Is a slogan a trademark? Can you trademark a slogan? These are queries that several entrepreneurs have. You must have heard of phrases like ‘Just Do It’ and ‘I’m lovin’ it’. These two popular slogans belong to Nike and McDonald’s, respectively, and are protected trademarks. A slogan is a combination of words used by businesses to identify the brand or products. Catchy slogans are memorable, act as brand identifiers, and differentiate your brand from competitors. Since your slogan represents your brand, they can be valuable assets to your business. The best way to protect them is to obtain a trademark registration. In order to trademark a slogan, here is what needs to be done.
Before you apply for a trademark registration, conduct a complete search of any same or similar phrases. This way you can avoid oppositions and rejection based on similar trademarks. Generate a list of similar terms that have potential to confuse the public. Use search engines like Google, to help you find out if any such slogans are being used. Furthermore, scan the Canadian trade-marks database and Trade-marks Journal to ensure you have a unique slogan. A trademark agent can help you with the search to make sure your slogan stands out.
The next step is to apply for a trademark registration. An application must contain accurate details about the slogan and the goods, services, or the brand it represents. Also, attach a formal drawing, if any. Hiring a trademark agent will be beneficial in preparing and filing an accurate application in compliance with the law. The application is then processed if it is complete and in good order.
After you submit your application, a trademark examiner reviews it to determine its eligibility for advertisement in the Trade-marks Journal. The Trademark Office will communicate any queries or doubts they have, to which you must respond. If rejected, you will be informed as to the reasons why. But, if approved, the trademark is published.
Once published, anyone can oppose to your application within two months of being advertised. If you encounter an opposition, you will have two months to file a counter statement with the Trademark Office. Both the parties get a chance to file evidence and arguments. If the opposition is withdrawn or is decided in your favour, your application moves forward to allowance. Such scenarios make a trademark agent’s service vital.
If there is no opposition or it is decided in your favour, then you receive the notice of allowance and a request for payment of the registration fee. Applications based on proposed use are those who have not yet started using the trademark but intend to use it in the future. If your application is one of those, you can request an extension of time until you actually use it. Once the registration fee is paid, your slogan is registered.
Smart business owners understand the value of potential trademarks like slogans. Trademark registration of slogans ensures your brand stands out and gains a competitive edge. Trademarks, being a legal subject is often confusing to those who lack deep knowledge in the field. Obtaining services of a trademark agent to trademark a slogan and ensure protection can be beneficial.