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Let's take the common phrase "bite the bullet". If I want to trademark "bite the mullet", is there any barriers to that?

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  • As a brand for what good or services? Commented Aug 22, 2023 at 15:20
  • let's say seafood restaurant Commented Aug 22, 2023 at 15:26
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    What sort of barriers do you think might exist to registering that phrase as a trademark?
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 8:22
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    FYI there's currently a trademark battle over the phrase "Taco Tuesday", which I think many people assume is a common phrase.
    – Barmar
    Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 13:32

1 Answer 1

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Being a common phrase is not a barrier to a trademark, in itself. For example “Bite the bullet” has been trademarked with the USPTO for restaurant services, for a target with cross-hairs and in several other classes at one time or another.

A less known or newly-coined phrase would have a very good chance of being available. I suggest a search of the TESS database.

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    It's worth noting that it's not because a trademark was registered that it can't be challenged later on.
    – jcaron
    Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 9:19
  • a trademark works only for the very narrow field in which it was registered. Disney has trademarked "Mickey Mouse" more than 100 times to cover (almost) all fields. Just search the USPTO for the term to see how many. Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 15:38
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    @jcaron by using a common phrase, you also risk losing your trademark due to Trademark Dilution. justia.com/intellectual-property/trademarks/trademark-dilution Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 15:39

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