How to Trademark a Phrase

By Jeff Franco J.D./M.A./M.B.A.

Obtaining a trademark for a unique phrase that you intend to use to market the goods or services you sell in a business requires you to follow all U.S. Patent and Trademark Office application procedures. However, before you even apply for your trademark, you should be aware that the phrase cannot consist of words that other businesses commonly use.

Step 1

Search USPTO database for existing trademarks. Navigate to the USPTO website at uspto.gov and click the "search marks" link in the trademarks section of the homepage to access the Trademark Electronic Search System. On the TESS homepage, click on one of the search parameters and enter your relevant keywords to generate a list of existing trademarks.

Step 2

Complete a drawing of the mark. If the phrase you seek a trademark for doesn’t include a special design or logo, your application only needs to include a “standard character” drawing of the phrase using the USPTO’s set of characters. However, if your mark includes special characters or fonts, you must submit a “special form” drawing of it with your application.

Protect your brand. Register My Trademark Now

Step 3

Indicate whether your basis for filing is for “use in commerce” or “intent to use.” If you are already using the phrase in your business, such as when marketing goods and services, your basis is “use in commerce;" otherwise, indicate your basis as “intent to use.”

Step 4

File your trademark application online. The USPTO prefers that you submit all application materials online using its Trademark Electronic Application System or TEAS Plus. You have the option of filing a paper application instead, but the filing fees increase when you choose this option.

Protect your brand. Register My Trademark Now
How to Trademark an Idea

References

Related articles

How to Trademark a Shape

A trademark is phrase, symbol or design element that identifies the brand of a product or service. Unlike a copyright or patent, trademark protection takes effect as soon as the mark is first used in commerce, even without registration. Non-traditional trademarks include shapes, such as the trademark for the three-dimensional iPod shape granted to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in January 2012.

How to Apply for a Trademark

A trademark is a distinct design, symbol and/or phrase that distinguishes and identifies the services and goods of a company from other entities. Registering a trademark with United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gives a business exclusive use of the mark. It also gives businesses the right to use the federal registration symbol for trademarks. The USPTO offers online registration of trademarks.

How to Get a Patent on an Idea for Clothing Accessories

If after you come up with a great idea for a new clothing accessory and want to begin capitalizing on it, you might consider getting a patent. If the United States Patent and Trademark Office approves your patent application, it means that no one but you has the right to manufacture and sell the clothing accessory. However, the patent application can be complicated, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the requirements at the outset.

File a Trademark Online. LegalZoom. Learn More.

Related articles

How to Patent a Food Product to Sell

The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, is responsible for reviewing patent applications of new ...

How to Use TESS for Trademark

A trademark is a unique symbol, phrase or word used to distinguish one brand of goods or services from another. ...

How to Trademark a Shirt Design

If you plan on making some money with a unique shirt design that you’ve created, protecting it with a trademark is ...

How to Trademark a Catchphrase

A catchphrase is a slogan or tagline that identifies a person, group or business. Often introduced into pop culture by ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED