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Topic: Trade Mark your Stage Name™?
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Sep 12, 2013 07:08PM)
Hi

Do you know of any magicians or entertainers for that matter that have trade marked their stage name? I'm selecting a new stage name & the one I like is being used on Facebook by someone else. It is not being used by a magician, it is just a teenager in Puerto Rico who happens to have that as his real name.

If I change to a new stage name I'd like to use it as my Facebook identity, for example: http://www.facebook.com/MyStageName

So, I've seen Facebook have a procedure where if someone else is using your trademarked identity on Facebook you can get it released to use. The only catch seems to be that you must have evidence that your name or brand is legally tradmarked, in use and that the other party has no such trademark. A US trademark also trumps a trademark from any other country.

Does anyone have any advise or knowledge of similar situations?
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Sep 12, 2013 07:56PM)
I like the way you say "it is just a teenager" and then mention also that it is his real name.

I'm not sure since he was on FB first, and it is his real name, that you could have him stopped/deleted, if that is your thought/goal. (That's what it sounds like.) Even if you have your stage name trademarked.

THAT BEING SAID.....as I am SURE you are wanting to start a business/fan page using your trade marked stage name I do not see a problem with that, and there would be no reason to have him change.

Blair
Message: Posted by: Dimitri Mystery Artist (Sep 12, 2013 09:34PM)
If you take out facebook from yours considerations, you don´t have any real problem.
Message: Posted by: LBP MAGIC (Sep 12, 2013 09:49PM)
I am confused why it matters if a kid in Puerto Rico has the same name?
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 12, 2013 10:28PM)
Also trade marks aren't granted for universally for everything. You would trade mark it for a magician or magical performer. So it has no bearing if it someone's real name unless they'd be using it as a magician or for the category(s) you've registered it for.
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Sep 13, 2013 01:05AM)
My interest is really about trademarking a stage name if anyone knows of it happening. The comments about Facebook are just to give you some background as to why I am asking.

Blair, thanks for your comments. It is food for thought. I see your facebook URL is in the format of: http://www.facebook.com/real.name.location.profession, so you were in a similar situation. I'd rather have http://www.facebook.com/stage.name (same as my .com page URL). I am still quite new to Facebook, but the way it appears to me as that an individual generally uses Facebook differently than any kind of commercial entity. My comments about the other guy were meant to draw attention to him using facebook as a non-business individual rather than anything to do with his age or location. As an individual using Facebook your actual URL does not really matter much. You are not printing it on stationary, flyers or name cards with the URL on like a business might. You can use facebook without ever needing to type in somebodies URL directly.

Perhaps as a business it could be the same. You could just put a 'find us on facebook logo' on your business card & no URL, then it would not matter if you had a really long URL or not.
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Sep 13, 2013 01:15AM)
http://indieambassador.com/articles/what-musicians-should-know-about-trademark
Message: Posted by: gordon russ (Sep 13, 2013 04:48AM)
Hey Andy,

I started using Facebook for personal use as: Facebook.com/GordonRuss. I like this because old friends, school mates, and relatives were able to find me. I the selected Facebook.com/MagicianGordonRuss as my Fan Page/business page. It works well for me. What ever you chose for your business page, I would stick with it. It can be hard to get those "likes" and changing you name to something better after you establish your self, might cause you to loose a lot of hard earned "likes".

Gordon (you old friend for the Deans List)
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 13, 2013 09:01AM)
I call myself Al Angello and I don't think anyone else is using that trade mark.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 13, 2013 09:25AM)
You want to know if you can trademark a name? You are just starting out and want to trademark a name?

Ok. Even if you could why would you?
Message: Posted by: Tim Zager (Sep 13, 2013 10:01AM)
I'm curious about trademarking also... not a name, but rather a title. For example a title like "edutainer", "infotainer", etc. I think we've all seen these two. I came up with something for my new branding that I would like to protect from everyone else using.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 13, 2013 11:42AM)
Anton tried to do it years ago and was unable to do so. Today these have become so common they are actually, in my opinion, ineffective.
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Sep 13, 2013 12:33PM)
Keep in mind that a trademark or copyright are only effective IF you go after someone violating it. That means lawyers and expenses upfront. Even if someone is found guilty, that doesn't mean you will be able to cover the legal expenses. On an international level, it becomes even more difficult. I'm not saying a trademark or copyright is a waste of time - but if you don't intend to enforce it, they are meaningless.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 13, 2013 01:24PM)
Tom points out an unwritten yet incredibly useful principal of law. Any contract is only worth what you are willing to pay to enforce it.
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Sep 13, 2013 01:45PM)
Danny,

Also, any contract is only worth the amount of the prepayment! Unless you want to spend $$ to enforce it!
Message: Posted by: Tim Zager (Sep 13, 2013 02:19PM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-13 12:42, Mindpro wrote:
Anton tried to do it years ago and was unable to do so. Today these have become so common they are actually, in my opinion, ineffective.
[/quote]

I remember talking to Anton about that many moons ago. Just can't remember why he was not able to get it done. :)
Message: Posted by: Close.Up.Dave (Sep 13, 2013 02:42PM)
The solution is obvious: this Puerto Rican kid needs to change his name.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Sep 13, 2013 04:06PM)
I Googled Andy and Andrew Walker, there is already an actor named Andy Walker. Plus others in different fields. I don't believe such a common name could be copyrighted. There are just to many Andy Walkers in the World for you to try and capture the name. After all you parents most likely named you Andy because that was the going "Fad Name" of the time.

