Can You Trademark a Song?

No, you cannot trademark a song itself. Trademarks cover the way that material is marketed towards the consumer rather than the material itself. If you wish to protect your song from duplication or imitation, you may be able to copyright the music and lyrics for the song, ensuring copyright protection for your musical compositions.

This information was provided by our founding attorney, Xavier Morales, Esq. 

Trademarking a song

You will be able to trademark the name of a song provided you use that name to market your goods and services. In the music industry, this is a critical aspect of trademark law, offering exclusive rights to use the name in commerce.

If you have a song or band name for which you wish to register a trademark, you should complete an application form for a trademark search to be certain that the particular trademark is attainable. The process involves a trademark application and possibly a filing fee, ensuring the protection benefits of your name in the marketplace. If another band has already registered a trademark for your desired name, you will not be able to claim it as your own.

The responsibilities of trademark ownership also include understanding and navigating joint ownership issues, which can arise in collaborative musical compositions.

Engaging in the trademark registration process is essential for artists, record labels, companies, and organizations within the music industry to protect their brands, labels, and designs.

Trademarking an Artist's Name

You can also register your band or music group’s name as a trademark in order to prevent competing music groups from misleading consumers. This protection extends to independent musicians and their sound recordings, as well as live performances. Similarly, you can also read more about trademarking a stage name.


Though you can not trademark a song, you can copyright it. Technically when you create a piece of original work (such as a song), you automatically receive a common law copyright which protects intellectual property as an intangible asset. However, you are still best off gaining formal ownership of your copyright by registering it with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Having this extra protection will be very beneficial should someone commit copyright infringement on your song, such as using your song or parts of it. Only having a common law copyright will require you to gain a lot of evidence that you are the creator of the piece of work. Even if you're able to prove this, you're still only entitled to certainly claim damages. However, a registered copyright will protect you against much more.

Copyright completion is a critical step in securing intellectual property rights for sound recordings and music copyrights, safeguarding artists against copyright infringement by copyright trolls and common copyright mistakes.

If you are interested in trademarking the name of a song, you should contact our associates today so that we may evaluate the protectability of your name. Protecting intellectual property in the music industry requires a comprehensive understanding of both copyright and trademark law. This ensures copyright owners and copyright holders maintain control over their creative works and trademark rights, benefiting from the full spectrum of intellectual property protection.

Trademarks vs Copyrights

ItemTrademark or Copyright?
Business NameTrademark
Business SloganTrademark
Business LogoCan be both
Song LyricsCopyright

Common Trademark Topics for Musicians

The Process for Trademarking

Click for sound

Xavier Morales, Esq.

About the Author

Xavier Morales, Esq.

Mr. Morales founded his trademark law practice in January 2007 with the goal of providing intellectual property expertise to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country. Since then, he has filed more than 6,000 trademarks with the USPTO. You can learn more about Xavier here.

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