How to Tell If a Phrase Already Has a Trademark

By David Rodeck

Visit the Internet to find out if your phrase has already been trademarked.
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A catchy phrase can really help advertise your business. If you come up with something that sticks in peoples' heads, they'll be more likely to remember your company and give you business. Before you can start using your new phrase, though, you need to make sure it's not already taken. If another company has already trademarked your phrase, you can't use it. If you use a trademarked phrase without permission, you could get sued for trademark infringement. Fortunately, it takes little time to check whether a phrase is already trademarked.

Visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's website and go to its Trademark Electronic Search System. There is a link on the USPTO homepage.

Search for your phrase on the USPTO trademark search engine. This will tell you if your phrase has an existing, pending or dead national trademark.

Visit your local Patent and Trademark Depository Library to double-check your search. A representative from this office can help you make sure your phrase isn't trademarked. You can find your closest PTDL on the USPTO website.


Consider trademarking your phrase yourself if it doesn't already have a trademark. This will protect your slogan from competitors.