Rebranding 1: will it make any difference?

The IPKat was fascinated to read this piece on UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's decision to replace its slogan "Making life taste better" with a new slogan, "Try something new today", as part of a major rebranding offensive. Sainsbury's application to register TRY SOMETHING NEW TODAY as a UK trade mark for goods and services in more than 30 Classes was examined on 7 July of this year.

The IPKat suspects that this trade mark application would not last more than a couple of micro-seconds if it had been filed for Community trade mark protection in Alicante, where the question "Would the relevant consumer view the sign as indicating the origin of the goods or services?" echoes through the bars and across the beaches. Merpel adds, "This is the sort of slogan I reckon any shop-owner could reasonably expect to use. If slogans like this are protectable, you may as well go and register BUY SOMETHING IN MY SHOP".

Try something new today here and here
But there IS nothing new … here or here

Rebranding 2: How unkind can you be?

Someone must have been very upset with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to do this ...

3 Here's a new party game

Are you tired of the same old stale social activities? Do your parties lack excitement after the first half-dozen martinis? Then try this: the IPKat gives you the Co-Branding Game. This is what you do:

Step 1: think of exactly twice as many big brands as there are people at your social gathering, making sure that each of the brands relates to a different type of product or service (for example KODAK; 7-UP; ZANTAC; GARDOL; CHANEL NO.5; TNT; TOYOTA; HERTZ; DISNEY; ARRET; KALASHNIKOV; iPOD; JACK DANIEL). Then write them down on separate pieces of paper;

Step 2: fold the pieces of paper up and put them into an appropriate receptacle (champagne bucket, ladies' shoe, or whatever);

Step 3: each guest in turn extracts two of the pieces of paper from the receptacle;

Step 4: each guest then has two minutes in which to articulate a business plan for a co-branding venture between the two brands.

Merpel says, that's not much of a game. With co-branding, everyone's always a winner. At least that's what the experts say ...


  1. The UK Registry is pretty relaxed about slogans these days. One has to warn people that when such phrases are whispered into a loved one's ear it is not trade mark use.
    "Have a break" has been allowed after a long opposition. "Because you're worth it." is restricted to cosmetics and I admit to obtaining "Life as it should be." for catering and similar services. I suspect Alicante might be more forgiving than you indicate. The test will be "Have a break" which is pending.

  2. Don't get me wrong - I'm not against the registration of slogans as trade marks. But my heart sinks when I see a respected enterprise such as Sainsbury's seeking to monopolise something as banal and as basic as TRY SOMETHING NEW TODAY for goods and services in 30 classes. Next we'll be seeing soap manufacturers claiming exclusivity in HAVE YOU REMEMBERED TO WASH YOUR HANDS?

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