Can a band use an already trademarked name?

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Banks Using Trademarked Name Music Law Intellectual Property

Can a band use an already trademarked name?

Sometimes. For example, a mark that is primarily a surname does not qualify for protection under the federal trademark provisions unless the surname becomes well known or acquires a “secondary” meaning . However, once a last name acquires a secondary meaning in the marketplace (e.g., Sears, McDonald’s), it cannot be used by others whether or not the name is a registered trademark. In order for a band to register a mark that has already gained secondary meaning, permission from the namesake must be obtained.

(Reprinted with permission of Ruben Salazar, Esq.)

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