What Is a Trademarked Slogan?

A trademark is an original symbol or saying that sets apart one product or company from another. Registering a trademarked slogan will make the connection between your message and your brand for customers. This can aid your marketing efforts and add value to your business.

When you trademark a slogan, you have the exclusive rights to use it to make money. You can defend your slogan from infringement. You can also sue infringers for damages.

Many businesses register advertising campaigns as trademarked slogans. To trademark a slogan, it has to meet one of the following definitions:

  • It’s fundamentally creative and distinctive. Think of Nike’s “Just Do It”
  • It has another meaning that immediately calls a product or service to mind. This secondary meaning goes beyond the literal meaning. This type of slogan is most common when it’s been used in commerce or advertising for at least five consecutive years. Think of Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef?”

Not every slogan can be trademarked. Most applications for the following types of trademarks wont be approved:

  • Common phrases that do not have another meaning. Example: a supermarket’s “Why Pay More?”
  • Informational or entertaining phrases not intended for profit. Example: an environmental group’s “Think Green!”

In addition to a slogan, a trademark can also apply to a:

  • Business name
  • Phrase
  • Symbol
  • Logo
  • Combination of several elements

In every case, the trademarked intellectual property must be unique and distinctive.