Choosing a Band Name

Choosing a Band Name

When choosing a name for your band, consider the name from a legal perspective:

 

Confusing Similar Names

Names (or logos) that are the same or “confusingly similar” to another trademark for another band cannot be protected by trademark law. However, trademarks can co-exist for different categories of goods or services.

For example, if the name is used by a restaurant or toy manufacturer, it is unlikely that anyone would confuse those businesses with a musical group! In this situation, the band name can likely be
protected by trademark law.

Distinctiveness

Generally, trademark law protects “distinctive” names, logos and slogans that identify and distinguish the source of a product or service.

For a band, the name should be unique for artistic reasons but also because trademarks that are inherently distinctive immediately signal to the public that the name represents a specific band.

Band Member Agreement

Once a name has been selected, all the members of the band should sign a written agreement
as to the ownership and control of the name. Who will own the legal rights if a band member leaves
or as new member is added? What if the band breaks up?

Many bands form a legal partnership, corporation or LLC which then becomes the owner of the band name or logo.