Musicians are often confused about what a trademark is or if they really need to register their trademark.  Marcella Dominguez, a trademark lawyer, joins Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray to discuss the benefits and costs of registering a trademark for your band or music business.
As an example, because Metallica trademarked their logo, nobody else can use something that looks or sounds like “Metallica.”  This protects them against impersonators hoping to profit from their success – nobody else can put on a show or event and falsely use the name “Metallica” to bring in an audience, nobody else can perform under the name “Metallica,” potentially playing poorly and damaging the reputation of the band, nobody else can sell “Metallica” merchandise, etc.  Trademarks assert position and show professionalism, they help the consumer to know the difference between the real brand and any competitors or impersonators, and they protect you from anyone trying to infringe on what you’ve built.
Joe asks Marcella for advice regarding his old band, “Albino Rhino,” which struggled to differentiate itself from a Swedish band of the same name.  He had applied for a trademark in the past only to have it denied because it “looked too similar” to the Rhino Records trademark.  Marcella explains how you or a lawyer can draft an argument to appeal the decision by the US Patent and Trademark Office.  She also talks about how US trademark law works outside of US borders.
Marcella, Aaron, and Joe discuss the potential to trademark one’s name.  Then they talk about copyrighting songs, and how to provide proof and evidence that you are the author of your work.
Any good conversation about music legalities should bring up the recent “Blurred Lines vs. Got to Give it Up (Marvin Gaye)” lawsuit, so it was discussed.
Marcella tells Aaron and Joe how much it costs to hire a lawyer to register your trademark and how much it costs to register your trademark by yourself at uspto.gov.  She provides useful advice on things to watch out for if you decide to register your trademark on your own: Make sure your drawing is final and exact, make sure you register under the correct categories (music/entertainment, CD/audio-visual recordings, merchandise, etc.), and check out the trademark information of other registered trademarks in the same realm as yours (i.e. if you are thinking about registering your podcast’s trademark, look up the trademark info for other podcasts’ trademarks to see what categories they are registered under, etc.).
Useful links regarding trademarks:
Find out more about Marcella at:
She also hosts The A.M. Show, a podcast about ambitious and motivated people.
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-a-m-show-with-marcella-dominguez/id1434615083

Welcome to another episode of Fret Buzz The Podcast. My name is Joe McMurray and

I am Aaron Sefchick. Today we have with us Marcela Dominguez who is a

trademark lawyer and she’s going to talk to us about trademarks and copyrights as
they pertain to the music industry. So, welcome Marcella. Thank you, I appreciate
you guys having me on. Yeah, we’re thrilled to dig into this topic that a
lot of musicians they don’t really understand the the details and I
personally have a connection because I applied for a trademark for one of my
previous bands and was denied. I felt like I wasted a lot of money and I’m
sure there are people that are interested in doing it and don’t know
how and there are probably other people who never thought to even apply for a
trademark who probably should. Yeah. So, That’s right. We’re glad to have you.
Well thank you so much, and yes, I’m excited to share everything there is to
know because you said it perfectly. I think we don’t know what we don’t know
until someone makes us aware so I’m really glad that you’re shedding light
on this topic. Yeah, so do you do you have musical clients right now? Yes, I have a
couple of clients that have registered the name of their band and so I’m always
really happy and impressed happily impressed when they are initiating these
steps toward registering their band’s trademark because it means hopefully it
means that they understand the benefit of having the trademark and what
benefits it come first and what are those yeah so so okay so everybody has a
basic understanding of what trademarks are if they understand what trademarks
are and that usually is that if I trademark this name nobody else is going
to be allowed to use it so if I trademark my brand name is Metallica
nobody else is going to be able to trademark a meme that sounds like
Metallica that looks like Metallica or that is Metallica so it’s not always the
exact but it’s something that looks like her
also sounds like my name and only I will be able to use it within a certain
category okay that’s why the band was called oh I know Rhino and we tried to
trademark our logo minun an oval shape and a head a rhinoceros and some smoke
around it in the words and they said that it was too similar to Rhino Records
mm-hmm I thought it was crazy because yeah you
know it says rhino and different lettering with an oval the other way
yeah picture of a rhinoceros had none of the artistic stuff we had didn’t have a
color associated with it but you know $300 or whatever was later yes I’m the
paperwork like 50 pages of paperwork and I just felt like defeated by it yes and
I love that you brought that up because that is exactly what the problem is the
majority of the of the time when there is an issue so it’s never going to be an
issue of someone using the exact same name right nobody’s gonna be I don’t
want to say dumb enough but I mean hopefully nobody’s gonna be dumb enough
