Band name "registration" - any value in it at all?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Planet Boulder, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    So I was looking at a site called that offers band name "registration". This sounds like a cheesey concept to me because it does not appear to be legally enforceable - looks like a way for some lame interest to make some extra money while pretending to "protect" a band's name.

    Has anyone done anything like this and is there any such service that would actually be worth it?
  2. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Good question. It'll be interesting to see what people more knowledgeable than I have to say about it. I do know that I've heard of bands altering/completely changing their names because of other bands having the same name, but I couldn't say for sure if that was for legal reasons or just personal preference.
  3. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    I've registered two band names there at no cost. Are they charging now? I just figured it couldn't hurt.
  4. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    SMASH: I searched, but apparently, I used the wrong search words. I ALWAYS search for duplicate threads before starting my own.

    That said, your post confirms what I suspected. Thank you for the advice/info.
  5. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    you have to get a trademark to protect your band name.


    entertainment lawyers offer trademark services. not sure if it's possible to get a trademark any other way.
  6. didnt realise the black halos no longer existed...they actually had some cool tunes.

    There was also a band in the early 90s called Fuel that had a emo sound to them. Of course, as we all know a different Fuel has come along since.
  7. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    It is always a good idea to register a band name or trademark so to speak, however a few things need to be taken into account. First off this is NOT free. I don't know what kind of deal this is with that website, but that is not the proper, or probably legal way to go about it. Let me explain my own personal experience with the process. Back in the early 80's I became a member of a group as it was forming. It became apparent early on that we were on to something quite special. Since we were all dedicated to the project, we decided to give it an honest go at trying to make it a career. We chose a name that we thought would stand up through time and we began the legal process of $$$ distribution if we were lucky enough to get signed. ( a side note--- if you are involved in a serious project it is ALWAYS better to discuss the financial issues involved BEFORE you start collecting royalties for writing publishing etc.) Anyway, the attornies that drew up the initial band agreements suggested getting a lawyer that specialized in patent, copyright, searches. We hired this type of lawyer, and the search was begun. All told, it took quite a bit of time to get the search back The title to the name was infact clean. We then had to show proof of the earliest date we had used the name, logo etc. ( although this name was used for different businesses and products throughout the world, it had NOT been registered as a music entity) At that point the application was made and the name was registered in the Library of Congress. We now owned it! Cost to this point somewhere in the $1500. range or so. Please forgive me if the amount was a bit low, it has been many years. Now the important part!! Lets fast fwd another ten yrs. from this point. The band after 14 wonderfull yrs together, decided to call it a day. We had not achieved our goals in full financially, but spiritually, musically, and vocally, it was a time in my life that I could never have imagined living without!! So where does all this come into play? Two or three months after we split we get a call from our former management telling us ther may be an issue with someone trying to use the name we owned. It seems three members of some highly successful rock groups, were putting out a side project with none other than our name. Now the fun began! Since they had already signed a deal with that name, they were kind of stuck with it. And since the artwork had already gone to print and the debut disc completed, they figured it would be easier just to buy the name. By the time both sets of lawyers were finished, my four bandmates and I ended up with a nice hunk of cash in our pockets. That $1500 investment paid off handsomely! Another quick story-- a famous entertainer started a group and recorded a few very successful LP's before finding out someone else actually owned the name. The band was called WINGS. You would have thought Paul should have known better! It cost him a bundle!!
  8. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I've been referred to that site before and wondered if it was legally enforceable too. In my band, we recently changed our name from Brood X to Splintered Image. We found out that there was another band named Brood X in Tennessee or Kentucky and that many other groups of various kinds were using the name. In short, it had already been trademarked. Our booking agent told us we must change and we are in the process of trademarking our new name. I don't know how much it will cost or what is involved yet, but our booking agent/friend doesn't want legal problems later since he is trying to get his own promotions company off the ground right now.

    By the way, great post Jerry!!
  9. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    It's funny how hard it is to come up with a cool name that hasn't already been use by someone else!!
  10. I don't think "Booger Pizza" has been used.:cool:
  11. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    There was a death metal band called Incubus around WAAAAAY before the current Incubus (I think they were on Metal Blade circa 1990, but not sure). Check the liner notes of Cannibal Corpse's first album, for example, and you will see mention of them there.

    In what can be described as nothing less than a travesty, the ESTABLISHED band Incubus had to change their name (I can't remember their new name!) to make way for the nu-metal band Incubus.. I guess it all comes down to who has the major label backing (and thus the $$$).