how to trademark a phrase

Guidelines for the Registration of Slogans and Phrases as Trademarks

It will improve the company’s reputation and make it look more attractive. If a slogan or phrase wishes to be registered as a trademark, the following conditions must be met:

The same or similar slogan may not already be registered for the same category of goods or services.

There must be no descriptive content in the slogans. Trademarks and slogans that describe services or products will be rejected.

Clearly different slogans need to be used. Unique, creative, and distinctive expressions are required for registration. 

Slogans used by companies in public relations will be registered as trademarks. Business uses slogans or phrases to advertise its products and services in BTL (Below The Line) and ATL (Above The Line). In order to use slogans to advertise their products or services, trademark registration is granted by the Registrar of trademarks.

A slogan builds branding. People will be more likely to connect with the brand if it has a distinctive slogan or phrase. Trademarks can protect these slogans.

Trademark Criteria for Slogans and Phrases

Obtaining a trademark for a slogan or phrase depends primarily on its uniqueness and distinctiveness. The following slogans/phrases will not be registered as trademarks:

Slogans That Describe Plainly

No trademark can be applied to definitive and plain slogans. As a slogan for a car company, ‘Own Your Vehicle Today’ does not gain trademark protection since it explains the company’s purpose in simple English.

Valuation Statements

Businesses often have mission, vision, or value statements such as ‘Always Happy To Support Customers’. Since these company statements lack any distinctive character, they cannot be trademarked as slogans.

Quotes of motivation

It is not possible to trademark motivational quotes or inspirational statements, such as ‘Go For It’ or ‘Achieve Big’, since they are not distinctive of particular goods or services. Thus, general inspirational or motivational quotes cannot be trademarked. 

Statements of Customer Service

Any business can benefit from customer service statements. It is impossible to trademark slogans such as ‘Customers Come First’ due to their lack of distinctive character.

Messages for Promotion

Promotional messages like ‘Show Your Love With Roses’ do not qualify for trademark registration. The message is often used in the gift industry and is very straightforward. 

An Overview of the User

It’s common to see statements like ‘World’s Best Brother’ or ‘Apple Of My Eye’ printed on memorabilia and souvenirs. A slogan containing a statement about a user may not be registered as a trademark because it is plain and descriptive.

How to Register a Slogan/Phrase as a Trademark

Companies can apply to the Registrar of Trademarks for trademark registration of slogans and phrases associated with their product or service. Registrars publish trademarked slogans after they examine applications in trademark journals. The Registrar will grant registration if there is no opposition or after an order of acceptance has been passed after the opposition process.

Ten years will be granted to trademark the slogan. Renewal is required every 10 years. If not used for three years after trademark registration, the slogan/phrase may be removed. 

A trademark for a slogan or phrase can be exclusively used for the company’s products and services. Sue if the slogan is used for the same product or service by another party.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.