How Creative Are You: Trademarks and Taglines

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Does your business have a tagline? need a new tagline? Just how creative are you?

Taglines are powerful branding tools worth protecting. The good ones, that is. Whatever stage your business — start-up, growing, leading — a good tagline helps prospective customers/clients remember your brand.  Make sure your tagline is creative, or in official trademark-ese: “inherently distinctive.”

A tagline that is creative or “inherently distinctive” is eligible for registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  Famous examples of creative or “inherently distinctive” taglines (you know you know them), include:

“Just Do It” — Nike

“The Breakfast of Champions” — Wheaties

“When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best” — Hallmark

“It’s Everywhere You Want to Be” — VISA

Sometimes a great tagline over time generates new taglines.  “I’m Lovin’ It” — a famous McDonald’s tagline has been a registered trademark since 2005. On October 28, 2014, McDonald’s filed an intent-to-use trademark application for the tagline “Lovin’ is Greater than Hatin'” for restaurant services.

Is your tagline worth protecting?


About the Author:

Barbara Alexander is licensed to practice law in California (2002), Georgia (2010), and Nevada (2001). Her passion for intellectual property dates back to the mid-90s when she returned from living in Dublin, Ireland to work for a Boston-based venture capital firm, investing in life sciences and technology companies. Attending law school in Washington, D.C. at Washington College of Law, American University from 1998-2001, Barbara’s legal training focused on federal law – of which trademark, copyright, and patent are a significant part. Barbara started Alexander Legal LLC in January 2014 to offer clients more personalized service at a better price point than larger firms can offer.
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  1. Anonymous  June 6, 2015

    You can certainly see your expertise in the work you write.

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