High Street opticians Specsavers has had its application to trademark the words “should’ve” and “shouldve” approved which could see other companies banned from using them in advertising campaigns.
FBC Manby Bowdler intellectual property expert David Preece said it wasn’t necessarily a bid which anyone saw coming, with the word ‘should’ being such a common word. But if Carlsberg can trademark ‘Probably’’ - perhaps the glasses retailer isn’t being short-sighted in its catch-phrase quest.
Specsavers currently uses the words in its advertising campaign which features topical events or people finding themselves in embarrassing situations because they have forgotten their glasses, accompanied by the words “Should’ve gone to Specsavers”.
Privately held Specsavers - which was launched in 1984 by husband and wife team Doug and Mary Perkins and now has 1,750 stores in 10 countries turning over £1.5bn a year – started using the slogan in 2003.
David said: "Documents from the UK Intellectual Property Office show Specsavers applied for the trademarks on July 18. The body approved the application and there is now a two-month waiting period to allow third parties to object.
"Although it's not uncommon for the process to be approved for slogans, such as Kit-Kat's Take a Break or McDonalds' 'I'm loving it' - it is unusual for such a common word like 'should'.
"We'll be keeping an eye on this one."