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Are ‘Keep Calm’ Sayings Trademarked?

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We are heading back into trademarks today with Keep Calm sayings. You know the ones I’m talking about – Keep Calm and Carry On, Keep Calm and Use Glitter, Keep Calm and (insert anything here).

Where did Keep Calm sayings come from?

I’m giving you a quick history lesson today with the history of the Keep Calm sayings, which originated in the late 1930’s. The sayings began in Britain during WWII as moral boosters for soldiers and were commissioned by Britain’s Ministry of Information. The Keep Calm sayings were printed on bold color posters with simple texts and hung in windows, on bulletin boards, and lamp posts. When the war ended, most of the posters were destroyed. (This would make great Jeopardy trivia… Alex, What is Britain!)

Can you use Keep Calm sayings in your Silhouette or Cricut products for sale?

I have good news and bad news. In our modern day world, there are some Keep Calm sayings that have been trademarked, but there are many that are not! After you decide which one you want to use, head over to the TESS database and check to make sure it is not trademarked. If you need help reading the TESS database results, head to this post. You’ll find that the majority of the Keep Calm sayings are not trademarked – and perfect for use in your small business!

I talk a lot about trademarks and copyrights on Cutting for Business. From Disney to Starbucks and everything in between, you can find links to other posts here. Until tomorrow, Keep Calm and Sell On!

Are 'Keep Calm' Sayings Trademarked? Find out if you can use them in your Silhouette or Cricut business. By

Heidy Prock

Tuesday 13th of December 2016

Hello, I am new to the cutting world and I am very glad to have come across this blog. I went to the TESS website and started looking for random things, just to see what was out there. I notice that in some instances, there were multiple people trademarking the same thing. So my question is, if I wanted to trademark "Team Bride" for example (just an example), I could do this? Even though there is a trademark for it already? Thanks a bunch.


Wednesday 14th of December 2016

Yes and no. If someone has already registered "Team Bride" for tee shirts, you cannot register this. However if "Team Bride" is not registered for use on cups, you could register that. Hope that helps!

Cindy Conner

Thursday 19th of November 2015

Just want to tell you how awesome you are for sharing so much info about starting a business . This is so generous of you.

I did purchase your new e-book. Loving it. Thank you. The anticipation was killing me.

Thank you for all the info on trade marks. Very interesting and very interesting that so many small mom/pop operations sell Disney & collegiate products. I didn't even think about not using phases from songs, so now I will be much more aware of copyrighted material.

Thank you again for sharing your wonderful website with all of us.


Thursday 19th of November 2015

Cindy, I'm glad that you enjoy reading Cutting for Business, and I'm even more excited that you find Diving In: 30 Days to Your Silhouette Business helpful! The information on trademarks is so dry sometimes, but it is super important - I'm glad you read it! I'm going to keep writing more, and I hope you keep reading! :)