A trademark is designated for sayings or symbols that distinguish one company, product or service from another. Essentially, a trademark protects that saying or symbol from being used by others in the market. Establishing a trademark slogan offers a layer of protection and also helps clearly define a brand for consumers. Understanding how to trademark a slogan requires some research, though, and complex process to establishing ownership.
Start a Trademark Registration Search
If you have a slogan in mind, one of the best things to do is make sure that nobody else has already come up with it and filed a trademark. Individuals can easily complete a simple trademark registration search on their own through the US Patent and Trademark Office, but it’s always best to employ a trademark lawyer to help out with this process. You want to be sure that you don’t waste valuable time and money if a trademark already exists for the phrase you have in mind.
Requirements to Trademark a Phrase
It’s not easy to trademark a phrase or slogan. The reason it’s a complex process is that the slogan must meet either of the following criteria:
- Creative and distinctive
- Has a secondary meaning that connects the phrase to a product
Common, informal, or merely entertaining phrases are not eligible for a trademark.
Keep in mind; a trademark is good for ten years if you actively use it. However, there is no limitation on renewal. Unique phrases are more likely to be selected for trademark approval, but you also have to establish legitimate use for that phrase as well, backed up by designs and other documentation. You should only apply for a trademark if you plan on using it. Failure to use the trademark will result in trademark abandonment or cancellation.
It’s also good note the trademark application process can take as long as 6 months to review and cost up to $400 and will require maintenance paperwork along the way.
Consult a Trademark Lawyer
Slogan trademarks are among the most complex trademarks to obtain. You should hire an intellectual property attorney to help you through the process. LawTrades is happy to connect clients with the best lawyers for their needs. While we offer a flat rate legal fee, we also have subscription-based legal plans for individuals who may need ongoing counsel throughout the year. Contact us today to set up a consultation and learn which option works best for you.