The retail sector press seems underwhelmed by John Lewis's new slogan, "For all life's moments", which has been announced as the replacement for its famous strapline "Never Knowingly Undersold". The issue seems to be that the new slogan doesn't really convey what John Lewis has to offer.

Just like words and logos, slogans can be registered as trade marks, provided there is something about them which is distinctive enough for consumers to recognise as an indication of trade origin. Some low-level detective work at the UK IPO shows that the slogan FOR ALL LIFE'S MOMENTS was also underwhelming to the UK IPO, which refused an application to register it in August 2021. Instead, registration has been secured for JOHN LEWIS FOR ALL LIFE'S MOMENTS and FOR ALL LIFE'S MOMENTS: JOHN LEWIS. In these cases the famous house mark JOHN LEWIS makes the whole slogan distinctive enough to register as a trade mark. 

(As a side note, these trade marks were not applied for in the name of John Lewis plc, but by an individual person. This is a perfectly usual approach when an owner wants to secure an early application date whilst also maintaining some initial secrecy around a new brand, with the applicant often being a company employee or trade mark adviser.)

Some more applications were filed at the same time last year, showing that other contenders for John Lewis's new slogan were LIFE MADE BEAUTIFUL, FOR THE JOY OF LIFE, FOR THE LOVE OF LIFE, LIFE WELL LOVED, LIFE & HAPPINESS, FOR HOPES AND DREAMS, FOR EVERY MOMENT, FOR EVERY BEAT. I think my favourite is LIFE MADE BEAUTIFUL (though perhaps it's harder to buy into that sentiment if you're just needing a toilet brush). 

Which would you have gone for?

#retail #trademarks #slogans #foralllifesmoments

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