100 Year Old Trademarks In 2019
1919 was an interesting year in terms of the world stage. In France, the Treaty of Versailles brought about the end of WW1, ushering in a new stability. The oldest existing airline, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, was established. The British House of Commons elected their first female member, Lady Astor, who was born in the US.
Babe Ruth hit his 26th home run in that year. The first free-fall parachute jump was made by American Leslie Irvin. 33rd US President Harry Truman married Elizabeth Truman and Albert Einstein married a cousin, Elizabeth Lowenthal. Both Renoir and Theodore Roosevelt passed away.
From the trademark perspective, a surprising number of brands that are household names to this day were either registered for the first time or extended the scope of their protection to a new region. You can find 12 of these valid trademark registrations celebrating their 100th ‘registration day’ in 2019 below:
Our love affair with style, clothing and lifestyle has been around for nearly as long as humans have worn clothing. Vogue magazine began its life as weekly newspaper in America in 1892. It later became the monthly magazine we know today and is no longer limited to the US. No fewer than 23 international regions boast their own edition.
This internationally recognised household name is today owned by Revlon but was developed originally by a Connecticut company, the Northam Warren Company. This registration is for emery boards but they were the first company to create liquid nail polish in 1911 although it didn’t really take off until they also introduced a way of removing it at home with their domestic acetone-based nail polish remover in 1928.
The name Brasso is synonymous with shiny brass door knockers and gleaming household metalwork. While it began life in the UK in 1905, it certainly didn’t take long to make its way to Ireland and has been a lifelong partner in the battle against tarnished metals of all kinds.
The Paramount logo is familiar to many all round the globe - a mountain peak with a semi-circle of stars. Those 22 stars represent the first actors and actresses contracted to Paramount in 1916 and this UK trademark registration followed in 1919. Today, Paramount is at number 5 on the list of oldest, still existing film studios globally and number 2 on the list of US film companies.
While fresh milk and cream are available almost everywhere today, this was not always the case. In 1899, Elbridge Amos Stuart teamed up with a partner to address the need for milk products that could be transported and stored over a long period of time. They formed the Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company and their product became globally successful. Today, the brand is owned by Nestle and while in the developed world there may no longer be such a need for long life milk, it is an essential ingredient in home baking and particularly important in the making of fudge.
Germolene was one of the trinity of products used by school nurses in Ireland to cure all ills - Germolene, Disprin and TCP. If you were really in distress, you might well have been the recipient of all 3 but you still weren’t going home! Germolene’s creator is more famous for his range of cough mixtures, Sir William Henry Veno who sold his Veno Drug Company to Beechams in 1925.
Founded by optician, Carl Zeiss in 1846 and later joined by Ernst Abbe and Otto Schott, Zeiss remains a leader in the creation of optics such as camera lenses and rifle scopes. It is also one of the oldest. Formed in Germany, its development was affected by political developments throughout WW1 but nonetheless Carl Zeiss AG is still the flagship company of the Zeiss Gruppe. Their Finnish trademark registration is 100 years old this year.
Another German company is celebrating a 100 year old Finnish trademark registration this year. The name ‘Hohner’ is synonymous with harmonicas particularly although they have produced other instruments including electric keyboards and guitars. The brand began in 1857 when a German clock maker, Mattias Hohner turned his hand to making harmonicas producing 650 that first year.
The company known today as Energizer Holdings Inc began life as the American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company formed in 1890 in New York. In 1899, they acquired the rights to a patent developed by inventor David Misell for a battery powered flashlight. In 1905, the company name was changed to the American Ever Ready Company and changed ownership in 1914, shortening their trademark name to simply ‘Ever-Ready’. By 1919, they had made their way to Australia and successfully registered a trademark for their flagship product.
This internationally recognised Australian registration has New Zealand roots. In 1873, Joseph Edward Nathan founded Joseph Nathan & co and by 1904, they produced baby formula which was first branded ‘Defiance’ and later renamed ‘Glaxo’. By 1924, they had launched their first foray into the pharmaceutical world with a vitamin D product. Today, they stand as one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world and this 100 year old registration covers a multitude of classes.
Aspirin is famous for its painkilling properties but also for being one of those brand names that became so big that it began to be used as a word to describe over-the-counter painkillers in general. In the trademark world, this is referred to as becoming generic. Nonetheless, this Canadian registration is still valid 100 years later!
This powerhouse Scotch whisky brand had humble beginnings. It was created by John Walker, a grocer in the Scottish town of Kilmarnock. After his death in 1857, his son and grandson took over the thriving business and are credited with creating the square bottles that have been adopted by many distillers. Originally, the Scotch was branded with an ‘Old Highland’ name but in 1909 were renamed to ‘Johnnie Walker’ adopting the distinctive ‘striding man’ logo. 100 years later, the brand is owned by Diageo and tops the list of Scotch whisky brands worldwide.