to register the name Metallica under you know musical live performances or
entertainment performances because they already are aware that Metallica exist
right but most of the time there’s going to be an issue be something similar to
so in your situation of course you didn’t think there was going to be a
problem because it’s not the exact same name as maybe this big record company or
even if they’re not big you know somebody that has been around for quite
some time and you just simply weren’t aware but the fact that they are
confusingly similar is what poses an issue so it doesn’t have to actually be
confusing it just has to be have the potential to be confusingly similar so
what do you do is your what should we have trade like changed our name at that
point or um where you yeah um so there are a couple of options like once you’re
at that point um you’re kind of at a fork in the road
do you have to ask yourself how badly do I want to keep this name and how badly
do I want to invest my financial resources because I don’t know what
financial position hearing but if you’ve decided that you want to invest and you
really want to keep this name then what a lawyer can do is they can draft
arguments in support of a registration and the trademark examiner has to be
convinced by these arguments that your mark is not confusingly similar to the
cited marks in your office section and sometimes it could just be one cited
mark which it sounds like was the case for you and sometimes it could be a
number of marks but our job is to use case law to say you know what his mark
is not going to be confusingly similar because of a variety of reasons
including the fact that uh you know there are lots of other marks that sound
like kids that have been in existence for a long period of time therefore they
can coexist without confusion in the marketplace or
it could be simply that you guys have different spellings you have different
logos there are different colors some things that you already touched on and
then a variety of other things that case law presents but a well drafted argument
might in some cases change the trademark examiner’s minds and convince them that
yours is worthy of registration Wow okay yeah but you have to be willing to
invest extra money in that yeah I mean it depends what kind of arrangement
you’ve already worked out for your trademark application um but most of the
time drafting these types of arguments does require a small investment um
because it takes it takes time to draw these arguments you know I mean it’s not
something you can just whip up in five minutes
I mean maybe but um most of the time it takes a little bit longer than five
minutes I guess if you’ve got all the way built
a following and you’ve built released albums and stuff that it is probably
much cheaper to hire a trademark lawyer than to start all over
yes right most of the time people who choose
to move forward are people who have already invested in brand promotion
whether that means advertising materials products or you know in in this case
lots of musical performances already you know brand merchandise anything like
that but you know there are some people who are just starting out I just really
love their name and they’re so passionate about it because they took
the time to think about it they have an emotional connection to it and really
they can’t stand and I don’t blame them they can’t stand you know someone else
having that name or using that name or being told no yes
I want to go back like why do you even need to trademark it in the first place
like we were denied and then we just continued playing as a band releasing
music for years and we never actually dealt with any consequences of not
having it but that being said we never made it big so yes as a lower level like
if you’re not trying to be Katy Perry famous like is there actually what are
the benefits if you’re just like a playing gigs around town making a living
but not getting famous or just doing it for fun you know there are some people
that say like I am NOT big I don’t plan on being big I don’t need one
you know um but you know the fact of the matter is that if you I mean they’re
there a number of reasons why but you know if you really want to be recognized
or have that validation from the marketplace I think that having a
registered trademark definitely asserts some kind of position that maybe other
brands who are not registered don’t have so for example when you think of brands
like any major brand like Toyota Puma Mercedes the
w adidas you know those guitars behind you I’m sure each has a registered
trademark um you know you look at those and you as you think of something when
you look at that brand you know it conjures something in your mind like I
respect this friend I trust this friend this brand has been around for a really
long time and most of the time when you want to solidify that prestige in the
mind of your consumers having a registered trademark
I think solidifies that that relationship without you even knowing it
you know you trust these brands in the marketplace and the extra stuff that
they’ve taken is to protect that brand so then somebody can’t step in and feel
that relationship it’s not just the brand name that they’re stealing but
it’s also the relationship that they have built with their consumers that
would be stolen as well imagine if somebody else just started putting
adidas on their t-shirts you know you wouldn’t you wouldn’t know which is the
real adidas from the fake adidas unless it was for that registered trademark
symbol but that registered trademark symbol now in your mind you’re like okay
that’s the one that I’ve been going through that’s the one that I’ve known
