A trademark serves to identify and distinguish one party’s goods or services from the goods and services of others. A trademark may be a word, phrase, symbol or design, or any combination of those. Trademark rights arise from either (1) actual use of the mark, or (2) the filing of an application to register a mark in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) stating that the applicant has bona fide intention to use the mark in interstate commerce.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has reduced the governmental filing fees for trademark applications and renewals, effective January 17, 2015. For applicants that agree to utilize electronic correspondence, the new per-classification fee for a standard trademark application has been reduced from $325 to $275 per class. Applicants may also continue to receive non-electronic notifications and correspondence from the USPTO at the same $325 per class filing fee.
Likewise, fees for trademark renewals have been reduced from $400 to $300 per class for electronic filers.
I first posted a version of this blog entry in June 2012, and have received many queries since about music licensing and, in particular, the homestyle exception. A common misconception about the homestyle exception is that it applies to recorded music, such as MP3s and CDs. It does not. The homestyle exception only applies to television and radio broadcasts.
Read on for more information about the homestyle exception, and please feel free to contact me if you have questions about whether the exception applies to your business.