Specsavers has moved to put permanent dibs on the commonly-used verb “should’ve” after the opticians approached the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) for a trademark.
The company used the phrase “should’ve gone to Specsavers” in it marketing and branding and has become commonly associated with the word, which has given it grounds to apply for exclusive use.
If approved, it would mean that other companies will not be able to use “should’ve” and “shouldve” in their marketing.
Despite some commentators demonstrating their surprise at the move, not everyone is as shocked.
Sally Britton, intellectual property lawyer at Mishcon de Reya, told the BBC it was not surprising that Specsavers had moved to trademark the word.
“The term “should’ve” will clearly work well from a domain name and social media perspective and therefore why would they not seek to protect it to make it easier to deal with infringements?”
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