for all these years and without it if somebody else used it well adidas would
be pissed but then you would also be confused and maybe you wouldn’t even be
receiving the same quality from this non registered Adidas brand so it does a lot
from the perspective of the trademark holder and it does a lot also from the
perspective of the consumer you know so I I hope that kind of helped you
understand what it yeah I think with a trademark I think yes it does command a
bit of I think when you are ready to make them that that step into
trademarking your brand it does incorporate
this professionalism into your brand you’re you’re ready to take it up to
that next step I think also what it does is it protects you from others may be in
cringing on what you have already built I know within the podcasting forum so
there’s I’ve seen quite a few people post about hey we may not be all that
big but I did notice that there is another podcast who is calling
themselves the same thing as us now with the trademark you actually have the
ability now to send out a cease and desist letter saying hey we own this you
need to back off so it does kind of give you that authority as well which is
which is nice to have because you own your brand now that you’ve gone through
the process of building this Empire that you have whether it be small or big you
own it and nobody else can touch it which is really nice yes and I think
that you vocalize everything I said much better than I just did you translated
what I was saying perfectly I mean authority Authority was the main word
that came to mind so back to my experience with albino rhino there was
actually a part of the reason we were trying to get it is cuz there this is
like two years into the band and having played a lot of shows we realized that
there was a finish or a Swedish albino rhino do metal band
totally different kind of music than our like funk blues rock jazz whatever it it
changed the music but they actually emailed us saying we should change her
name and we were like who are these people like we’ve been around for a long
time still don’t know which band came first but we’re like I’m gonna trademark
this so we have the legal upper hand was mine
that being said they weren’t even in the United States so does your trademark
with the United States Copyright Office protect you outside of the United States
that’s a really good question and so actually it kind of circles back to what
I wanted to comment to what he said just before you asked this question and
that’s that you don’t have to have a registered trademark in order to send a
cease-and-desist letter but now back to what you said you felt like you were
getting the upper hand right I mean you can use a registered trademark as a
little bit of leverage it doesn’t sound too great if you send a cease-and-desist
letter and you don’t have a registered trademark though brands do do it because
they feel like you know what I’ve been around for a really long time I have
common law rights in the name and I’ve been selling all across the United
States I’ve been my music is heard all across the United States and all across
the world so then that’s where people feel like okay my common law rights have
extended beyond the geographical territory where I started and that’s
probably why if they didn’t have a registered trademark felt like they
could send you a cease and desist letter because their common law rights have now
extended beyond the area where they started my music is third world wide I
have a right to use this name worldwide and so I’m going to send them a cease
and desist letter to stop now when you have a registered trademark you don’t
have to rely on those common law rights and whether or not you have been
actually meeting the definition of use beyond the geographical area where you
started does that make sense so a registered trademark just kind of takes
the place of all that it takes the place of do I need the definition have I met
the criteria have I extended me let’s forget about that a registered trademark
tells me I can use it in the United States so so I don’t have to worry about
common law rights and meeting the definition so in your situation if they
are in another country and they had their music has permeated through the US
I’m assuming they were now relying on that if they didn’t have a registered
trademark to tell you to stop using same one in law rights is another can of
worms you know which raises all another set of issues as always with the
law like how long have they been using in the US where have they been selling
their music how many listeners do they have you know
how exactly does their reach how deep is their reach how broad is their reach and
you know these are questions like I said that just become so technical almost
that if you just want to avoid this I think it’s better to have a registered
trademark and having the registered trademark would just say you know why I
registered in the US and you still have to prove useful even with the registered
trademark but you know it becomes like we were talking about you kind of have
the upper hand you know you know you don’t have to get as I think to put it
simply people won’t badger you as hard with the registered trademark though
they will require you to prove use there’s some implicit understandings
with the registered trademark so now I I perform solo the majority of the time
and so I ice it says Joe McMurray music I’m on the schedule is Joe McMurray
that’s my name it’s not like a name I made up it’s literally my name do I need
like there are a couple when I searched I’ve test searched to see you know test
out my search engine optimization and that sort of thing i go i go to google
