Regular words, sayings, slogans, catchphrases and expressions can be trademarked if the individual, business or organization that applies to register the trademark can show that it has gained a particular significance as it relates to certain goods or services. This means that you’ll need to prove that the saying is distinguishable from other trademarks in your industry and helps to identify the owner’s goods and services in the eyes of the public.
What are Trademarks?
A catchphrase is basically a trademark. Generally, a trademark can be any word, name, motto, or logo used by an individual or business to distinguish goods and services related to a particular brand from other brands. Like copyrights, trademarks are a type of property known as “intellectual property”. Owners of trademarks with substantial market value are given significant advantages in the marketplace due to the recognition of their brands by the public and consumers.
Why Should You Register Your Saying?
One of the main reasons people invest in registering their trademarks with the government is to guarantee that they have proof of their ownership in order to distinguish their goods and services from others in the eyes of their market. Great trademarks are often immediately recognized by customers which can increase the value of a good or service in comparison to other brands that are not as readily or easily identifiable.
Unlike copyrights, trademark rights don’t start as soon as a word, image, or expression is initially jotted on paper. Trademark rights stem from the actual or intended use of the mark in commerce. A qualified trademark attorney can help you navigate the distinction to make sure that your trademark qualifies for federal legal registration and protection.
3 Benefits to Registering Your Trademark
Either way, if you develop a catch phrase, you should register it with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You may ask why this is important. The answer is simple. The advantages advantages of having a registered federal trademark with the government far exceed the cost.
- To begin, registration implies the trademark is lawfully owned by you. This gives you the peace of mind of knowing that if someone uses your trademark without your permission, you can sue them and pursue a legal claim against them in federal court. The mere fact that the application for registration was approved for your trademark often establishes many of the legal requirements needed to sustain such a legal action.
- Second, registering a federal trademark puts individuals and businesses nationwide on notice that you are the owner by allowing you to use the Circle-R designation in association with your registered trademark. This also prevents others from attempting to register to own rights to the same trademark in the same industry in a way that would dilute or diminish your ownership.
- Third, registering a federal trademark offers privileges as it relates to the damages you can recover in the event that someone infringes or uses your trademark without permission. In the event that someone infringes, or uses your trademark without permission, keep documentation of the infringement and immediately contact your trademark attorney. Your trademark attorney may not only be able to sue for any money related harm that was inflicted by the wrongful action, but an an order from the judge to stop any further infringement or both.
These are just a few of the benefits of registering your saying or phrase as a a federal trademark. Keep in mind that the owner still has the responsbility of maintaining their trademark by renewing it and making sure they are actively using it in commerce in order to keep it active – among other requirements. Contact our trademark attorney for a free consultation to discuss how you can make sure you a properly maintaining and protecting your registered trademark.
To sum it all up, the best way to get the most out of any slogan or catchphrase you develop is to do the following:
- Develop a unique and valuable catchphrase
- Use it in interstate business;
- Hire a trademark attorney to register it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
- Enforce your rights anytime someone tries to use it without your permission
These are just a few of the things that you need to know when trademarking a saying, slogan or catchphrase. Contact us today to speak to our trademark attorney for a free consultation to discuss your options.