Taglines are short, memorable phrases that can become powerful tools for brand recognition and marketing.

But the question is: how do you avoid infringing on others’ intellectual property rights with your tagline?

This article will explore the topic of checking copyright for taglines.

This piece will cover why there is a need to check copyright taglines, the steps required for a comprehensive search, and the essential factors to consider to protect your creative work.

This article provides valuable insights for those involved in business, marketing, or slogan creation, to navigate the world of tagline copyrights.

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Why is there a Need to Check Copyright Taglines?

Checking copyright for taglines holds significant importance for several reasons:

  1. Avoiding Legal Issues: Checking copyright for taglines is important to avoid infringement on others’ intellectual property rights. Using a tagline that is already copyrighted can lead to legal disputes, potentially resulting in expensive lawsuits and damage to your brand’s reputation.
  2. Protecting Your Brand: Taglines play a crucial role in brand identity and marketing. By conducting a copyright check, you can protect your own tagline from being copied or used by others without permission. Copyright protection provides you with exclusive rights to your creative work, allowing you to maintain the uniqueness and distinctiveness of your brand.
  3. Maintaining Originality: A copyrighted tagline signifies that it has met the originality criteria and is a unique expression of creativity. Checking copyright helps you ensure that your tagline stands out from the competition and maintains its originality, giving your brand a competitive edge.
  4. Strengthening Brand Recognition: With a copyrighted tagline, you can build a strong and recognisable brand. It helps establish a connection with your target audience, enhances brand recall, and reinforces your brand’s messaging. By protecting your tagline through copyright, you can maintain its exclusivity and preserve its association with your brand.
  5. Enforcing Rights: Copyright protection empowers you to enforce your rights if someone attempts to infringe upon your tagline. It provides a legal basis for taking action against unauthorised usage, allowing you to protect your brand’s reputation and market position.

How to Check Trademarks for Taglines in India?

To conduct the trademark search for taglines in India, you can follow these steps:

  1. Visit the official website of the Indian trademark registry, which is maintained by the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks.
  2. Access the Trademark Public Search portal provided on the website.
  3. Select the appropriate search option. In this case, choose the “Wordmark” search if you want to search for taglines.
  4. Enter the tagline you want to check for trademark availability in the search field.
  5. Specify the relevant class or classes of goods or services associated with your tagline. The NICE classification system can help determine the appropriate class(es).
  6. Click the search button to initiate the search.
  7. The search results will display any registered or pending trademarks that are similar or identical to your tagline.
  8. Review the search results carefully to assess the availability of your tagline for trademark registration. Pay attention to any trademarks that may conflict with your tagline.
  9. If your tagline appears to be available for registration, you can proceed with the application process for trademark registration in India. Consult an intellectual property attorney or professional for guidance on the registration procedure.

It is important to conduct a thorough search and consult legal professionals.

Related Article: How to Check Copyright Names

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Case-Laws of Trademark of a Tagline/Slogan

‘PepsiCo Inc. vs Hindustan Coca Cola Ltd. & Anr.’

In this legal case, the Delhi High Court made an important ruling regarding the protection of slogans.

The court recognised that slogans can be safeguarded through the common law principle of passing off. In this particular case, there was a dispute over the phrase ‘Yeh Dil Maange More,’ with an argument raised about its registration as a copyright and the need for protection.

The Delhi HC determined that the phrase was an original creation by the appellant and therefore the advertising campaign linked to it should be safeguarded.

‘Reebok India Company vs Gomzi active’

In this legal case, the Karnataka High Court made a significant ruling regarding the trademark protection of the slogan ‘I am what I am’.

The court determined that this particular slogan was generic in nature and had not acquired a distinctive character specifically associated with the respondent’s goods.

As a result, the court concluded that the slogan could not be granted trademark protection.

This ruling highlights the importance of establishing a distinct and unique character for a slogan in order to qualify for trademark protection.

Generic phrases, which are commonly used and lack distinctiveness, cannot be exclusively associated with a particular brand or product.

The decision emphasises the need for slogans to possess distinctive qualities that set them apart in the marketplace to be eligible for trademark protection under intellectual property laws.

‘Godfrey Phillips India Ltd. vs Dharmpal Satyapal & Anr’

In this legal case, the Delhi High Court made a ruling regarding the protectability of the slogan ‘shauq badi cheez hai’.

The court determined that this particular slogan was composed of common words and did not possess the requisite level of originality to be protected as a copyrightable literary work.

The court emphasised that copyright protection is granted to original and creative expressions, and a mere combination of common words does not meet this threshold.

Therefore, the slogan ‘shauq badi cheez hai’ was deemed ineligible for copyright protection.

This ruling underscores the requirement for works to exhibit a certain level of originality and creativity to qualify for copyright protection, ensuring that copyright law protects truly innovative and unique expressions of ideas.


Conducting a thorough copyright check for taglines is crucial to protect your intellectual property and prevent potential infringement.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure the originality and uniqueness of your tagline.

Start with a comprehensive trademark search using online tools, search engines, and trademark databases to identify any similar or identical slogans already in use.

The Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) is a valuable resource for searching registered trademarks.

Pay attention to distinctive elements in your tagline, such as design elements or captivating phrases, as these can enhance its uniqueness and potential for trademark protection.

Consider seeking legal services from an experienced trademark attorney who can provide expert guidance and help navigate the complexities of trademark law.

They can assist with trademark registration, analysing search results, and protecting your slogan from infringement.

Remember, while an online trademark search database can be a helpful starting point, consulting a trademark attorney is essential for a comprehensive analysis and to ensure your rights are adequately protected.

A trademark attorney can provide personalised advice tailored to your specific situation and help you develop and secure the perfect slogan for your brand.

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How do you check if phrases are trademarked?

To check if a phrase is trademarked, you can conduct a search in the trademark database of the relevant jurisdiction.

In the United States, for example, you can use the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s online search tool, the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).

Searching for similar or identical phrases in the trademark database can help determine if a particular phrase has been registered as a trademark.

How do you check if a quote is copyrighted?

Checking if a quote is copyrighted can be challenging as copyright protection generally does not extend to short phrases or quotes.

However, longer quotes or substantial portions of copyrighted works may be protected.

It is recommended to conduct research on the original source and any related copyright information in order to determine the copyright status of a quote.

Seeking advice from a copyright lawyer may offer additional assistance for particular cases.

Are taglines protected by copyright?

Taglines, as short phrases typically used in advertising or branding, may not be eligible for copyright protection.

Copyright law generally covers original works of authorship, such as literary, artistic, or musical works, but short phrases typically do not meet the required
level of originality for copyright protection.

Taglines may qualify for trademark protection if they are linked to particular products or services.

Can a slogan be a trademark?

Yes, a slogan can be protected as a trademark if it meets the requirements for trademark registration.

Are sayings and quotes copyrighted?

Sayings and quotes, as short phrases or expressions, generally do not receive copyright protection.

Copyright law protects original works of authorship, which typically encompass more substantial creative works.

It is necessary to acknowledge that although a saying or quote may not be subject to copyright, it could still be safeguarded by other IP laws, such as trademark or right of publicity laws, depending on the situation and jurisdiction.