and type my name in there are other joe MacMurray’s in the world there’s another
musician Joe McMurray there’s a drummer what is I mean can you can somebody
trademark their name and if so like what is what would the other Joe McMurray
what’s he supposed to do it’s his name it’s legally his name yeah so that’s a
great question also you know in order to register your name um you should have
some sort of and I’m putting this in total layman’s terms right like you need
to have like people need to have some kind of understanding of who you are I
mean I I can just go and register my name you
probably can go and just register your name but Kim Kardashian can go and do
that Madonna can go and do that
you know Bono can go and do that I mean these people who when you say their name
and people automatically know who they are can go and do that
um because people understand who they are where they come from what they offer
there’s a connection between the name and the market offering but with us
that’s not necessarily so so once you get to that point you know um of
notoriety so to speak uh it becomes easier to trademark your name but up
until that point you should probably attach something else to your name um
that would allow people to not necessarily just judge the or that would
allow that trademark examiner to judge your mark based on not solely your name
but on some other kind of factors like adding lectures or a podcast at the end
or whatever it is that you’re his bands like Joe’s band or I don’t know
something else yeah yeah something that differentiates you from somebody else
that’s the descriptor almost write something that’s attached to your name
that isn’t that makes it so that you’re not solely relying on the person’s name
for the registration Joe when you hit with Donna status you let me know okay
I’m less interested in trying to trademark my name but more interested in
making sure that nobody can like tell me to stop using my name like that was what
would worry me if that was a possibility that somebody could like send me a cease
and desist like you can’t hurt yourself it’s Joe McMurray
it’s less likely to happen unless your name is Kim Kardashian – yeah Abby so
any parents out there don’t name your son after uh that’s NARAS cuz then they
could actually run into problems yes that’s funny
so yeah maybe we need to think about this with fret buzz the podcast yeah I
haven’t I’m thinking I need a change like this yeah Brett buzz the podcast I
think I think that’s unique yeah I think it’s the unique guy I don’t think it’s
totally I mean granted it does use words that individually and separately are
found in the English dictionary um I you know I don’t think that it would be
descriptive fret buzz a problem with your guitar it’s their common when your
action is too low when the strings are too low it’ll actually make a buzzing
sound uh-huh but so what we like about it is that usually we do this a little
bit earlier in the morning and we drink coffee and we get a coffee buzz going
while we talk about technical musical things yeah well buzz is this you know
another word for talking and chatting just right right buzz feed and all these
other places out there talking about buzz it’s the the chatter so yeah
basically we came up with it as you know music talk basically yeah
when I first searched out fret buzz just fret buzz the two words there were
plenty of other people out there using the words fret buzz so I figured because
it was a podcast we’ll just tag the words the podcast on the end and that’ll
kind of single us out a little bit better and it seems to have worked
yeah I think that you know yes you’re right like buzz doesn’t for a lot of
things but I don’t know if the trademark examiner would say okay fret buzz
actually means and then what you just described it means about the guitar on
the strings and but if they did do that it would be a good thing because that’s
not it doesn’t necessarily describe the podcast like you’re not talking about
that you’re not talking about the strings when they have a problem and how
that affects the sound that would be considered descriptive like if you had a
podcast about the definition of fret buzz the
that make sense that would be considered descriptive but that’s not what your
podcast really is it’s about music generally so then I would say it’s not
they probably wouldn’t consider it descriptive which is a good thing
because then you avoid that descriptive issue I mean there’s a number I’m sorry
you know I I always come on these podcasts with the intention of saying
okay I’m gonna make this as simple as possible how do you not make this
complicated and then I listen to myself and I say oh I don’t think you did that
at all oh it’s trademarking you know that they
have been forever for a long time decades now it’s they’re this mysterious
thing that nobody really understands I mean even the podcast communities week
after month after year it’s always brought up over and over again about
copyright and Trademark and it seems to be this elusive thing that there’s
always there yeah yeah and you know I always tell myself like I well I guess I
don’t find it that elusive now because well I deal with it all the time and I
really like it because I get to connect with creatives who kind of have to think
about it yeah um but but it’s really not that bad it’s not that bad
once you have like this run down or how it’s supposed to work and if you know
that at least the trademark is supposed to protect your name a slogan a business
name a sound and and a copyright you know protects you know like paintings
photographs poems lyrics that sort of thing then if
you can draw that line of separation I think you’re already ahead of most
