How to Trademark a Performer's Name

By Thomas King

As a performer, you want to prevent others from using your name in order to protect your reputation and prevent confusion on behalf of your fans. Registering your name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office serves notice to the public, creates a legal presumption that you own the name and allows for the exclusive right to use the name in connection with the goods or services set forth in the registration.

Step 1

Navigate to the Trademark Electronic Search System, click "Trademark Electronic Search System" and "Basic Word Mark Search."

Step 2

Type the name you want to register into the search box and click "Submit Query." A list of registered trademarks with the same name will appear. Even if the name you want to register appears, you may still be able to register the name if doing so will not create customer confusion. For example, if the name that is already registered is associated with "coin purses," you may still be able to register the same name to be associated with "competing in motor sports events."

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Step 3

Navigate to the Online Filing Trademark Electronic Application System.

Step 4

Select "TEAS Plus Form" or "TEAS Form." The TEAS Plus Form has a lower filing fee. However, the option can be selected only if you agree to the requirements listed. Including, the ability to pay all fees at the time of the filing, the ability to receive all communications through e-mail and the ability to locate the good or services associated with your name in the USPTO's Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual.

Step 5

Click "Submit."

Step 6

Answer each question and click "Continue" after each question. The form is self explanatory. However, there are some things to keep in mind. You must select a good or service associated with the performer's name. For example, if you are a stunt pilot, this might include "Entertainment in the nature of air shows," which is an actual listing in the USPTO's Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual. Additionally, you will be asked to provide information about the trademark name, such as whether you "intend" to use the name in commerce or whether you have already started using the name in commerce.

Step 7

Provide payment information for filing fees when prompted at the end of the form. This includes a separate fee for each class of goods or services.

Step 8

Write down the serial number that you are given at the end of the form. While you will be sent an email confirmation as well, it is a good idea to keep a copy of the serial number. This will help expedite the process if you have questions about your application.

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How to Nationally Trademark a Name

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A catchphrase is a slogan or tagline that identifies a person, group or business. Often introduced into pop culture by a memorable line spoken in film or on television, a catchphrase is “catchy” because the association with a product, service or personality is indelible. It’s a unique signature – as long as no one else has used it previously. Although your catchphrase is protected as soon as you begin using it for business, registering offers additional protection.

How to Trademark a Shape

A trademark is phrase, symbol or design element that identifies the brand of a product or service. Unlike a copyright or patent, trademark protection takes effect as soon as the mark is first used in commerce, even without registration. Non-traditional trademarks include shapes, such as the trademark for the three-dimensional iPod shape granted to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in January 2012.

How to Fill in Your Electronic Trademark Application

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) accepts electronic trademark registration applications online for trademark names, logos, slogans, images and other unique marks. The trademark must consist of an original mark, such as a word, sign, symbol or design. The trademark must also be used to identify the company’s products or services offered in the marketplace and to distinguish the company’s product or services from its competitors. Once the trademark is used in association with the product in commercial trade, the trademark automatically qualifies for basic trademark protection within the United States. Federal trademark registration is optional.

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