by Yasmin Cunningham, Esq.

Each month in 2022, (with the help of The Law Office of Trey Ross, PC) will collaborate with a business, influencer, or citizen in Georgia and publish an article involving a legal question which the person’s followers may find interesting.

This month, our spotlight is on professional Georgia influencer, DJ Roco, Owner of City2cityDjs.

Question: Let’s talk trademarks: What are they, how far to they extend, and what should I do to trademark a name?

Answer:  A trademark identifies your goods or service and it can be a word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination those. It’s how customers recognize you in the marketplace and distinguish you from your competitors.”[1]

Also, trademark rights extend throughout the United States and within other countries where laws protect trademarks.

In terms of duration, trademarks last for a lifetime upon proper renewal filings and a showing that the mark is still in use and not abandoned.

However, owning a trademark does not mean you own the logo, the name, or brand. Instead, owning a trademark provides you rights that allow you to exclude others from using the name or product. For example, for DJs, applying for a DJ name is like applying for a general trademark; you must ensure that you aren’t disclaiming the use of the generic name “DJ” in your application.

Important Note for DJs: If your trademark includes an actual name of someone living, there are additional requirements for the application, such as consent to the use and registration of the name must be included in the application file.[2] If your trademark does not refer to a living individual but is not clear whether or not the name is a living individual, a statement must be in the application file that the name is not of someone living. Id.

[1] 15 U.S.C. §§1051

[2] TMEP §1301.02(b)