UC Law SF Communications and Entertainment Journal


Barbara Singer


As the economic value of the names of popular music groups has burgeoned, courts have increasingly been forced to grapple with the complex issues of trademark ownership and infringement of those group names. This article examines those complex issues and sets forth criteria to assist courts as they struggle to resolve them. The article first explores the trademark and contractual methods available for establishing ownership of a popular music group's name. Next, the article examines the manner in which an infringement is determined under the principles of trademark law both in the absence of and the presence of contractual allocations. Following this examination, the article explores the use of injunctive relief to remedy adjudged infringements. The article then concludes by setting forth the criteria that courts should consider in awarding ownership of and in prohibiting infringement of the names of popular music groups.