A Guide to Trademarking a Slogan

A slogan is a sentence or phrase that serves to identify a particular product or company in a manner that distinguishes it from all others. Slogans do one of two things, either they are part of a campaign to actually sell a good or service for monetary value or they are intended to amuse or provoke people.

The first step in how to trademark a slogan is to define where in the spectrum your slogan would fit into these extreme ends. Anything that is going to be generic, informational or not link the consumer to a specific company brand will be invalid to trademark.

Bumper stickers and shirts that are intended to amuse people (“I’m with stupid”), are not allowed to be trademarked, but slogans that immediately direct someone’s mind to a company (“Just do it”), will be.

Once you believe that you have a valid slogan that will not confuse consumers when used commercially, you will need to go online to file for a trademark. The application process begins by searching for similar trademarks in your same industry.

The government has created a search engine on their website to do this called Trademark Electronic Search System (“TESS”). The database is a good starting point for your research, but trademarked slogans could still be in circulation either registered at the state level or even unregistered that you will not be able to take.

Having an experienced trademark attorney help with this part of the process will not only save the money from the rejection of your trademark due to poor research, but will also help in further legal action. Trademarking a slogan will not only protect it from being used by other similar companies, but also protects a company from unknowingly infringing upon an existing logo once approved by the government.

A slogan is a sentence or phrase that serves to identify a particular product or company in a manner that distinguishes it from all others. Slogans do one of two things, either they are part of a campaign to actually sell a good or service for monetary value or they are intended to amuse or provoke people.

The first step in how to trademark a slogan is to define where in the spectrum your slogan would fit into these extreme ends. Anything that is going to be generic, informational or not link the consumer to a specific company brand will be invalid to trademark.

Bumper stickers and shirts that are intended to amuse people (“I’m with stupid”), are not allowed to be trademarked, but slogans that immediately direct someone’s mind to a company (“Just do it”), will be.

Once you believe that you have a valid slogan that will not confuse consumers when used commercially, you will need to go online to file for a trademark. The application process begins by searching for similar trademarks in your same industry.

The government has created a search engine on their website to do this called Trademark Electronic Search System (“TESS”). The database is a good starting point for your research, but trademarked slogans could still be in circulation either registered at the state level or even unregistered that you will not be able to take.

Having an attorney help with this part of the process will not only save the money from the rejection of your trademark due to poor research, but will also help in further legal action.

Trademarking a slogan will not only protect it from being used by other similar companies, but also protects a company from unknowingly infringing upon an existing logo once approved by the government.

Need help with tradmarking a slogan?

Post a Job on UpCounsel and Connect with Quality Trademark Attorneys who can help you with trademarking a slogan today.