My advice is to either come up with a totally unique name and have your name legally changed or use a middle initial or middle name that no other Andy is using.

I lucky, I have the only unique name in the world, outside of a brother and a couple nephews, are the only ones that have the same last name.

On the news yesterday, lady has 35 letter last name and will not fit on here drivers license. Refuses to change name for license bureau.

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20734265,00.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/11/hawaii-drivers-license_n_3910051.html

How it is pronounced:
http://www.khon2.com/2013/09/10/action-line-state-alters-womans-name-after-it-fails-to-fit-on-drivers-license/
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Sep 13, 2013 05:18PM)
Names are not protected by copyright law. However, some names may be protected under trademark law.
But a common name like Andy Walker would never pass. It has to be really unique to get a trademark.

Now you can register your name as a business, but that won't stop others from doing business under their real name too.
Here in the USA the protection of a business name is usually limited to the state. Unless it has qualified and been approved as a trademark name.

A lot about Trademark Basics on this long video here:
http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/

Tom
Message: Posted by: Jesse Lewis (Sep 13, 2013 05:21PM)
To my knowledge you can copyright a stage name but yes it is hard to enforce.

An example of this in the entertainment field is the WWE they routinely copyright or outright own names of the wrestlers. examples are the tag team DUDLY BOYS or Ken Kennedy. Also note that in the early 90's they had a wrestler named Justin Credible but for somereason they have not went after the magician with the name of Justin Kredible. They may even have a case for it too.

Once again it comes down to enforcement, think about all of the fake celebirty facebook/twitter accounts does it really matter chances are FB is not going to be your PRIMARY source of income in this biz.

Jesse
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Sep 13, 2013 06:19PM)
And actually I don't think "Andy Walker" is the name Andy wants to trademark, he has not mentioned it, and has not shown it when he uses the Facebook URL.

Andy also says "I'm selecting a new stage name"

So it will be interesting to hear what it actually is.

Blair Marshall"
"ShaZzam!"
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Sep 13, 2013 06:43PM)
A person’s name has to be so distinctive that the consuming public automatically thinks of a particular person
when hearing that name, not just a person with that name. You show this by providing evidence of what is called
“secondary meaning”. Secondary meaning means that even though the word is descriptive (like an adjective or a name),
people don’t think of the adjective or name as a descriptor, they think of YOU. Proving this is very hard and will
almost always require the high paid attorneys.

If you wanting to protect a title, slogan, or other short word phrase, generally it is a trademark you wanting.
Copyright law does not protect a phrase, slogan, or trade name. The purpose of a copyright is to protect works of authorship.
The purpose of a trademark is to protect words, phrases and logos.

It is easy to confuse patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Although there may be some similarities among these kinds
of intellectual property protection, they are different and serve different purposes. If you serious about doing something,
it's important to know the differece. This site can help understand the differences: http://www.lawmart.com/forms/difference.htm


Adding words to his own name would be the route to take.

"The Amazing Rabbit Pulling Andy Walker" just might convince em he was different. :)


Tom
Message: Posted by: Robin4Kids (Sep 13, 2013 07:18PM)
Unless you plan to take your show national or international, or plan to market products under your stage name brand, I wouldn't recommend trademarking your stage name. It can be an expensive process and like it was mentioned before, you have to legally protect your brand.
Message: Posted by: Pizpor (Sep 13, 2013 09:22PM)
Just out of curiosity, I googled 'Houdini trademarks' to see if anything would pop up. I was also curious about trademarks like 'David Copperfield,' 'Lance Burton,' 'Bozo the Clown,' etc. This popped up about Houdini's. I don't know what it all means, but somebody went to court over the issue.

http://www.houdini.com/es/content/33-fraudulent-hardeen-houdini
Message: Posted by: wizardofsorts (Sep 13, 2013 09:38PM)
I am in the process of trade marking, "Wizard of Sorts." I've already trademarked my logo. It's not expensive at all if you know how to do it correctly (ie- know what pro-bono means).

Edd Fairman
Wizard of Sorts [tm]
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 13, 2013 09:59PM)
TomBoleware
Names are covered by copy right laws, but the names protected are race horse names, so if you plan to run in the Belmont stakes you should copyright your stage name.