people so and then you took it a step further by telling you that you had
already applied for a trademark which I did not know so then you’re already a
little bit well-versed on the topics of what could go wrong with your trademark
application yeah so and then you brought in the title of your podcast analyzing
that and now you understand like what it means to have a descriptive title which
now you know you don’t necessarily do so that’s good
so I think those the two biggest problems that could go
wrong with the trademark that we’ve already covered so the rest are you know
if you have an attorney or even if you’ve done this enough times like you
could probably overcome those issues in a simple straightforward manner okay
brought up the word the copyright and I know for years for I mean I’ve talked to
quite a few artists when it comes to copyright and I’m a little bit older so
there was this method where we used to record a song and then send it in the
mail to ourselves and then just never open the package and that was that was
enough in court to hold up the fact that I I wrote the song first what four
musicians out there in terms of copywriting their songs what would you
suggest because I know that for a lot of people especially nowadays because
people ripping each other off on YouTube all the time they’re just lifting
samples and putting it in at other people’s songs that happens all the time
for those that may not have a lot of money and they are looking to protect
their music what would you suggest their plan of action be yeah that’s a really
good question too uh you know all the way it always is gonna boil down to
proof write proof and evidence that’s all that’s all blog cares about really
is showing the proof and I’ll tell you the answer and so what you just
explained was like a way of providing some kind of evidence that you know you
wrote it but the proof was in the date for spam right the proof is not
necessarily in the actual pudding which would be the lyrics the you know or
whatever it is that you wrote the proof would be in that wealth not proof but
the evidence would be in that stamp you know like this is the day that I sent it
to myself and so this is the day that the earliest date that
we can use to recognize that this document was in existence but but you
know it’s obviously you know like you don’t hear lawyers saying go do that
right all right and so you know I think that just having any kind of backup that
you can have like simply put you know any kind of evidence whether that means
that you’ve been journaling you know if you journal your music which some
musicians do um or if you just have like us you know some artists have a sketch
but yeah I see like some artists have a sketchbook like that taken as a whole
shows that you that this is that this is a journey for you something that you’ve
been doing for a while it’s not just um something that you did one time and then
you mailed it to yourself one time you know what I mean what else can be proof
we’ve got like alright for me I record them on my phone I have a little
recording app yeah what’s it called a voice memo boy voice memos yeah and I’ll
record myself in order to remember what I was doing
mm-hmm so I have like literally I can follow the the song being created you
know here they’re only had the first person here’s a couple days later when
it’s it’s morphed and this would that be that’s enough yes yes and what I was
gonna say and what better way than even that you know because your iPhone or
whatever it is that you’re using to record it registers the date and time
that it like goes into your phone so I mean you can’t argue with that
um you can’t really alter the dates of those things so all of these things
taken as a whole is what helps bolster your case you know I think the more
things that you can have to support the fact that you did write it and you’ve
evidenced that on paper through audio through video even conversations with
friends up though that’s not as strong by itself like I said all of these
things taken as a whole I think are the best ways to support you know what you
wrote and when he wrote it it seems like they never know if you’re
being ripped off majority of the time you know put something out if you
recorded a song put on YouTube likelihood is you’ll never even know
that some somebody pulled your music and put it with their video yeah you know
and that’s so funny because I think that too you know
even as a lawyer like I think you know how would you ever know if somebody
copied your product unless they became really successful or it happened to
cross paths with yours with yours how would you know if somebody ever
copied your website you know like how would you know you wouldn’t know unless
someone brought it up to you or they became so popular that I came to your
attention um but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean that you stopped creating I
mean you still should go out and be innovative take whatever measures you
can to protect what you do have what you have created and that’s why you’re
listening to podcast episodes like this to at least have some little bits of
information about how you’re going to protect what you created
you know um if you don’t you just like we explained right now you don’t have to
have money and I’m pretty sure that you already have an iPhone somehow people
who don’t have money still have an iPhone which is fine you know use the
voice recording the voice memo thing you know a journal isn’t expensive you could
use like a yellow pad so cheap um so there’s ways there’s ways you know this
podcast is free nobody has to pay to listen to it you know so the whole point
