How to Trademark A Slogan [60-Second Law Bite]

Hey everyone, it’s attorney Brian Russ coming at you with another 60 second Law Bite. So today’s topic is on how to trademark a slogan or a phrase for your company for your brand. And so I get this question a lot people want to say, Oh I’ve got this great slogan, I want to trademark it, you know, “no good day to die” or something like that, right? The intent is for them to put it on a t-shirt, maybe put it somewhere on a hat on a on a beanie, right? They want to use a slogan. And I think what the most important thing that people don’t recognize is that they do need to recognize about slogans and phrases is that they need the consumer needs to be able to take that slogan or logo and help identify the source of the goods. This comes up a lot, and that the trademark act is intended to protect marks that help the consumer recognize the source of the goods, right. So think about Nike, Just Do It and think about Apple, Think Differently, think about McDonald’s, I’m loving It, right? People hear those and they recognize the source of the goods. It’s not actually that they’re trying to protect that phrase on t-shirts, it helps identify the source of goods. And so you need to look at it like a brand name, where maybe you’re going to put that slogan on the price tag, you’re going to use it in the marketing material, you’re going to use it everything that helps people identify that that name means something in terms of the source of the goods. So if you want to protect you know, It’s a Good Day To Die or whatever it is, on a t-shirt, you need to use that phrase in the marketing material for the t-shirt, you need to use it on on the on the price tag, you need to use it where consumers are going to link the t-shirt with the phrase. If they can’t link the two, or if the specimen doesn’t show that linkage, right. It’s not it’s not appropriate. You’re using it in an ornamental manner. So I’ve seen lots of trademark office actions come back where the trademark office refuses to issue the trademark. And they do it on the basis of that mark is being used in merely ornamental fashion, which means you’re just slapping on something and hoping that you’ll get trademark for it and you won’t, it’s going to be called merely ornamental. So if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the office. We’ll help you out. Have a good one.

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