If you are a brand owner keep all of this in mind. Seeking to obtain trademark registration for your advertising slogan? This is also for you.
Slogans Help Businesses Communicate with their Customers
Slogans help your business stand out and make your brand more desirable. However, they need to be strategically used, creative and distinctive. The best slogans become synonymous with the brand as a whole. For instance, they’ll reflect the company’s products and values in one simple statement.
It is not easy to create an effective slogan that also qualifies for trademark registration. Therefore, when you come up with a good one, make sure to protect it! It is also important that you use the slogan properly and enforce it when others copy it. You will see how the value of your brand increases.
Keep in mind that the goal of an advertising slogan is to communicate a key brand message. Specifically, the goal is for your customer to remember the slogan, even if she does’t remember anything else from the advertisement. Here are a few examples of effective slogans:
- “The Quicker Picker Upper” BOUNTY ;
- “Just Do It” NIKE ;
- “Can You Hear Me Now” VERIZON.
- “Expect More, Pay Less” TARGET
Obtaining Trademark Registration for Advertising Slogans
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a slogan as “a brief attention-getting phrase used in advertising or promotion” and “a catch phrase used to advertise a product.” Advertising slogans can be registered as trademarks in the United States. However, trademark slogans can’t be descriptive or merely informational.
As such, the following slogans cannot be registered trademarks:
- Slogans that are considered to be merely informational in nature;
- Slogans that don’t function as trademarks;
- Slogans that are considered to be common laudatory phrases;
- Slogans that are statements that would ordinarily be used in business or in the particular trade or industry.
For example, Volvo tried to register DRIVE SAFELY as a slogan but was refused registration. Why? because it was regarded to be a familiar safety admonition. Also, a supermarket tried to register WHY PAY MORE as a slogan but was refused registration. Why? because it was regarded to be a familiar phrase.
The Key is How You Use the Slogan.
Advertising slogans need to identify and distinguish the source of its products and services. If it is set apart in an attention-grabbing way, and used consistently, it is likely to function as a trademark. Do that and you will be closer to obtaining a federal trademark registration certificate.
We recommend that you use a distinctive font or color to highlight the slogan and that the ™ trademark notice designation be next to it. Don’t use the federal trademark symbol ® because that one is for after you’ve registered your slogan with the USPTO.
Also, slogans for goods or products should be placed directly on product packaging and set apart in a distinctive font or color. In contrast, slogans for services should be used prominently in promotional materials. Keep in mind that you will need to submit an acceptable trademark specimen before you can register your slogan as a trademark in the USPTO.
It can be complicated to obtain a trademark registration for a slogan. For that reason we suggest you consult with an experienced trademark attorney. Solid Rep attorneys are experienced and have successfully registered slogans for clients. Contact us here.
I had no idea that a slogan can be registered as a trademark as long as it attracts attention and is used in a consistent way. My brother is interested in starting a business that sells sportswear this summer, and he would like to find a way to make his company stand out when people see his website. Maybe he should find a lawyer that can help him register a slogan as a trademark.