Trademark for Artists - Creative Law Center

Trademark for Artists

Trademarks & Branding for Visual Artists [Workshop Replay]

Copyright protects your art. Trademarks protect your name, your business name, and your brand.

An artist’s name is often their business name.

An artist’s signature can be their brand. The signature connects the artist with their work in the minds of collectors.

That’s what a trademark is — a source identifier.

Name. Signature. Brand. Artist.

The thing is, the Trademark Office often refuses registration for a person’s name. This is because they do not want to give anyone a monopoly on a surname. Many other people may have the same name, after all.

Even so, many artists have successfully obtained a trademark registration for their name, their signature, or their business:

  • Banksy
  • Picasso
  • Bob Ross
  • Georgia O’Keeffe
  • M.C. Escher

All famous artists whose names are distinctive, true. And that may not describe you, yet.

But what about:

  • Sara Fitz
  • Mary Gaspar
  • Evelyn Gold
  • Karen Morovich
  • and many others

Not so famous. Yet they have all successfully obtained registrations on their names. And they are each building their brands with their trademarks.

They are creating the connection between their brand and their work. That connection in the mind of their audience is goodwill.

The “goodwill” of a trademark is its inherent value – the recognition of your mark, your brand, among collectors and the extra earning power that it generates.

In this workshop, you will learn what it takes to secure a trademark and build a brand for your art business including:

  • How to use your name as a trademark and establish your rights;
  • How trademark and branding fit into an art career;
  • The additional requirements for registering a person’s name as a trademark;
  • The cost and timeline for trademark registration; and
  • How to maintain your trademark once you get it.

Trademarks are not just for big business or famous artists.

When you get a federally registered trademark, you have the exclusive right in the United States to use that trademark with the products or services you are selling — your art.

A federally registered trademark is one of the most powerful pieces of intellectual property you can own as a visual artist.

This is  a replay of a live workshop. You will be able to ask questions in the comment section on the replay page.

Learn how to add the power of brand to your art business.

About the Author

Kathryn Goldman helps small business people, writers, artists, and creative professionals make a living from their creative work by teaching them how to protect and enforce their rights. She is an attorney who writes these posts to help you be more thoughtful about intellectual property and the law as you build your business, write your stories, and create your art.

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