It’s A Trademark… But It’s Not Actually a “Mark”

Originally posted 2018-07-12 5:32:53

By Breanna Pendilton |

Trademark law has developed tremendously over time, thanks in huge part to the thriving field of technology.  What was once a law dedicated generally to what people see, has now become a law dedicated also to what we hear.  Just think about it.  When you’re sitting on your couch at home watching TV and you hear, “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful”, you almost already know that this is a Cover Girl commercial.  Or think about when you’re riding in your car listening to the radio, and you hear, “Ba Da Ba Ba Baaahhh, I’m Lovin’ It”, you automatically know that it’s a McDonald’s commercial.  Increasingly, trademark law has not only come to protect words that you see as images, but words as you hear as slogans too.


It might seem a bit unusual, but it actually makes sense.  Trademark law protects any word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.  This is exactly what slogans do though, right?  They are arguably a phrase or a combination of words or phrases, and once you see or even hear them, you automatically think about where they come from, which is essentially identifying and distinguishing the source of the goods from someone else’s.

So, when you think about creating and building your brand, know that there are more ways than one to set you apart. The point is that you want to be as unique and distinct as possible.  This will not only give you the best protection, but helps build your clientele not only from the store itself, but from their TVs, phones, and radios too!

AMD Law’s Tip of the Day:  What your customer hears might be just as important as what they see.