Crafting the Perfect Slogan for a Trademark

A catchy slogan can set your brand apart from the crowd. We all know a handful of slogans we can’t get out of our heads and the exact company behind the catchphrase.

If you’re thinking about setting one up to distinguish your brand, we want to help. However, it’s important to understand what types of slogans can be registered as a trademark and which will fall short of the requirements. The U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) sets strict guidelines to make sure not just any word or phrase gets protected.

Make it distinctive

This will be the biggest step to getting your slogan protected by the USPTO. Market confusion is a major reason many intellectual property requests get denied. If your slogan is at all similar or easily confused with another, then you better go back to the drawing board.

You can work with a marketing agency to come up with the best tagline for your business, but it’s important to use inspiration directly from the work you do. This will help you find more distinctive options true to your brand.

You can also search the USPTO’s database to make sure your ideas aren’t too similar to other ideas. The database is a great place to double-check your slogan, but you shouldn’t look to it for inspiration because this will likely trip you up and get your slogan denied as too similar to another.

Make it part of your identity

A slogan is useless if it doesn’t immediately make consumers think about your company or product. Patent officials won’t give your slogan any thought if there’s no real connection to your company.

This does not mean your slogan needs to use your company name or product name. Think of “Just Do It” for Nike or “I’m Lovin’ It” from McDonald’s. If you just say those phrases there might not be an obvious connection to the brand, but they’ve become synonymous with those companies.

Use it!

This goes hand in hand with the identity portion we just touched on. When you come up with a slogan for your brand, you should plan to use it frequently. Throw it in all your advertisements, splatter it all over your website, and don’t be afraid to flood consumers with your slogan.

You may get declined in an initial request to get a trademark for your slogan, but you can reapply later if you prove long-term use and association with your company. However, don’t burn money trying to register your slogan if it appears officials have no interest in registration from the beginning. Find out upfront and avoid wasting your hard-earned money.

Work with a trademark attorney

The right trademark attorney will be honest with you and can save you money. Ultimately, it might be more sensible to spend your time and money elsewhere. A slogan can still be used even if it’s not trademarked (as long as it’s not taken from a protected phrase).

At Waserstein & Nunez, we believe in protecting your intellectual property when necessary. If you believe you’ve got a great slogan that’s a candidate for protection or just want to check and see if it’s even worth trying to get a trademark, contact us.

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Waserstein & Nunez, PLLC

Waserstein & Nunez, PLLC is a boutique law firm with extensive and varied experience of a large law firm. They are geared towards deal-making and solutions but always preparing and ready for trial or Plan B.

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