Q: Need to know if I am allowed to us an alias name for a musical artist career.
The name I will be using is “Digitone”. Needing to make sure this doesn’t compete with trademarks under the name that are already in use. As I will not be making products that compete with these said companies that currently hold the trademarked name which seem to be around 5+ companies.
You certainly can use an alias or stage-name for your musical career. That name can also be registered as a trademark under the right circumstances.
I am a former professional musician-turned-trademark lawyer, and I specialize in assisting musical artists across the country with trademark registration and related legal issues. If interested in scheduling a virtual conversation, click the button next to my name to visit my website and click the "Schedule My Consultation" button.
Yes, you can use a stage name that is a word or phrase that already exists in another line of business. Trademarks and, more generally, the words and phrases you use to distinguish your performances, are subject to a broad legal test that focuses on likelihood of confusion. The confusion in question is the possibility a reasonable person in the public could believe they are buying one thing from a certain brand when, in fact, they are buying something different. That is why the legal protection for a brand name is usually limited to one industry, product type, or marketplace.
There is some likelihood of confusion if you named your band the same name (or a sound-alike name) as an existing band. But there is not a reasonable likelihood of confusion if you name your band, or your songs, after real-world things, places, or even other brand-name products. Examples of other bands that have tried this approach are “Kodak Black,” “O.C. Supertone,” and “Chevelle.” Each musician or band used a word that was under trademark, but borrowed the word from a different industry.
However, it is possible that a business already operating under the Digitone name would take offense to your use of the same name. They could possibly have a way to interrupt your use of the name Digitone if you are measurably harming their business. They would have to prove a loss in sales and tie that loss to your use of the same name.
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