'Should've Gone To Specsavers' is one of those advertising slogans that has weaved its way into everyday language, but the brand is now seeking to trademark the 'should've' part of its catchphrase.
The company's application to become the rights holder to the word has been approved by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO), meaning that the global optician chain can potentially block other companies from using the word in their marketing.
However, the firm will have to wait two months to see whether any rivals, like Vision Express or Boots Opticians, make objections to the application. It has also applied to trademark the use of 'shouldve', in case any companies want to capitalise on the apostrophe-less version of the word.
Specsavers, which has has 1750 stores in 10 countries and generates $1.5bn per-year, has been using the slogan for over a decade. It has run hundreds of campaigns under the positioning – most of which depict people in humorous scenarios due to the fact they've forgotten their glasses.
The IPO has said that any applications for trademarks on common words could be made where they were linked to a company either by "use" or "association". Specsavers has yet to comment on the application.
Though the occurrence is not a regular one, other brands have trademarked words in the UK before - with the most notable example being Carlsberg claiming stake to the word 'probably' in 1993.
Other brands have secured trademarks phrases to stop them being used in rivals' ads, like Nestle's Kit Kat which protected its hallmark 'Have a Break' strapline.