is are you looking for ways to protect it or are you ignoring those ways so
badly that you’re almost asking to be ripped off instead that’s great advice
yeah what about I feel like a lot of people
my understanding of song copyright you can copyright a melody and lyrics
obviously alright get copyright the Harmony correct you can’t copyright the
chord progression either you guys know you can’t
chord progressions cannot because there’s no there’s only so many chord
bridge right correct I mean they’re already million songs that use a GD e
minor C you’re probably gonna be able to give a more precise answer than even me
because to be honest I do copyright registrations less so but I was going to
say no right off the bat anyway because there are certain elections that you
have to make when you’re registering a copyright and everything you just said
is not one of them so like you can’t get that precise like it’s the lyrics and is
this a sound recording or is it a or is it the lyrics or are you doing both type
thing so you know so you copyright it’s not reporting the actual physical
recording of the song yes rather than the lyrics could be you know you could
record multiple different tracks with those lyrics yeah so well so you can’t
record you can register the copyright whichever way you want whether it’s the
sound recording the lyrics or the it’s not melody its I can’t think right now
what the third thing is but so you can pick you can pick which one you want to
register but it doesn’t get as deep as like what you were just describing or
asking I guess why why I brought it up what I was thinking of especially was
the blurred lines controversy lossy that happened a couple of years ago oh yeah
when was it with again I do remember cuz I posted it on my Instagram yeah it was
uh lawsuit it was it was one of the Motown guys oh it was Marvin Gaye eh
yeah well against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke yep yes I remember I
remember at the time I was reading that article but I can’t remember what the
outcome was but now I want to know so I’m gonna google it really quick yeah
they always come up from time to time whether it’s Led
Zeppelin or whether it’s I know Chili Peppers I ran into one I know Tom Petty
ran into one I know Joe Satriani is run into it I know I mean it happens so much
and it’s hard it’s a hard it’s a hard road to kind of go down because as the
music market is more and more saturated it’s very hard to find the uniqueness
behind even with like like I said with Tom Petty in Mary Jane’s last dance and
Red Hot Chili Peppers with the same chord progression yeah that a minor GED
a minor yeah it’s it’s hard it’s yeah so in that case yeah so there was a
judgment against the Robin Thicke for their favorite Marvin Gaye’s estate for
7.3 million yeah I mean it happens even now like when you listen to songs on the
radio don’t you think and it sounds just like something else you know I you know
you think of that and then but not everybody goes around suing each other
and sometimes it just like if I was a musician I would think man that sucks
you know but I mean if I was in Marvin Gaye’s shoes or his relatives I mean I
could understand you know like such an iconic musician you know years of hard
work but I don’t know I don’t know I mean I always I don’t know how I’d feel
actually in that moment and I don’t think any of us would unless we were
actually in that situation because sometimes it’s easy to say you know what
just let it slide it’s they probably didn’t do it on purpose it’s just the
way the game works the way the game is played um but then other times you do
wonder like okay what’s any of it on purpose like you know how much did they
take that little piece and then like mix it around spin it around so that it it
was different enough that it sounds just in like an inspiration
from and not the exact same thing from right um so you never know I don’t know
I don’t know how I feel how would you guys feel if you’re on the if you’re
being sued or if you were the one that saw somebody ripped your your music I
think yourself Lisa would be frustrating I would you know it might be worth you’d
get so much publicity from you know maybe people hopefully people would go
and listen to your your original song and for me if you brought it up which
might be worth more than anything even if you win the lawsuit I think for me it
would probably depend on how successful I was if I were you know small-time and
I found that some big artists ripped me off of course I would want to be
compensated just because that’s my stuff and you’re making lots of money off of
it and I never and I never got that opportunity versus the other way around
I think my personality is is that you know I would probably have an open mind
and saying look I’m I’m a big star and my musics out everywhere of course it’s
gonna influence people if it’s or if it’s a blatant ripoff the knee I might
challenge it and I might try to see what the rest of their album sounds like and
see if they’ve pulled more from me or other artists but I mean I like I said
there’s so much music out there it’s hard not to be influenced by somebody
right I agree with you yeah I like that perspective actually and I thought you
were actually gonna say the opposite I thought you were gonna say if you were
small-time you wouldn’t be upset and if you were big-time he would be upset oh
no quite the opposite quite yeah yeah so that’s good because it actually reminded
me of a story about Zara that I heard a a couple months ago you know there were
these third graphic designers who post their stuff all the time and so some
designer posted something on Instagram I’m not sure if you guys heard the story
