An application by Specsavers to trademark the terms "should've" and "shouldve" to protect its advertising catchphrase has been approved.
The high street optician's application to safeguard its slogan "Should've gone to Specsavers" has been deemed valid by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and third parties now have two months to raise any objections.
The catchphrase is central to Specsavers' marketing campaigns, with adverts featuring hapless people who could have avoided embarrassing situations had they visited the optician beforehand. Trademarking a single word is unusual but has been done by companies in the past.
Carlsberg successfully registered the word "probably" in the UK after establishing the slogan "Probably the best lager in the world".
McDonald's has trademarked the phrase "I'm lovin' it" and Nestle has done the same with "Have a break" for its KitKat bars.
The IPO said applications for trademarks on common words could be made where they were linked to a company through use or association.
An IPO spokesman said: "We can confirm that the application for the trademark in question was published on August 12.
"Objections to the trademark application can be raised for a period of up to two months from the publication date."