Trademarking a club night

Copyright matters affecting music and musicians.
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Trademarking a club night

Post by vlb »


My partner and I have put on a club night which is on its third week. So far it is going good.
The problem is the club we have put the night on at is also a club we work for and I have the feeling that they are going to try and claim the night as their own in the future (as they have a rep for doing so.)
I design the promo material logo etc. My boyfriend and I do all the ground work and do not get paid for this through the company as we make it seperate to the other work within the company. We have had this night on the books for a long time and they asked us if we wanted to do it one of their clubs.
The deal is they pay for printed promotional material for the time being therefor they also take a cut of the door money.

This is okay as we are both employed by them and are grateful for the opportunity. We also run another club night at a different venue and get entire door money and a cut of the bar as we pay promo cost.

Sooo the question is I would like to trademark the club night name and logo so if in the future we decide to take the night to another venue we have the right to do so. How would I do this and under what class section would this be in?is it 41?

any help would be appreciated.

Apologies for the essay format question.

Thank you

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Post by AndyJ »

Hi Victoria,
I think you are wise to protect your 'brand' in any way you can, if you feel that the club management are likely to grab it.
Registering a trade mark is relatively straightforward, if you follow the steps on the IPO web site The biggest drawback is that it costs £200! Assuning you have a name and logo which no-one else had already registered for the same class (check via the IPO website), then download the Form TM3 and guidance notes. Filling in the form is fairly self-explanatory. As you say, Class 41 is the appropriate one to use.
Your promotional material and logo are also protected by copyright, but given that the club are your employers and are paying for the printing, they may argue that they own the copyright as you created the artwork etc as part of your work for them. You obviously claim this was done outside your normal duties, but this may be hard to prove if your actual job at the club includes these types of duties. For this reason, it might be worth putting a copyright statement on your flyers with the name of your business and assuming the club don't object beforehand, this will help to establish your work as something separate from the club. When/if you have registered your logo as a trademark, make sure your also put the little tm symbol adjacent to it as this further strengthens the link between copyright, the trademark and your business. Make sure you keep copies of all correspondence between you and the club management. Ideally of course you want to get a proper agreement put on paper, but this may be difficullt to do if they are planning to take over your operation. Failing that, try and use emails to conduct your dealings with the club, rather than phonecalls or texts, as this gives you a paper trail which may be useful later. If you have any independent witnesses to any verbal agreement between you and the club, ask the person to just jot down a few notes about the date(s) who was present and what was agreed etc, and then get them to put the notes somewhere safe, in case you ever need them to be a witness on your behalf, should a dispute arise in the future.
Good luck with your venture.
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