How to trademark your business slogan and why should you do it?

Branding is everything; it can either make or break the success of a company. The identity of a company should be vividly established by markers that help solidify its conceptual framework while evoking specific emotional responses. When a company trademarks its business slogan, it asserts proprietary rights over that phrase when used in the context of specific goods and services categories and receives protection from potential infringements.

When considering whether to protect a slogan your business uses, you must first determine if the phrase is purely informative and generic, or if it contributes to your marketing strategy by conveying a message about your business concept and ideally eliciting an emotional response. If the phrase used by the business is too generic, the trademark application will be rejected, even if the phrase is not used by anyone else in the market.

So, what qualifies as a business phrase or slogan that you can trademark? According to the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP), a phrase is a group of words used together in a fixed expression that does not form a complete sentence. Therefore, a phrase, slogan, or tagline should fit the definition of the TMEP and have a fixed meaning despite being an incomplete sentence; it should be something more than the sum of its parts.

Guidelines for Trademarking a Phrase:

1. Ensure that the phrase you wish to trademark is not already registered by someone else for a similar product or service.

2. Avoid phrases that merely describe the product or service in question.

3. Utilize the phrase in connection with the actual sale of a product or service.

The first step to take to protect your business slogan is to select an original and distinctive phrase that does not directly describe the goods and services you provide. Opt for something that describes an emotion rather than the product it evokes. Subsequently, conduct a thorough search of the USPTO database for the phrase to identify potential existing trademarks and conflicts within the trademark class categories.

After conducting a comprehensive search to check trademark availability, you will need to decide on the appropriate filing basis: whether you have already used the trademark in connection with your business, intend to use it in the future, or are filing for a trademark as a foreign citizen. Following this, you will have to choose the appropriate classes to file for a trademark under, pay the fee, and await the outcome.

How do you decide whether you should protect your business slogan? If you are using a distinct phrase in your marketing strategies, you should absolutely trademark it! Not only will it protect a significant aspect of your business identity, but it will also legally safeguard your brand in case of infringement by a competitor, allowing you to pursue legal action in both the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and federal court. However, if you are the first to use the phrase and operate on a smaller scale in a specific geographical location only, you may consider forgoing trademarking if you do not foresee expanding your business further. Trademark fees can accumulate quickly, and smaller-scale companies with tight budgets should carefully consider the necessity of trademarking their slogan, especially considering that almost half of all trademark applications are rejected due to insufficient preparation by the applicant. If you are still interested in trademarking your business slogan, consider exploring our result-based packages – we guarantee successful application without breaking your bank and handle all the work for you while offering full refunds in case of rejection!

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We went with Trademark Factory® for two reasons: for one flat fee they'd take care of things from start to finish, no matter what the back-and-forth is and how long it takes, and secondly, the pretty ballsy offer of giving us everything back as a refund if they don't absolutely nail it out of the park. Tangoo has evolved in unimaginable ways, and the one thing that didn't really change is the brand. And when I was on Dragons' Den, one of the Dragons said that that was the best name he's seen on the show. That's when I thought, we should really be trademarking it, because the brand is our biggest asset. It was a no-brainer for us.

Paul Davidescu