Can I Trademark an Event?

No, you can not trademark an event. Although you cannot trademark the layout or activities inherent to a particular event, you can trademark the name, logo and slogan associated with the event.

This information was provided by our founding attorney, Xavier Morales, Esq. 

Typically, when someone refers to ‘owning the rights’ to an event, they are referring specifically to the name or logo of the event. This does not prevent someone from holding a similar event so long as it has a different and unique name and logo. The chart below gives a quick reference to what can and can't be protected via trademark registration:

ItemEligible for Trademark Protection?
Event NameYes
Event LogoYes
Event SloganYes
Event LayoutNo
Event ActivitiesNo

For example, the name "BOSTON MARATHON" is a trademark for marathon racing events, but you could still hold a marathon in Boston provided that your event was known to the public by a wholly different name.

Trademarking Items for Your Event

We've established what you can/can't trademark when it comes to events, so let's go a bit deeper on each item that you can secure with a trademark.

Trademarking an event Name

The name of your event can be trademarked just like any other business name. We went into detail in this article about trademarking business names.

Trademarking an event Logo

As with the name, your event logo can be trademarked, just as any other logo can. Check out our guide on trademarking a logo for more information.

Trademarking an Event Slogan

As we explained in this article, a slogan can be trademarked, but it can be a bit tricky.

This means that the slogan must either be a wholly unique campaign phrase or description, or develop a secondary meaning associated with a product or service. For example, “I’m Lovin’ It®” is uniquely associated with a McDonald’s advertising campaign and as such is a trademarked slogan.

The Trademark Process

The video below explains how we can work together to trademark items related to your event. Contact us today to get started.

Xavier Morales, Esq.

About the Author

Xavier Morales, Esq.

Mr. Morales founded his trademark law practice in January 2007 with the goal of providing intellectual property expertise to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country. Since then, he has filed more than 6,000 trademarks with the USPTO. You can learn more about Xavier here.

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