Heavy metal trademarks

metallicaIs a band name a trademark? Of course! The name and the logo of a band (or DJ) is recognized by the fans and has to distinguish the band or DJ from other bands. You want to hear the music of the band you support and of the other band. So, having a unique name is very important, which is quite difficult sometimes because of services like Spotify, which creates global place for all bands and DJ’s. Protecting the stagename or bandname as a trademark is therefore crucial.
However, sometimes you have to defend your trademark. Like Metallica did. Metallica filed an opposition against the trademark Metallica in the EU for safety gloves. Not directly a product which you affiliate with a band, but still, Metallica does not want any dilution of their trademark.
The EUIPO is of the opinion that ‘Metallica’ alludes to ‘metal’ in as much as the word ‘Metallica’ contains the word ‘metal’. “Nevertheless, although part of the public might perceive this allusion, this word is distinctive for the relevant goods.” As the trademarks are very similar, the products too, confusion can arise and the opposition is well founded. Thanks to their trademarks, heavy as metal, Metallica conquers.

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