Can a common phrase be trademarked?
2 attorney answers
Common phrases can be, and frequently are registered for trademarks, to sell some goods or services.
But if you want to write a song and those lyrics contain a trademark, you have a lot of creative freedom as long as you avoid, for example this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattel,_Inc._v._MCA_Records,_Inc. and you also need to avoid "sampling" excerpts of anyone else's song/lyrics, particularly if you're in the 6th Circuit (KY, OH, MI, TN) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgeport_Music,_Inc._v._Dimension_Films
Consult your own IP lawyer to help you acquire your own IP rights and to avoid infringing the IP rights of others.
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Yes. Think of "Just Do It." It appears in tons of advertising and is recognized by consumers to identify Nike as the source of sports apparel products. But your description doesn't describe situations where phrases appear to be used as trademarks or are even used with sufficient exclusivity that they would be capable of serving as source indicators.
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