and then Zara took that design and then they put it on one of their jean shorts
or something like that and then but I think that designer did is like bring it
up they brought it up I don’t know what outcome of it was but
Google if there’s an article about it and so I you know in that situation yeah
I mean I don’t understand you know these people are working for you know for a
pretty penny just trying to hustle and grind and then some big company just
kind of come and comes and takes their idea so I mean yeah like I think they
should be compensated but of course I’m sure that’s what Zara’s position was is
that you know it was just inspiration and not the exact same design yeah the
bigger corporations they have the money to fight this and they can they know
that you know if they lift it from somebody think you know chances are
they’re gonna get away with it yeah yeah that’s right
no you’re absolutely right I mean I hate to admit and I need to put it that way
but it’s absolutely true mhm you know and even Robin Thicke like when
he was writing that song like maybe who knows like to this day sure like the
court has said okay it sounds too similar to like you copyright
infringement really no like okay did they do it on purpose or did they not do
it on purpose you know but even if they did do it on purpose like maybe even if
he thought about what would happen in the event that he was caught for
copyright infringement like the the loss is just so minimal compared to the like
what you were describing like the fame and the notoriety and the attention and
the press that he got from that it made him so much more than the seven point
five or three that he had to pay that’s exactly the game it’s a game like I said
it’s all a game yeah right now there’s nothing about I mean this is not
rewarding but I guess they made a new movie from an old video game called
Sonic and there’s there’s an idea that the movie studios could put out this
terrible trailer or new everybody would be outraged by the trailer because they
knew it would be you know it would bring publicity and they’ve already made the
movie the way it’s supposed to be but they purposely released a terrible
trailer just because they want the the community to kind of build this
movie up and let’s just say oh wow the ways people are trying to promote their
material these days is rather interesting yeah yep
marketing you know the thing people will do for marketing hmm yeah so watch out
guys I want to go back to the idea of like if they purposefully ripped off the
base line in the blurred line song like I I think about I have my musical
influences and when you’re playing something sometimes you really do you’ll
place you’ll you’ll come up with a melody then you’ll be like oh wait a
minute I think that song like you might not have heard that song for like years
but they’re only like they’re only 12 notes I mean you can go different
octaves and there are only so many possibilities and combinations that
unless you’re getting into like you know more complex jazz and classical music if
you’re in kind of simpler pop and rock music it is it can be you can
accidentally rewrite something that you’ve just heard a long time ago you
just kind of comes out of you yeah yes that’s right and so you know back to the
Robin Thicke example so you know we will never know but you know we will just
never know people might do it accidentally and people might do it
purposefully but but it’s you know it doesn’t really matter I guess to too
much it matters I’m not gonna say it doesn’t but it doesn’t matter too too
much for the purposes of finding copyright infringement well yeah your
time before we close out I do in terms of trademark in that whole package for
our listeners just so they can kind of get a little bit of an idea of costs how
much ballpark idea of money are we talking in terms of trying to brand your
your your name yeah so if you’re trying to register your trademark I think you
can you know like most lawyers will charge somewhere between
like 600 to like a thousand mater 1000 okay um you say maybe one does know made
a 1000 mid window some will go 1800 some will go 1500 I’ve
heard of some that will go up to like 2000 but that includes everything so I
think it just depends like what what it is that you’re willing to pay for like
are you paying for office actions and a demands are you including the USPTO fee
are you you know how involved are you gonna be in the process there are
clients that want to be super involved they want notices and updates all the
time and then there are clients that you know just say call me with the good news
um and so it just depends on all those things okay what does it cost if you
were to go I can’t remember what I paid exactly but if you just go you can go to
the like copyright dot-gov right yeah so copyright is for registering a
copyright but if you’re registering a trademark you’re gonna go to uspto.gov
okay and what you can do that on your own correct like I tried yeah yeah you
can do it on your own so the fees were just doing it on your own is of course
just your time and then the application fee which is 275 per category so you’re
gonna have more than one category than you need and multiply that 275 by half I
mean you have um but yeah you can do it on your own and I would just say that as
a word of caution be very careful about what category you choose because that is
one of the most important designations that you will make once you have
selected it it’s very hard to to change it you can only really narrow it after
that you can’t really brought in it and the next piece of advice I would say is
make sure that the drawing or the word mark that you submit is also exactly
