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How Do I Run A Trademark Clearance on a Record Label I Want to Adopt?

Posted by attorney Bruce Burdick

Here's how you clear a label most simply for purposes of adoption. We will use "ABC Records" as an example. 1. Go to and then click on the label you want to check. There you will find the history of virtually every label and whether it was picked up by someone or has been discontinued.[ For ABC records, the answer is it was discontinued in 1979 after being acquired earlier by MCA and its artists were transferred to MCA label. See] 2. Run a TESS search. for the label and you will see there has been recent activity on "ABC RECORDS" and that it has been held by the USPTO to be likely to be confused as to source with ABC TV (Disney), among others, and the most recent application was refused and abandoned. That does not bode well for your chances. There is a record established that would give Disney's quite able TM attorneys reason to think they can stop you. 3. Since there appears to be a conflict, check with the Disney lawyers and see if they want to voluntarily give up what appears to be a dominant position on this mark. That, my friend, is not going to happen. ABC TV will instantly see there is nothing to gain and much to lose in doing that. In fact, I would expect with this history, Disney lawyers might contemplate suit against anyone adopting ABC as a trademark for recordings. Review all the other excellent answers before this and you will see that the answer can change once you do the actual clearance so relying on an AVVO answer and not consulting an IP lawyer when facing a potential trademark conflict can get you in trouble. It can get you sued. L2BL: When doing a trademark clearance, AVVO is not the place to begin, Wikipedia, TESS, TDR, Google, etc. are better places to begin. The best place to begin a trademark clearance, however, is with an IP lawyer, as they are experienced in finding these sorts of "stoppers" and that can save much more than the money you spend, it can save your tail.

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