sCommercial Culture
Preview: Yamaha AvantGrand
It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights.Chapter 9: Trademark Basics
Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack Model 1and FourTrack 4.0.1
Readers' Tapes
Advertiser Index
Fade Out
Recording - December 2010 - Recording - December 2010
Recording - December 2010 - Cover2
Recording - December 2010 - 1
Recording - December 2010 - Fade In
Recording - December 2010 - 3
Recording - December 2010 - Contents
Recording - December 2010 - 5
Recording - December 2010 - Talkback
Recording - December 2010 - 7
Recording - December 2010 - Recording’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide
Recording - December 2010 - 9
Recording - December 2010 - 10
Recording - December 2010 - 11
Recording - December 2010 - 12
Recording - December 2010 - 13
Recording - December 2010 - 14
Recording - December 2010 - 15
Recording - December 2010 - 16
Recording - December 2010 - 17
Recording - December 2010 - 18
Recording - December 2010 - 19
Recording - December 2010 - 20
Recording - December 2010 - 21
Recording - December 2010 - 22
Recording - December 2010 - 23
Recording - December 2010 - 24
Recording - December 2010 - 25
Recording - December 2010 - 26
Recording - December 2010 - 27
Recording - December 2010 - 28
Recording - December 2010 - 29
Recording - December 2010 - 30
Recording - December 2010 - 31
Recording - December 2010 - 32
Recording - December 2010 - 33
Recording - December 2010 - Theme Music for TV—A Production Report
Recording - December 2010 - 35
Recording - December 2010 - 36
Recording - December 2010 - 37
Recording - December 2010 - 38
Recording - December 2010 - 39
Recording - December 2010 - Royer Labs R-101 Ribbon Microphone
Recording - December 2010 - 41
Recording - December 2010 - Recording SFX—A Career Option?
Recording - December 2010 - 43
Recording - December 2010 - Primacoustic IsoTools
Recording - December 2010 - 45
Recording - December 2010 - Avenson Audio IsoDI
Recording - December 2010 - 47
Recording - December 2010 - Getting Your Music Heard In Today’sCommercial Culture
Recording - December 2010 - 49
Recording - December 2010 - 50
Recording - December 2010 - 51
Recording - December 2010 - 52
Recording - December 2010 - 53
Recording - December 2010 - 54
Recording - December 2010 - 55
Recording - December 2010 - Preview: Yamaha AvantGrand
Recording - December 2010 - 57
Recording - December 2010 - It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights.Chapter 9: Trademark Basics
Recording - December 2010 - 59
Recording - December 2010 - 60
Recording - December 2010 - 61
Recording - December 2010 - Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack Model 1and FourTrack 4.0.1
Recording - December 2010 - 63
Recording - December 2010 - Readers' Tapes
Recording - December 2010 - Advertiser Index
Recording - December 2010 - 66
Recording - December 2010 - 67
Recording - December 2010 - 68
Recording - December 2010 - 69
Recording - December 2010 - 70
Recording - December 2010 - 71
Recording - December 2010 - Fade Out
Recording - December 2010 - Cover3
Recording - December 2010 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202003
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202002
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202001
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201912
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201911
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201910
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201909
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201908
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201907
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201906
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201905
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201904
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201903
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201902
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201901
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201812
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201811
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201810
http://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201809
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201808
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201807
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201806
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201805
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201804
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201803
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201802
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201801
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201712
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201707
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201706
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201705
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201704
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201703
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201702
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201701
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201608
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201606
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201605
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201604
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201603
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201602
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201601
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201505
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201504
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201502
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201501
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201406
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201405
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201404
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201402
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201401
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201307
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201306
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201305
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201303
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201302
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201301
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201207
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201206
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201205
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201204
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201202
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201201
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201108
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201107
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201106
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201105
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201104
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201103
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201101
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201012
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201011
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201010
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201009
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201008
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201007
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201006
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201005
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201004
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201003
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201002
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201001
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_200912
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_200911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_200910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/nxtd
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com