what you want to protect because once you submit that there is no turning back
you would have to start a brand new application so like you have to be even
more careful about that than the category designation because the
category Ignatian at least you can narrow but
with the drawing or the word work that you submit there is no changing it you
can you go to this category idea what are a couple categories you might
register your trademark at yeah I was gonna ask because I know for musicians
there is this pool between music and entertainment and which one do I pick so
most of the ones that I’ve seen are usually falling both or either of those
and also merchandise so like they’ll choose entertainment services in the
nature of live performances they’ll also choose like CD recording CD
audio visual recordings um bill Drew’s yeah like I said merchandise so clothing
like sweat shirts hoodies hats but usually when you type in the word like
audio or recordings you’re going to see a tremendous list of things that pop up
and then you can select the ones that sound most appropriate to what you are
but generally speaking that’s like if you’re an entertainer a performer a
musician generally speaking those are gonna be a podcast with how would that
work oh wow yeah a podcast um I would I would say entertainment services
probably but obviously not in the nature of a life performance unless it is live
and it wouldn’t be a performance and also an audio recording and also you
know what I suggest to is like if you’re kind of sketchy on what exactly you want
to register a good way to find out is like typing in the name of your favorite
podcast that you know has a registered trademark and kind of play around with
the descriptions that those people have used so you know sometimes you can use
that as inspiration to tailor it to whatever it is that you’re offering
sometimes it might not be the exact same thing things may be
you offer a little bit more a little bit less than what they do but you can get
an idea based on what their it says can you get it here you actually look up
whether it’s like Joe Rogan or something like on ya USPTO website and you can see
what the he’s registered there yeah you definitely can um I’m gonna do that
right now real quick with you guys just cuz I want you to see so if you just
look up Joe Rogan podcast feed mark then you will get well you can either do it
through Google or you can do it through test which is tes s the number qu USPTO
gov and then you’re gonna do a pick a basic word mark search it’s not focused
though there it is t okay TM search the USPTO yeah that gov and
then in the search term box like I’m just gonna type in Joe Rogan I’m not
even gonna put in oh there’s nothing no test records okay yeah so but then now
I’m gonna delete that and then I’m just gonna type in the word podcast and then
wow look at all of these results for people the name of a podcast and so it’s
gonna say do you notice can you see if it is live right there to say live or
dead so you kind of want to pay attention so the ones that say life so
the boss up podcast for example registered in entertainment services
namely providing podcasts in the nature of interviews and other original works
which describe and inspire modern female CEOs so that’s the part that I was
talking about like entertainment services yes that’s generally applicable
to podcasts and retainers but the part that’s gonna be tailored to you
specifically is the part after namely it’s gonna depend on what it is that
you’re offering in your podcast or maybe what type of musical performances you
offer you know but like a Tony Robbins isn’t gonna be the same thing as like
Metallica Metallica is not gonna be the same thing as like an interview style
podcast like yours wow this is really helpful yeah
great hands-on stuff yeah and you know if you guys have any questions at all of
course I’m sure you already know you guys can reach out to me I try to make
myself pretty accessible on social media and I’m podcast like these so you know
you can go to Marcela TM mom find me on Instagram as arts music while your
Facebook arts music lawyer or just type in my name or cell at Dominguez
somewhere on iTunes or somewhere in the virtual world and my information will
pop up all your website again I can I smell it oh yeah yeah it’s ma r c e ll a
TM for trademark calm wonderful if people want to get in contact with you
is there a way for them to do that through your website yes I do have a
contact page there or they can just message me on any one of the social
media platforms Facebook fan twitter IG thank you so much great and yeah it’s
gonna be your turn to be on my yeah even you’ve been a fun personality to have on
the show you’re actually our first female guest which one didn’t intend on
doing it all but we uh we needed this
like there is nothing more comfortable that I could say to my daughter then you
can be the first female guest on a podcast that you push that’s right
and we have more on the future we’re working out we’ve got a the gene of
George Mason’s jazz department is point yep so we’re trying to get more ladies
on the show if they’re any lady listeners out there that think they have
something to offer so please reach out to us yeah yeah
if there’s anybody at all guys or anybody police contacted us if you think
that you might be a good fit as a co-host and you think you have an
interesting angle or an interesting story anything music related we’d love
to have you – for you to reach out awesome I love it yep well thank you
Marcella we really do appreciate it thank you guys yeah thank you very much
well bye bye

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