201-896-4100 info@sh-law.com

How to Register a Trademark In Three Easy Steps

Author: Scarinci Hollenbeck|June 8, 2015

How to Register a Trademark In Three Easy Steps

Famous people and businesses in the sports and entertainment industries often aim to register a trademark to protect their names, logos and slogans – but how does a musician, actor or sports star register for a trademark?

In the entertainment industry, just like with any business, it is important to build and protect the personal or corporate brand. Whether an individual produces albums or writes screenplays, if his or her creations are associated with a specific brand, a trademark may be necessary to protect the integrity of the person’s work. Entertainers often register for trademarks to safeguard their brands from others who may profit by taking advantage of them. For example, Lady Gaga filed a lawsuit alleging that a jewelry company had attempted to use her name to sell its products – a violation of the trademark she had registered. Snooki and The Situation from the MTV television show “The Jersey Shore” have also trademarked their names to protect their brands.

How to Register a Trademark

Registering for a trademark may not appear difficult to some because it can sometimes be completed in a few simple steps. However, the process can be intricate and one should err on the side of caution by using legal counsel.  For a basic outline on how to trademark a name, logo or slogan, read the guide below:

  1. Check to see if the mark is available
    An entertainer – or anyone else for that matter – cannot trademark a name, logo or slogan that has already been trademarked. If an individual wants to go by the name Snooki in the entertainment business, he or she will have a hard time doing so because the mark is not available. Even if the person attempted to register a trademark for the name “Snooky​,” he or she would probably not be successful, since this moniker could be considered confusingly similar. Anyone can search a mark’s availability on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website.
  2. What class and description apply to the trademark?
    Trademarks are categorized by an international class system. In many instances, more than one classification is required to adequately protect the trademark rights of the applicant. Sports and entertainment trademarks generally fall under Class 41. Class 009 is also applicable for musicians. Additionally, the USPTO offers pre-determined descriptions for trademarks. One must be chosen during the registration process. A more specific description can be created, but this will be subject to extra scrutiny by the trademark office.
  3. Pay the fee, submit an example and wait
    The trademark registration process requires more than identifying a specific class and description, though. The USPTO also requires  samples of the name, logo or slogan for trademark consideration. The samples must comply with trademark law guidelines and be submitted with the application. Additionally, the applicant must pay a fee every time he or she registers a new or slightly different trademark. Once the process is complete, it typically takes from six to 12 months for the USPTO to approve or deny the trademark.

A brand is just as important in entertainment as it is in any industry, and a trademark is strongly recommended as a necessary part of the strategy for protection. Though the process may appear to be a simple one, there are many factors and variables involved and an attorney knowledgeable in this area of expertise should be consulted.

How to Register a Trademark In Three Easy Steps

Author: Scarinci Hollenbeck

Famous people and businesses in the sports and entertainment industries often aim to register a trademark to protect their names, logos and slogans – but how does a musician, actor or sports star register for a trademark?

In the entertainment industry, just like with any business, it is important to build and protect the personal or corporate brand. Whether an individual produces albums or writes screenplays, if his or her creations are associated with a specific brand, a trademark may be necessary to protect the integrity of the person’s work. Entertainers often register for trademarks to safeguard their brands from others who may profit by taking advantage of them. For example, Lady Gaga filed a lawsuit alleging that a jewelry company had attempted to use her name to sell its products – a violation of the trademark she had registered. Snooki and The Situation from the MTV television show “The Jersey Shore” have also trademarked their names to protect their brands.

How to Register a Trademark

Registering for a trademark may not appear difficult to some because it can sometimes be completed in a few simple steps. However, the process can be intricate and one should err on the side of caution by using legal counsel.  For a basic outline on how to trademark a name, logo or slogan, read the guide below:

  1. Check to see if the mark is available
    An entertainer – or anyone else for that matter – cannot trademark a name, logo or slogan that has already been trademarked. If an individual wants to go by the name Snooki in the entertainment business, he or she will have a hard time doing so because the mark is not available. Even if the person attempted to register a trademark for the name “Snooky​,” he or she would probably not be successful, since this moniker could be considered confusingly similar. Anyone can search a mark’s availability on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website.
  2. What class and description apply to the trademark?
    Trademarks are categorized by an international class system. In many instances, more than one classification is required to adequately protect the trademark rights of the applicant. Sports and entertainment trademarks generally fall under Class 41. Class 009 is also applicable for musicians. Additionally, the USPTO offers pre-determined descriptions for trademarks. One must be chosen during the registration process. A more specific description can be created, but this will be subject to extra scrutiny by the trademark office.
  3. Pay the fee, submit an example and wait
    The trademark registration process requires more than identifying a specific class and description, though. The USPTO also requires  samples of the name, logo or slogan for trademark consideration. The samples must comply with trademark law guidelines and be submitted with the application. Additionally, the applicant must pay a fee every time he or she registers a new or slightly different trademark. Once the process is complete, it typically takes from six to 12 months for the USPTO to approve or deny the trademark.

A brand is just as important in entertainment as it is in any industry, and a trademark is strongly recommended as a necessary part of the strategy for protection. Though the process may appear to be a simple one, there are many factors and variables involved and an attorney knowledgeable in this area of expertise should be consulted.

Firm News & Press Releases