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Trademark Slogans – Swatch Registers ‘One More Thing’ Trademark

Trademark Slogans – Swatch Registers ‘One More Thing’ Trademark

September 2, 2015

Trademark slogans are important as they help distinguish a brand by emphasising what the business does or aims to do. By adding a tagline to a logo or name it is possible to encapsulate what the brand has become known for.

We recently wrote an article about Trademark searches and how to minimize the dangers of having similar names to your competitors. Just recently, Swatch has pulled a similar number on Apple by trademarking “One more thing”, a phrase made famous by Steve Jobs at every keynote he gave and recently, by Tim Cook when he unveiled the new Apple Watch.

Competition can take many forms, and trademarks play a significant role in keeping brand buoyancy amongst competitors.   According to an article published by Techradar, the move was inspired by Inspector Columbo’s “Just one more thing” catch phrase. It all seems well timed. A year ago, Swatch attempted to block the ‘iWatch’ trademark on the grounds that it was too similar to the ‘iSwatch’ brand. See this article from the Telegraph about Swatch objecting to Apple’s iWatch for more details.

Developing And Deploying Your Trademark Slogans and Taglines.

Slogans and taglines can be notoriously difficult to register as they often fail for a lack of distinctiveness. A tagline is something that represents your company, perhaps a distillation of your business aims. A slogan is a short phrase, much like a tagline, which often aims to be a catchy way to embody the business’ values. The aim of both slogans and taglines is to help distinguish a brand, product or service from its competitors.

Remember, that for something to be registered as a trademark, it must be capable of distinguishing your undertaking from those of another.

In one case, Mars objected to KitKat’s application for the slogan ‘have a break’ on grounds that it lacked distinctive character. If taken in isolation ‘have a break’ is actually a term which can, and is, used colloquially. It was held that “have a break” was therefore insufficient to distinguish the confectionary goods without the subsequent “…have a KitKat”, which it already has registered as a trademark.

In order for a slogan to be registrable, it must be able to show that it is inherently distinctive or has acquired some distinctive value through use. This can be a difficult task, but in a nutshell, you will need to be able to show that the expression of the slogan must be understood as referring solely to the use of the trademark for the purposes of identifying that brand or business from that of another.

If you would like to know more about how to proceed with your trademark slogan or tagline, or you are unsure about whether your slogan is inherently distinctive or has an acquired distinctiveness, see our trademark registration page or get in touch with us and we will be happy to help!