How to Trademark a Slogan in 2023 – A Step-by-Step Guide

In our fast-paced and fiercely competitive business world, it’s crucial to have a distinctive identity. Your slogan not only sets you apart, but also tells your story in a succinct, memorable way. Ready to protect your brand by learning how to trademark a slogan? You’re about to uncover a step-by-step guide to doing just that in 2023.

Short Summary

  • Trademarking a slogan can offer exclusive rights to protect a brand from confusion and unfair competition.
  • Understanding trademarks, slogans, symbols and eligibility criteria is essential for successful registration of the trademark.
  • Working with a trademark attorney can help maintain and enforce your rights through active use in commerce, monitoring for infringement and taking legal action when needed.

Why Trademark a Slogan?

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Imagine crafting a catchy slogan that perfectly encapsulates your brand’s essence. You’ve invested time, creative energy, and resources into its development. Now you’re ready to unleash it into the world. But have you secured it from others who might want to use it for their related goods or services? Enter the world of trademarking.

By registering your slogan with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you gain exclusive rights to it, ensuring that it remains uniquely yours as a trademarked phrase. Trademark law exists to protect consumers from confusion and unfair competition. By granting exclusive rights to trademarks that are distinctive and capable of distinguishing the origin of goods or services, it guards your brand against the use of a similar phrase in the marketing of a product or service like yours. In addition to registration, a common law trademark can also provide some protection for your brand.

It’s about more than just owning a phrase; it’s about maintaining the integrity of your brand and the trust of your consumers.

Understanding Trademarks and Slogans

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Trademarking a slogan is a strategic decision that starts with understanding the basics of trademarks and slogans. From different types of trademarks to the symbols indicating their registration status – all these elements play a crucial role in your intellectual property strategy. In this context, a trademarked slogan can be a valuable asset for your brand.

Let’s unravel these concepts.

Types of Trademarks

A trademark can be a word, phrase, design, or combination of these elements. It serves as a distinctive identifier of the source of goods or services. Slogans can fall under different types of trademarks like word marks, design marks, composite marks, and service marks, each offering varying levels of protection.

Word marks are trademarks that comprise words, letters, or numbers. For example, your slogan could be a word mark if it’s a unique phrase that represents your brand. Design marks, on the other hand, comprise of a design, symbol, or logo. If your slogan includes a unique design element, it might be a design mark.

Composite marks combine words and a design, while service marks are used to identify services rather than products. Understanding these types is the first step towards securing the right protection for your slogan.

Trademark Symbols

Trademark symbols are visual cues that signify the registration status of a trademark. You’ve probably noticed the symbols TM, ®, and SM next to brand names and slogans. But do you know what they represent?

The TM symbol is used for unregistered trademarks, indicating your assertion of ownership and intention to pursue trademark registration. The ® symbol, on the other hand, is used for registered trademarks, offering a more robust legal defense and national or global recognition. The SM symbol is used for service marks, protecting phrases for services rather than goods.

These symbols act as shields, declaring your rights to the world.

Eligibility Criteria for Trademarking a Slogan

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So, you’ve crafted a slogan and understand the basics of trademarks. But is your slogan eligible for trademarking? For a slogan to be eligible, it must be distinctive, not merely descriptive, and not conflict with existing trademarks.

The distinctiveness of a slogan refers to its uniqueness in relation to the goods or services it represents. A slogan that directly describes the product or service it’s associated with might not be distinctive enough for trademarking. Moreover, it’s advisable to avoid phrases that are too similar to existing trademarks to prevent confusion among consumers.

If you’re unsure about the eligibility of your slogan, consulting a trademark attorney can provide clarity and guidance.

The Trademark Registration Process

Once you’re confident that your slogan meets the eligibility criteria, it’s time to dive into the federal registration process. This process, while seemingly complex, can be navigated smoothly with the right knowledge and assistance.

Let’s break it down step by step.

Conducting a Trademark Search

Before filing your trademark application, conducting a thorough trademark search is crucial. This search ensures that your slogan is not already in use or too similar to existing trademarks. The last thing you’d want is to invest resources into a slogan that’s already registered by another entity.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) is a valuable resource for conducting this search. It allows you to search the database of registered trademarks to check for potential conflicts. However, a comprehensive search might also involve checking state trademark databases, internet resources, and industry directories.

