Tips & Advice - Advertising Slogans & Taglines

Protecting That Slogan, Tagline, Strapline or Catchphrase!

By March 26, 2014 No Comments

Protecting a slogan or tagline from a crowdsource slogan contestSo you have started a crowdsource slogan competition and the entries have poured in. Better still, there’s one you really like. Now what do you do? The next important step is making sure that you can legally own it. All the writers on Slogan Slingers are supposed to submit only original work and we have no reason to believe this isn’t the case. However, who’s to say that just by coincidence another company using a different slogan writer or ad agency didn’t come up with the same exact line?

The best step is to contact an intellectual property attorney and have them investigate. If the line is unclaimed which it should be, go ahead and select your winner and take the legal steps necessary to protect your slogan, tagline or catchphrase.

Many of the most famous slogans and taglines have been trademarked even if they choose not to show the mark when printing their slogan and tagline or displaying it on screen.

History proves the right slogan can earn a business millions so those words have value. Take that extra step to insure your investment is protected.


How to Create a Slogan you can Trademark

The main thing to keep in mind is not every slogan can be trademarked. If your slogan is not very distinctive and doesn’t particularly distinguish your business, product or services from anybody else’s then it will be hard to get it trademarked.

Generic slogans such as “The best” or “The natural choice” or “America’s #1” are so generic, no-one else can easily claim legal ownership. But you know what? That’s okay because that’s not the kind of slogan you want anyway. The best marketing taglines, be they salon slogans, cafe taglines or bowling alley catchphrases, should convey something unique and special. They should speak to the core of the brand. If you have a slogan that’s too generic to be trademarked, you don’t want it!

That said (and we’re no lawyers so please seek professional guidance), if your tagline doesn’t seem distinctive then there may be another way that it can be trademarked and that is if it has developed a secondary meaning which can cause it to be linked to the product or service which the strapline or tagline is linked too.


Secondary Meanings Matter

What do we mean by secondary meanings or more importantly what does the Federal Trademark Registration Office mean by it? It means that the slogan has a meaning not just of the actual words or phrase but of the product too.

If you have just started with a new slogan and it isn’t easily trademarked then secondary meaning can be used but only after a period of five years since the inception of the slogan or tagline. Even then, it has to be continually used by your business whether online, on business cards or in promotion literature. Alternatively if your slogan has proven to boost your sales then you can use this as a justification that in the minds of consumers, your slogan makes them think of your product or service.

If your slogan is used with an image or logo then even a more generic slogan is likely to be easier to trademark. A strapline that is part of a logo or image should be even easier to copyright.


How Slogan Slingers can help

All of our writers at Slogan Slingers are bursting with imagination and can produce a wide range of imaginative and often unique straplines. These slogans will be easy to copyright and product from trademark infringement.

If you’re thinking of creating a slogan that you can trademark you need to investigate the possibility of holding a Slogan Slingers contest today. Our writers can make it easier to create a slogan you’ll want to hug, kiss, cherish and legally protect!