I'm not sure how much trademarking itself costs - a lot for starters, as the trademark registration bureau has to investigate that nobody else is using the trademark, and unlike the patent office they take their work serious (at least I know they do in Europe, must be the same in the US).
But what I do know is that, in order to protect your trademark, you will have to defend each infringement vigorously or the trademark will be considered abandoned.
This is the reason that Disney sues a small day care center with Mickey Mouse (tm) painted on the wall - it's not that they really care about such use, but letting it slide means giving a legal signal that they don't care about the trademark.
So, part of trademarking a name is actively starting lawsuits. And that can be costly.
well i have had my name for like about half a year or so, and before i would search for the name, and nothing pops up.. but now theres another of the same name that is doing video production, well my name is "AHL Productions" and AHL stands for my name.. and they added a myspace which is fairly new. What can I do? Just let it be?
It might be different over there to the UK but this sort of thing happens all the time. We even fell foul to it. In the UK you can register limited companies and our business was registered to a company in Swindon. We were doing some work in Birmingham and it turned out there was yet another company with the same name who got irate because he thought we were pretending to be them lol.
I sold that company and set up another. My name is Stewart and my wife's name is Shona. I took the last three letters of my name and the last three of my wifes to come up with Artona. When I tried to register artona.com it was already taken - to a photographer in America. I got quite a shock when the site came up, for a few moments I thought I was going barmy and that I must have already set up the site.
As I say it is probaly different over here but I would just crash on with earning money rather than getting involved in a fight
I recall that a company I worked for had a trademark for a type of electrical connector, using glass as an insulator. It was called SureSeal. A company that made a product for the building industry had a product trade marked with the same name. Since these were products that were very dissimilar, the trade mark was allowed for each product, as they could not be mistaken for each other. However if you both are in video or photography, there's a problem.
Just register your name by getting a business license. BTW, unless the other party is a photographer, he/she can use the same name and there is nothing you can do. Ex: You can be ABC Photography and he/she can be ABC Plumbing. They can even have a similar logo and there's nothing you can do.
They produce videos for bands and stuff, and its AHL Productions, exactly the same as mine. I wanted to do some video production myself. Maybe I'll just do that register a business license? Is it hard doing so?
The cost varies depending on what you're filing to protect, but you can expect it to run somewhere around $375. Having an attorney filing for you will cost around $1,000 or more. That said, you should also be aware that not everything can be trademarked, and you may find the name you want is already trademarked. Before spending the money, you need to decide if it's important enough for you to protect. As has been mentioned, you also need to be vigilant about protecting it, and as everyone knows, attorneys aren't cheap.
I can't speak for other areas, but in Florida, all you need to do to use a particular name is check with SunBiz to be sure it's not already in use, then file for a fictitious name. That's only around $60, and (along with appropriate local licenses) is all you need to do business under a name other than your own full name. Of course, that doesn't stop anyone from other states from using the same name, but you would at least be able to use the name you want within your own state, if it's available, assuming your state has a similar process.