How Indie Musicians Can Claim Their Privileges When Another Band Name Is Similar to Theirs

With millions of artists out there, similar band names are many times inevitable. If you ask if ‘Royalwarriors’ and ‘Royal Warriors’ can coexist without any legal implications? And when would similar names become a trademark issue, the answer will depend on which name is older or more popular among the public. Here is what an indie artist must know about claiming their privileges when a band name resembles theirs.

How Indie Musicians Can Claim Their Privileges When Another Band Name Is Similar to Theirs

Understand the trademark

A trademark can be explained as an identifier or mark that enables the customers to distinguish one source from the other. Trademark infringement is said to happen when the use of a particular mark can confuse the consumers regarding the source of a particular good or service. In such a scenario resulting in confusion of two marks, the one that was used earlier in business or first registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will be allowed to exist while the other mark is said to be infringing.

When does the confusion exist?

There is a likelihood of confusion when the sound of two names resemble each other in sound, meaning or appearance or if the goods and if the consumers have a chance to get confused whether they come from a single source. The relatedness of the goods or services marketed under the similar name will also result in infringement. The more there is the likelihood of confusion, the more is the infringement caused by a name on the other.

Trademarks for legal names

There are chances that your own legal name can create a confusion with another trademark that exists now. There are many musicians today who have their legal names as “Bob Dylan”, but in no way can match with Bob Dylan’s performance. This is because the legendary performer Bob Dylan owns the trademark of Bob Dylan. Whereas his legal name is Robert Zimmerman. If those artists with legal names as Bob Dylan have to perform under their own legal name, it will amount to infringing on the Bob Dylan trademark as their services and trademark are just identical in a way causing confusion in the customers. Nevertheless, the fact remains that unless your name is Bob Dylan, you are free to use your legal name and perform under it without any issues.

The question of a trademark for similar bands

If two names of bands resemble with each other, it can lead to trademark infringement. Hence in order to ensure that you own the trademark under which you perform, it is essential to go with a proper trademark registration. It is also important for you to know how any prevalence of confusion can affect the use of your trademark. Trademark law is very complicated and hence you must consult a lawyer accomplished in this field to know the nuances relevant to you. Only then you will know how the trademark law applies to your typical situation and what kind of approach will work best in your case.

By Patrick Hill on November 2, 2018.