If an artist is serious about a long-term career and branding their name so that they can make money off of it – and also to keep others from ripping them off – it is advisable to trademark the name at the earliest possible stage to lock it down so that the artist exclusively owns it worldwide. The key is using the name in commerce (i.e., for profit) by playing shows, selling CDs, and selling T-shirts under that name before someone else does. Make it official by going to www.uspto.gov and applying online. It’s worth the time and money to avoid name disputes/hassles down the line.
Ben McLane Esq