How to Trademark Your Tagline
Trademarks are 100% necessary.
They allow you to lock down your tagline: meaning you're the only company in your industry who can use it.
This helps your brand stand out in the crowded marketplace and protects you from trademark infringement lawsuits that force you to undergo entire (read: expensive) rebrands.
Here's how to trademark a tagline in 3 simple steps:
What is a Trademark
Trademarks give you the exclusive rights to use the name nationally.
If someone else registers your trademark, they could own the rights to your name nationally. You'll only be able to use it in your geographic region (typically your city). That's not ideal!
Think about how many brand pieces feature your company name: your website, social media, business cards, products, marketing materials, press links, inventory, etc. If you want to operate nationally, you'll need to change all of that, pull back all inventory with the brand on it, and possibly pay monetary damages. You'll lose customers, money, and valuable momentum.
So, if you find a great name, you need to file your trademark application now!
How to Trademark a Tagline
1. Review your tagline
A lot of words can't be protected with trademarks. If you can't trademark it, then anyone can sell your same products with your same tagline. That doesn't help your company stand out in the marketplace and leads to lost customers.
You can't trademark:
Generic words: The common term for the product. Example: Apple (fruit), Coffee
Descriptive words: Words that describe the ingredients, quality, use, location of your product/service. Example: Peach Body Scrub, California Candles
You can trademark:
Suggestive words: Suggests qualities of product but does not describe them. Example: Birchbox, Netflix
Arbitrary words: Generic word applied to something other than common meaning. Example: Apple (computers). Dove (soap)
Fanciful words: Made up with no common meaning. Example: Google
2. Run a Trademark search
The number of trademark applications is skyrocketing, especially in popular areas like apothecary or apparel products.
If your tagline is similar to an existing trademark, you won't be able to protect it and you'll likely receive a cease and desist letter in the mail demanding that you rebrand or face a lawsuit.
Let's avoid that!
A trademark search allows you to see if your tagline is too similar to an existing company.
It's not as simple as inputting your exact name and hitting search. You'll need to search for similar sounding words, similar spelled words, alternate pronunciation of words, complex words, foreign translations, and words found in other trademark registers. Once you get all the necessary search results, you'll need to determine if any conflicting results will hold up your application.
It's probably best to call in an expert to run your trademark search. It needs to be done correctly to make sure that your name is available before you begin a trademark application.
3. File your trademark application
You'll file your trademark application with the United States Patent + Trademark Office.
Keep in mind that 84% of applications are denied in the first review. So you probably want to call in an expert for help.
Download the Free Trademark Guide
A trademark protects your company name + logo.
It means that your brand can’t be stolen by competitors.
In this guide, you’ll learn…
How to create a brand you can protect
How to tell if your brand is available
How to file a trademark application
How the trademark process works