Pardon me while I ramble on about a couple things here on my blog. I want to write some things down about slogans, trademarks and common law rights.
Let’s start with slogans. A slogan is "a short and striking or memorable phrase used in advertising". The Tosso.com slogan is “HaveMoreFun”. Sure we use it as a #HashTag on social media and anyone can do that. You’ve seen #HaveMoreFun right next to our logo for years. It’s all over our website, it's on everything that we print, you will find it all over the Internet. If you have ever been to our office (and you know you have), you can't miss it because it is printed in large letters on our front door, directly under our logo at eye level. It’s on dozens of Intagram and Facebook posts from 2015, 2016 and 2017. When I was in the newspaper in 2016 you can see the slogan engraved on my wooden products. It’s on our tent and banners that we use at events. It's on our emails that come from our website, order confirmations, marketing emails, etc.. It's on our brochures that we include with every order we ship to our customers. It's on our business cards and packing slips. Heck, it’s even printed on some of our products right next to our logo. The slogan at Tosso.com is HaveMoreFun! It’s a known fact at this point.
Now let’s get into Trademarks... A Trademark is symbol, word or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or products.
The general purpose of a trademark is to prevent confusion in the marketplace. For example Nike has the Swoosh symbol and the slogan “Just Do It”. Let’s say for argument sake that another shoe company decided to register JustDoIt.com and sell shoes on it. This would cause confusion in the marketplace because people might think that these shoes on JustDoit.com are actually from Nike while in reality they are from a competing shoe company that might not be as creative or original. See the confusion?
Here is another scenario. Let’s say a Bubble Gum company purchased JustDoIt.com and started selling bubble gun on it. Not much confusion here because people will not think they are buying bubble gum from a shoe company. So the real problem comes when it creates confusion in the marketplace. In this case, confusion on the Internet.
Now let’s get into common law rights. Did you know that your slogan may be protected even without a Federal Trademark. You see it’s all about mitigating confusion in the marketplace. Here are couple lines directly from the Basic Facts PDF that you can download from the USPTO.gov site.
“Common law rights may be stronger than those based on a registration, if the common law use is earlier than the use that supports the registration. Therefore, it is critical to learn whether superior common law rights exist, by searching the Internet for websites and articles that reference similar marks that are related to your goods and services. “
That basically means if you are planning on starting a new website or company you should see if a competing company is already using a symbol, word or phrase. Remember try not to cause confusion in the marketplace and you should be good.
I love our slogan here at Tosso.com and we have been using it since 2015. It’s near and dear to me and my Company. It’s part of who the Tosso.com company is.
I find this stuff fascinating. Thanks for letting me ramble here on my blog.
Oh… Here are a dozen or so images of our logo and slogan below from 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Tosso.com - HaveMoreFun