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Band names: Trademark or Right of Publicity Infringement?

June 25, 2009 No Comments »
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Recently, a question was posed to me along the lines of “I am aware of a website selling t-shirts that include the name of a band I represent. This company does not have permission. If the band would like to settle this issue without filing a lawsuit, what would be the best way of dealing with this matter?”


Answer:  Generally, band names are in the arena of trademark law as opposed to right of publicity.  Some personalities are identifiable with their band name.  If the t-shirts include images of the band members, then conceivably, each band member could have a right of publicity claim as well as a trademark infringement claim.


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