Who are Nancy & The Meerkats?
Nancy & The Meerkats are a super cool band that love to make music!
They also love to help people learn all about copyright (with the help of their manager – Big Joe).
Watch this video where Nancy & The Meerkats explain why you can’t steal someone else’s name to their friend Ed Shearling…
Hopefully Nancy & The Meerkats (and Ed Shearling) helped you understand more about what a trade mark is and why you can’t steal somebody else’s name!
What is a trade mark?
Trade mark definition: A trade mark is a badge of origin or a brand name.
It basically means something that is registered to someone and so can’t be used by anyone else.
So are trade marks just band names?
No, trade marks can be a wide variety of things such as…
- Words (e.g. Sainsbury’s ‘live well for less’, Tesco’s ‘every little helps’ are both trade marks)
- Pictures (e.g. MacDonald’s ‘M’ or Disney’s ‘castle’)
- Or both words and pictures (e.g. all the Pokémon characters and their names are trade marks)
How does something turn from an idea in your head to a trade mark?
For something to be a trade mark it has to be registered with the Intellectual Property Office.
The Intellectual Property Office are in charge of all trade marks… and keep track of them all.
You’ll often see a ® symbol next to a trade mark. This means that it has been registered with the Intellectual Property Office and it belongs to whoever registered it.
This means that only whoever registered the trade mark can use it. For example, McDonalds is trademarked which means another restaurant can’t open up called McDonalds and therefore people won’t get confused.
Activity: Have a go at coming up with your own band name that no one else has taken and you could trade mark yourself
In the video, Ed Shearling came up with a band name that wasn’t already being used by someone. It was unique and so he could trade mark it.
If you need help coming up with a unique band name then why not try and relate it to yourself like Ed did? He has ducks in his band so he chose Quackalack, what would you choose?
When you have a name get an adult to help you check that it’s not already trade marked here.
How did you get on?
So what band name did you come up with? Are you sure it’s unique to you and that no one else has used it already?
Let us know what you came up with in the comments below!Add a comment
Week 1: Intellectual Property with Nancy & The Meerkats
This week we're learning all about copyright, trademarks and intellectual property with Nancy & The Meerkats!More From Week 1: Intellectual Property with Nancy & The Meerkats