In the music industry a lot of people tell the artist to protect the copyrights and make sure you own your own copyrights, but not that many speak about protecting your trademark. Should an artist trademark its name? Short answer is YES!
The difference between a copyright and a trademark is that the copyright protect the creative work such as sound recordings and compositions, while a trademark protect the name and logo. In some cases the artist might want to protect slogans or quotes, for example if it is used on merchandise or as part of a concept.
There are multiple reasons why an artist should protect its trademarks. The most obvious one is that with the shift from physical sales to a streaming world, the importance of income from other sources are increasingly important. If you trademark your logos, names and slogans, you will be sure that no one else makes the same merchandise for example.
Another important reason might be that you can end up in situations where there are multiple artists with the same name or similar logo. This happens a lot of times on eg. Spotify, while before you probably did not care if you were an artist in Norway and someone else had the same name in USA, with a global streaming market this is a big issue. Who owns it then and who was first of you and the other artist(?). By trademarking your name, logo or slogans you make sure that this is your property and no one else can exploit the fruits of your career.
This article was written 09.10.2019 by Håvard Bakken, CEO of Sailor Music