Article: Cost To Trademark A Band Name

Hypebot reports…. Registering your band name as a legal trademark is a key step in your career as an artist. Here we break down the necessary steps in doing so, and take a look at how much it ultimately will cost you.

Guest post by Josh Gerben

The basic cost to register a band name is:

  • $275 per international class for registration
  • $125 for first renewal, between the 5th and 6th year
  • $425 for renewals, between the 9th and 10th year and every 10 years after that
  • $500-$5000 for attorneys costs

It is important to note, however, that your band may need to register in more than one international class.  You may also need to consider trademark registration for other representations of your band, including your logo, slogan and name.  Learn how to trademark your band name here.

Determine what you Plan to Trademark

A trademark is anything that represents your band in public.  Seeking trademark registration for your band’s name is a great place to start, but you may want to consider trademarking other things as well.  For instance, if your band uses a recognizable logo or slogan, one that is printed on tee shirts, hats, and posters, then that logo should also be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO.  Keep in mind, however, that each trademark, whether your logo, slogan, or band name, will require separate trademark registrations.

Basic Trademark Registration Costs

The basic cost to register a trademark with the USPTO is $275 per international class.  The USPTO has 45 classes of goods and services, and you will need to select one or more classes that represent how you plan to use your mark.  In order to gain complete trademark protection for your band, you may need to file in more than one class. For example, performing your music is covered in one class, but recording and selling your music is another.

Occasionally, some additional costs are required to file your trademark.  If you can’t show use at the time of registration, meaning that you are not yet performing as a band or not selling recorded music, you’ll need to file a Statement of Use within one year, documenting that the mark is now being used publicly.  The cost to file this statement is $100 per class. In addition, if at any time throughout the process, your trademark registration falls into an abandoned status, you will need to pay a $100 fee to revive it.

Maintaining Your Trademark

In order to maintain ownership of your mark, you’ll need to renew it.  For new trademarks, the first renewal will occur between the fifth and sixth year with a cost of $125 per class.  You will then need to renew your band’s trademarks between the ninth and tenth year and pay a fee of $425 per class.  After that, a renewal application and a $425 fee will be required every ten years. Additional fees may be required for late renewals or extensions.  Fortunately, if your band continues to use its marks and renewal deadlines are met, your trademark will never expire!

The Cost of Hiring a Law Firm

The fees associated with working with a trademark attorney can range from $500-$5000, depending on the services provided.  Currently, the USPTO doesn’t require U.S. citizens to work with an attorney while filing a trademark registration, but they highly recommend it.  This is because trademark registration is a detailed, time consuming process. While there’s an additional cost associated with hiring an attorney, you’ll find that the process runs more smoothly and the likelihood of approval will increase.  In fact, a study by the University of North Carolina found that applications submitted with the help on an attorney were 50% more likely to be approved by the USPTO!

An experienced trademark attorney will conduct a comprehensive trademark search to be sure your band name, or something confusingly similar, isn’t already in use.  If a similar trademark exists, your attorney can work with your band to make necessary changes before drafting and submitting your application to the USPTO. They can also respond to any non-substantive Office Actions on your behalf.  It doesn’t have to break the bank, either. In fact, Gerben Law Firm offers all of these services for a reasonable flat rate of $950.  While you focus on writing music or booking gigs, your attorney will be focused on registering your trademark.

Trademarking a Band Name

Obtaining a trademark registration for your band’s name is an important step in establishing the business aspects of your musical group.  While it may seem like a large initial investment, the cost of trademark registration is minimal compared to battling infringement in court or being ordered to rebrand the group.  Consider working with an experienced US trademark attorney to ensure the process runs smoothly, and be sure to meet renewal deadlines set by the USPTO to maintain the mark as long as you continue to use it.  Contact Gerben Law Firm to learn about our reasonable flat rate trademark registrations and begin the process today.

IP Attorney Josh Gerben is the founder of Gerben Law Firm, PLLC, a full-service intellectual property boutique offering trademark, copyright, and patent services. Since 2008, Gerben has secured over 5,000 trademarks for clients and has been featured in a wide range of local and national news outlets, including NPR, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and more.