Filing a Trademark Application

With a successful trademark search under your belt, you can proceed to file a trademark application for federal trademark registration. This application is submitted to the USPTO and includes information regarding your slogan and the goods or services it represents, following the federal trademark rules. The application requires you to select the applicable class for your goods or services, specify the filing basis (actual use or intent to use), and provide evidence of use or intent to use.

The fee for a trademark application, which includes the filing fee and necessary follow-up procedures, is $950 until registration is achieved.

Review and Publication Stages

Once your trademark applications are submitted, they enter the review stage. During this stage, an attorney from the United States Patent and Trademark Office reviews your application. The possible outcomes of this review are approval of the trademark, rejection, or a request for additional information.

Upon approval, your slogan enters the publication stage. Here, it’s published in the Official Gazette, a weekly publication of the USPTO. This allows any party who believes they may be damaged by the registration of the trademark to file an opposition. If no opposition is filed, or if an opposition is unsuccessful, the final registration of your slogan as a trademark is issued.

Working with a Trademark Attorney

While it’s possible to navigate the trademark registration process on your own, enlisting the help of a trademark attorney can significantly increase your chances of a successful registration. Trademark attorneys are well-versed in trademark law and can provide valuable guidance throughout the process.

From conducting a comprehensive trademark search to preparing your application and responding to any objections from the USPTO, an attorney can save you time and effort. They can also provide invaluable advice, helping you avoid potential legal pitfalls and ensuring that your slogan is adequately protected.

International Trademark Protection

If you’re planning to operate your business in more than one country, you might want to consider obtaining international trademark protection. While trademark rights are typically enforced on a country-by-country basis, international systems like the Madrid Protocol can simplify the process.

The Madrid Protocol is a centralized filing system that allows you to register and manage trademarks in multiple countries through a single application. However, it’s important to note that not all countries are members of the Madrid Protocol, and each country has its own requirements and procedures for trademark registration.

Maintaining and Enforcing Your Trademark Rights

Obtaining a trademark is only the first step in obtaining trademark protection. To maintain your trademark rights, you need to actively use the mark in commerce and renew your registration periodically. Failing to use your trademark or letting your registration lapse can result in the loss of your rights.

Enforcing your trademark rights involves monitoring for potential infringement and taking legal action if necessary. This might involve sending cease and desist letters to infringers, filing lawsuits, or negotiating settlements. If you’re unsure about how to enforce your rights, a trademark attorney can provide guidance and legal representation.


Trademarks are powerful tools for protecting your brand and your slogan. From understanding the different types of trademarks to navigating the registration process and enforcing your rights, there’s a lot to consider. But with the right knowledge and guidance, you can secure your slogan and ensure that it remains uniquely yours.

Trademarking a slogan might seem like a daunting task at first, but it’s an investment that can pay off in the long run. By protecting your slogan, you’re safeguarding your brand’s identity, enhancing its recognition, and preventing others from using your unique phrase. So why wait? Take the first step towards trademarking your slogan today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to trademark your slogan?

Trademarking a slogan costs between $250 and $400 depending on the TEAS form you use. The easiest way to submit an application is online, through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

TEAS allows you to submit your application quickly and easily, and you can track the progress of your application online. You can also submit your application by mail, but it will take longer to process.

How do I trademark a business slogan?

To trademark a business slogan, you can file an application with the USPTO online. You’ll need to check the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) database to ensure the slogan isn’t already registered.

Submit a completed application with the filing fee.

Should I trademark or copyright my slogan?

In order to gain protection for your slogan and establish ownership, you should trademark it. As a short phrase or statement that identifies the source of certain goods or services, it would not qualify for copyright protection.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, phrase, design or combination of these features used to distinguish the provider of goods or services.

Why is it important to conduct a trademark search?

It is important to conduct a trademark search to ensure that your slogan is not already in use or too similar to existing trademarks, avoiding potential legal consequences.