Edd Fairman
Just between you and me nobody cares.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 14, 2013 09:49AM)
Ed you will NOT find someone pro-bono who will enforce the trademark. THAT is what is so expensive.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 14, 2013 10:06AM)
I got up early this morning and just trademarked Danny Doyle as my new stage name!
Message: Posted by: Robin4Kids (Sep 14, 2013 10:28AM)
Oh! So you're getting out of magic??!! LOL... Sorry Danny!
Message: Posted by: Robin4Kids (Sep 14, 2013 10:34AM)
In addition to my advertising & marketing firm, I am the marketing director for over 300 attorneys and I have yet to figure our how to get the government to give me my trademark filing fees and registration fees pro bono!
Message: Posted by: wizardofsorts (Sep 22, 2013 12:22PM)
Danny, So sorry you are wrong. I have a pro-bono attorney provided by Lawyers for the creative arts.

Robin4kids, my attorney's firm payed my fees.

Edd
Message: Posted by: Robin4Kids (Sep 22, 2013 02:01PM)
Edd,
That's great that you can get those services from Lawyers for the Creative Arts. Unless you meet their low-income requirements, I'm not sure how you would receive their services for free. They state in their requirements that you have to pay all filing fees, etc. out of pocket, so I'm not sure how they could make an exception for you. I do know from serving on several non-profit boards that we have to be very careful not to change our requirements or make special exceptions for clients, or we can be facing a discrimination suit.

You indicated that it (trademarking) is easy to do for very little money if you know how. What you didn't mention was you had to meet the low income requirements of the lawyers' non-profit. I'm glad I don't qualify.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 22, 2013 02:57PM)
Well if you meet those requirements what are you going to trademark exactly anyhow?

And the point is they will not ENFORCE it for you. That was what I was saying. That is the VERY costly part.
Message: Posted by: Robin4Kids (Sep 22, 2013 03:35PM)
If you want to see some trademark enforcers in action, just start promoting yourself as the Mickey Mouse Magic Show!!!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 22, 2013 03:41PM)
Anyone who will enforce your trademark for free will be worth every penny you pay for it.
Message: Posted by: wizardofsorts (Sep 22, 2013 05:05PM)
We've got a bunch of people talking through the hat on this post. There are several people who insist they know more about MY business then I know. I have only said what my experience has been but these guys must know more about my experience than I do. I said one can have a trademark filed for little or no money because I HAVE DONE IT. Maybe I'm the one in a million case. Maybe I'm the exception that proves the rule but I have a nationally recognized and multiple award winning law firm that has taken me on as a pro-bono client via Lawyers for the Creative arts. The law firm paid my filing fees. Why? I don't know. Honestly, I don't care. They are Neal, Gerber, and Associates and you can read about them at: http://www.ngelaw.com/. I did not meet any income requirements (no one has ask me what my income is). The law firm has filed my trademark for me FOR FREE and has continued to work with me as needed.

I have not had to enforce my trademark yet. If I did, one email to my lawyer and it would be taken care of. I'm not sure what all the Poo pooing is about? Are you guys mad that you paid to have this work done and I didn't? Are you mad that I offered someone advice on how to get the work done for free? Really, what's going on here?

Edd Fairman
Message: Posted by: wizardofsorts (Sep 22, 2013 05:22PM)
Robin4kids,
I was going to deal with this within a private message and then I reread what you wrote and let me tell you, "You are rude!" Let me deal with this point by point, the most inflammatory first!

"What you didn't mention was you had to meet the low income requirements of the lawyers' non-profit. I'm glad I don't qualify." I NEVER said I qualified for anything. The Lawyers for the creative arts may say that you are required to pay for the filing fees but if one's assigned law firm pays them for you, what does LCA care? I was quite ready to pay them but I DIDN'T HAVE TO! I doubt I qualify for the low income requirements and you insinuating that I did is just bad form. Your line "I'm glad I don't qualify." Is just one of the most NON helpful things I've read in a long time. The slogan of the Magic Café is "Magicians helping Magicians" unless your Robin4kids, then it's "take a cheap pot shot while doling out advice."

You also say, "You indicated that it (trademarking) is easy to do for very little money if you know how." It IS! Even the filing fee of $375 is very LITTLE money when it comes to protecting your business. But if done the way I did it, it will cost you $50.

You say, "That's great that you can get those services from Lawyers for the Creative Arts. Unless you meet their low-income requirements, I'm not sure how you would receive their services for free." I never said I got the LCA for free. I paid they giant whooping fee of $50! I said that I got the filing fees paid fro by my attorney's firm. Go back and read what I actually wrote.

Edd Fairman
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 22, 2013 07:20PM)
So if you have to do a long protracted trial it is gratis? Congratulations.