Protect Your "Stage" Name, Legally -Angela Green, ESQ

A couple of years ago one of my rapper clients called me very concerned. He was in the process of building his MySpace page and came across another rapper using his stage name. Now, I am not saying it was similar to his stage name. It was his stage name including the exact spelling. This was an ironic situation because this client had just talked to me about filing his application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for his stage name. After I calmed him down, I asked him two questions. One: "Have you been using your stage name so that the public would know you by that name? Two: "Do you know exactly when you started using the stage name in public?" In trademark law, your right to a name begins the day you start using it in public. In fact, you cannot even make application for a trademark without being able to give the date that the mark was first used in public and provide evidence of it use such as a flyer, business card, business letterhead, etc. In addition to that, you can go into court and enforce your rights to the name without having filed your trademark application. Now, do not get it twisted. It is BETTER FOR YOU to have the filed application, especially when you are trying to enforce your rights against another person. However, until you are able to pay the money to file your trademark application don't be afraid to Let the People Know Your Name.

The articles provided by Angela Green, Esq. are for informational purposes only concerning general legal principles. You should consult your legal counsel for answers to specific legal questions.

Angela Green is an entertainment attorney in Memphis, Tennessee and part owner of Key II Entertainment, an artist management company.
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AIRPLAY 360 is a monthly published digital magazine designed to inform, empower and motivate independent inspirational musical artists by offering a soundboard of information provided by artists, producers, label executives and other industry professionals.
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