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Thread: outrunning coca cola and the irs

  1. #1
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    Mar 1999
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    Posted by Mike:

    I have designed a new logo for a record label, and I am wondering if it will violate
    American/International Trademark Laws. Here in Germany, the largest passenger railroad is
    named "Die Deutsche Bahn" which translates into "The German Train." Anyway, the
    Trademark for Die Deutsche Bahn is simply a red letter "D" and a red letter "B" surrounded
    by a red square with rounded off courners. And the Initials of this record label are, instead of
    "DB" for Deutsche Bahn, they are "DR". And I think that the trademark is a little bit tongue in cheek and catchy to the eye over here, as well as simple and professional looking to someone that is not familiar with the Deutsche Bahn. My question is...

    If someone took the Coca-Cola trademark, and for example had a company called
    Coca-Rola, is it legal to have a VERY VERY similar trademark, to where they look identical
    except the word has changed?

    Please answer if you know? Or better yet suggest a book on Music Laws, or promotion laws. Etc...

    Question 2: How many independent bands does anyone know that actually claims weekend gigs on their tax forms. I come from Athens, GA and I never heard of an unsigned gig-band having to be
    filed under a new tax bracket and having to fill out another tspe of form in tax season, just
    because they play a gig or two a month. I guess the real question is.... At what point should a
    band actually start to pay taxes on the income of their band?


  2. #2
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    Tell Mike the earliest he should file with the IRS is when they threaten to throw him in jail.

  3. #3
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    well i don't know 'bout usa but here you better be carefull with that shit (here=europe). the tax people just assume you get like $500 and if you cannot prove the opposite they will charge ya. you'll have noticeable so our pop organisation warns bands that play more then 20 times a year... nazi's came from europe and they sure as hell aint left... they GOT LEGAL and are now the taxpolice...
    Now 'bout the logo; i don't think DB will mind as you are not i the same bussiness. don't go selling drugs or **** though as *then* they might object


    I'll be succesfull tomorrow.

    too busy on the forum today...

  4. #4
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    Nov 1999
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    The band "Chicago" had originally called themselves the "Chicago Transit Authority", which is the name of the bus and train system here in Chicago.
    On the front of their first album were the letters "C.T.A.", which is the acronym for "Chicago Transit Authority".
    Well, the city sued them, THEY LOST, and the band changed their name to "Chicago". The reason they lost is because "CTA" refers to a specific business enterprise, for which they didn't ask for permission to use their name.
    The name "Chicago", which was taken from the name of an Indian tribe, was more vague and a municipality cannot trademark the name of their town or city.

    As for the question on Coca-Cola...
    I have some experience in this matter!
    Our first CD, (The Mac Brothers - "Assorted Flavors") features a roll of candy on the front cover which bears a strong resemblence to a roll of "LifeSavers" candy.
    We actually scanned a roll of LifeSavers and changed the name on the label to "our" name... the Mac Brothers.
    We sent a copy of the photo to the Legal Department of General Mills, which is the parent company of LifeSavers, and asked for a written authorization to use their "likeness" on our CD.
    They sent us a written authorization in the regular mail AND by e-mail, allowing us to use their "likeness", provided we did not actually "use" the LifeSavers name anywhere on our CD.
    The fact that we are giving a portion of our proceeds to charity may have played a part in their decision, though.
    Here is what the cover of our CD looks like......

    The bottom line is, you'd better get permission from the legal department of any business enterprise you are thinking of using as a name or logo.... otherwise, it could be more trouble than it's worth. At that point, I'd just pick a different name.
    Hope this helps you.


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