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Are Keep Calm Sayings Trademarked?

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Wondering if Keep Calm sayings are trademarked? You know the ones I’m talking about – Keep Calm and Carry On, Keep Calm and Use Glitter, Keep Calm and (insert anything here).

Are Keep Calm Sayings Trademarked -

Where Did Keep Calm Sayings Come From?

Keep Calm sayings originated in the late 1930’s and were commissioned by Britain’s Ministry of Information. The original saying, Keep Calm and Carry On, began in Britain during WWII as a morale booster for soldiers.

The Keep Calm and Carry On posters were to be hung when Germany invaded Britain. Since Germany never invaded Britain, these posters were mostly destroyed when the war ended.

Photo Credit: The Print Collector/Alamy Stock Photo

Are Keep Calm Sayings Trademarked?

Keep Calm and Carry On is currently in the public domain.

However, some spinoffs of Keep Calm sayings have been trademarked. A few examples: Keep Calm and Camp On is trademarked. Keep Calm and Roll On is trademarked. And, Keep Calm and Self Fund is also trademarked.

Before you use a Keep Calm saying, you need to check the TESS database for potential trademark infringements. Don’t know how to check the TESS database? Read my tutorial.

Screenshot of TESS database -

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! :)