NEW YORK (CN) – American Express may legally use the slogan, “My Life. My Card.” in its advertising campaign featuring celebrity cardholders such as Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro and Tiger Woods, the 2nd Circuit ruled.
The court upheld a 2006 finding that Stephen Goetz had not used the catchphrase as a trademarked slogan when he pitched it to major credit card companies to advertise software that lets customers personalize their credit cards.
Goetz claimed that while he worked for Mez Design, he mailed a proposal to American Express in July 2004 with a line stating, “‘My Life, My Card’ American Express delivers personalized cards to its cardholders!”
Goetz hired a Web designer to create an Internet demonstration of his idea. He then registered the domain mylife-mycard.com and filed a trademark application on the My Life, My Card mark.
Around the same time, an ad firm called the Ogilvy Group proposed “My Life. My Card.” as the lynchpin for American Express’ new global campaign. Ogilvy’s attorneys were unable to find a trademark on the phrase, so American Express registered the domain name mylifemycard.com and filed a notice of intent to use the phrase.
The circuit concluded that Goetz had no valid trademark rights in the phrase, and that there was no public exposure of the My Life, My Card slogan.