Home » Trademark FAQs » How to trademark a business name, Phrase / Slogan or Tagline

How to Trademark a Business Name, Phrase/ Slogan/ Tagline

Trademark a Business Name

  • After business formation, one needs to consider why and how to trademark a business name. The answer depends on the brand strategy and trademark search.
  • Is the exact business name available for federal trademark registration?
    • How to determine the availability of a business name or trademark brand name for the type of goods?
      • Comprehensive Federal Trademark search covers all databases including federal USPTO, 50 state databases, territories, common law, domain names, etc.
    • Assume that you are providing goods or services of a certain type in interstate commerce. Also, there is a known or unknown competitor with the same or similar business name. They also provide the same or similar goods or services of that certain type. There is a high likelihood of query in the form of “office action” from the examining trademark attorney.
  • After a comprehensive search, if the business name is available, then you need to determine whether there are any other “likelihood of confusion” factors. These factors are between your business name and registered marks, unregistered common law senior marks, etc.
    • Relevant factors include whether your business name is arbitrary, fanciful or is it suggestive, descriptive, generic of other registered marks. Fanciful and arbitrary marks have strong trademark protection and can easily obtain a trademark registration. Whereas descriptive and generic marks registration are harder to get some or any trademark protection.
  • If the USPTO examining attorney determines that your business name is eligible for trademark registration, then the name will be published in official gazette after 1 month from eligibility determination. When there is no opposition to your trademark business name publication from the public based on harm, then the USPTO issues a registration.

Examples of Business Name trademarks

Verizon is a telecommunications multinational corporation. It has a family of trademark registrations. Each registered trademark provides a distinct purpose based on the nature of services they perform. The first Verizon trademark reflected goods and services from early 2000. As the technology evolved, it diversified its services with trademarks and service marks for type of subsidiary business. Verizon with a tick mark to the superscript is widely marketed and prevalent on its website.
Similarly, you can also start with a trademark or service mark for your business name. You can then expand your portfolio, when you expand your goods or services to new areas like Verizon. 
 
Verizon Trademark
Current Verizon Trademark
Verizon Wireless Trademark
Verizon business trademark
VZW- Verizon service mark

Trademark a phrase/ slogan/ tagline

Phrases, slogan or tagline can be applied for trademark registration. The process to trademark a phrase, slogan, or tagline is exactly identical to when applying to trademark a business name. The following is highly advised before you apply for trademark protection:
  • Is the exact phrase, slogan or a tagline available for federal trademark registration?
    • How to determine the availability of phrase, slogan or a tagline for the type of goods or services?
      • Comprehensive Federal Trademark Search covers all databases including federal USPTO, 50 state databases, territories, common law, domain names, etc.
    • Consider you are providing goods or services of certain types in interstate commerce. There is a known or unknown competitor with the same or similar phrase. They provide the same or similar goods or services of that certain type. There is a high possibility of a query in the form of “office action” from the examining trademark attorney.
  • If you conclude that the phrase is available after a comprehensive search, then you need to determine whether there is any other “likelihood of confusion” factors, between your phrase and registered marks, unregistered common law senior marks, etc.
    • Relevant factors include whether your phrase, slogan or a tagline is arbitrary, fanciful or is it suggestive, descriptive, generic of other registered marks. Arbitrary and fanciful marks have strong trademark protection and can easily obtain a trademark registration. Whereas descriptive and generic marks registration are harder to get trademark protection.
  • Whenever the examining attorney determines that your phrase is eligible for trademark registration, then the name will be published in official gazette after 1 month after approval. When there is no opposition to your phrase publication from the public based on harm, then the USPTO issues a registration.

Examples of Phrase, Slogan or a tagline trademarks

State Farm is a famous insurance corporation. State Farm maintains a family of slogans and/or taglines. These taglines are highly useful to State Farm for marketing purposes. They include the below famous taglines.
Like State Farm, you can also use taglines that are relevant to your business and not causing the likelihood of confusion to other businesses in your area of work. You can also alternatively “acquire distinctiveness” after using these taglines for some time and notoriety in public through marketing. During this process, you obtain trademark registration on the supplemental register
Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is Here- State Farm Tagline
Born To Assist - State Farm Tag Line
It Pays to Double Check -State Farm Tagline
Every Customer, Every Interaction, Every Day- State Farm Tagline
Steer Clear-State Farm Tagline
Exist TO Assist -State Farm Tagline
Please feel free to Contact US to discuss our services. For ordering either to trademark a business name or phrase/ slogan/tagline, please click on the corresponding buttons below.
Page Author: Bharath Konda, Esq.
Bharath Konda is a trademark attorney. He has a law license in Minnesota and the District of Columbia. He provides trademark registration services for individuals and businesses. Feel free to check attorney profile on legal information retrieval websites such as Avvo and Justia. Some of the sample trademark attorneys answered questions are on platforms such as Justia ask a lawyer platform and Avvo platform.