Slogans are everywhere around us and an important part of a company’s brand. Definitionally, they are short, memorable phrases used in advertising, often to convey a message about the particular product or service offered by the source companies. Let’s take a look at some world-famous slogans, the companies that own them, and at least one accompanying USPTO registration number.
|Slogan||Owner||USPTO Registration Number|
|Just do it||Nike, Inc.||1875307|
|A diamond is forever||De Beers UK Limited Liability Company||3376133|
|The breakfast of champions||General Mills IP Holdings II, LLC||0342440|
|You’re in good hands with Allstate||Allstate Insurance Company Corporation||0671339|
|Nothing runs like a Deere||Deere & Company Corporation||1004709|
|It’s finger lickin’ good||KFC Corporation||3348337|
|I’m lovin’ it||McDonald’s Corporation||2978887|
|Expect more. Pay less.||Target Brands, Inc.||2256194|
|What can brown do for you?||United Parcel Service of America, Inc.||2649286|
|We have the meats||Arby’s IP Holder Trust||4709402|
|There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.||Mastercard International Incorporated||2297299|
|The ultimate driving machine||Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft||1240182|
|What’s in your wallet?||Capital One Financial Corporation||2685283|
|America runs on Dunkin’||DD IP Holder LLC||3399798|
|Think outside the bun||Taco Bell Corp.||3020149|
|Save money. Live better.||Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.||3505969|
|Eat mor chikin||CFA Properties, Inc.||2010233|
|Let’s go places||Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha TA Toyota Motor Corporation||4398761|
|Snap! Crackle! Pop!||Kellog North America Company Corporation||3222184|
How many of these do you know? You probably know at least some of them and might even know all of them. These slogans are truly world class. By looking at the left column, one likely knows what is going to appear in the center column, or at least the commonly-known, abbreviated company name. Each is a short, memorable phrase used in advertising, conveying a message about the particular product or service offered by the source company or potentially the company as a whole.
In addition to being potentially excellent advertising tools, slogans have legal significance. A slogan functions as a trademark, an important component of intellectual property, if the slogan identifies and distinguishes the goods or services and indicates its source, or is capable of doing so. Think back to the phrases above. Do they call to mind the underlying companies that own them? They likely do. The phrases place into the minds of the consuming public perhaps not only a specific product or service but also (and more importantly) the producer or provider.
Coming up with a good slogan entails the services of a competent marketing or advertising professional as well as a competent legal professional. Responsible companies run trademark and service mark searches each time they create a draft slogan for advertising purposes in order to confirm no other company claims trademark or service mark rights in that phrase.
Taglines are a little different from slogans, but it is rare from a legal perspective to tease apart this distinction. According to some sources, taglines have a greater amount of permanence and possess more corporate identity than slogans, lasting for the duration as opposed to a slogan, which is temporary and tied to a specific effort. A company may only have one tagline at any given snapshot in time—perhaps appearing in conjunction with the company logo—but it may have several slogans running simultaneously that are specific to distinct advertising campaigns. The famous phrases of the companies above, or at least some of them, might be more accurately classified as taglines than slogans.
After a slogan or tagline is searched and cleared, filing a USPTO trademark application to attempt to obtain a federal trademark or service mark registration for that specific slogan or tagline is often a logical next step.
This law firm has experience with slogans and taglines in connection with trademark law. If you would like to make an appointment with Kincaid Business & Entrepreneurial Law, LLC ® regarding a slogan or tagline, please feel free to conveniently schedule with us here.