☘️ St.Patrick's Day - A Global Celebration in Trademarks ☘️

Nadaline Webster,

Thanks to the survival of his autobiography, much is known about the life of St Patrick. It is thought his real name was probably Maewyn Succat. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery as a herdsman. Six years later he escaped on a boat back to Britain and studied to become a missionary in France, returning to Ireland as a bishop.

Life wasn't easy as a missionary amongst the Irish of the time and he was frequently imprisoned for upsetting people. Over the course of two decades, he travelled Ireland building religious and educational facilities, and converting the people to Christianity. He died on the 17th March 461 AD (some say 493 AD) and this day is now celebrated as St.Patrick's Day.

It is often thought that the anniversary of his death became a holy day almost immediately. By the 15th Century, St.Patrick's Day was included on the list of Irish feast days. It was formally adopted to Ireland's legal calendar in 1607 and in 1631 it was formally recognised by the Church.

The St.Patrick's Day parade is a big feature of modern celebrations and it is surprising that it is not strictly an Irish contribution. On St.Patrick's Day 1762, Irish soldiers marched to music in New York and so the idea was born.

One of the reasons quoted for the global spread of the St Patrick's Day festivities is that of the Great Famine. In the aftermath, Irish citizens in search of a better life travelled to many areas of the globe, bringing their traditions with them. It is a public holiday in Ireland but also in some areas of the Caribbean and Canada.

How Global Is It?

I turned to our trademark research tool, ExaMatch to get some sense of how a small religious holiday on a tiny island beginning in 460(ish!) AD has grown into a global commercial entity in 2017. Here is a list of my favourites:

🇺🇸 "Sober St Patrick's Day" - This somewhat distressing trademark is registered in Class 41 for 'entertainment services' in the USA. I don't see the notion taking off in Ireland!

🇧🇷 "St Patrick's Day ST" - I'm not entirely certain what 'ST' represents in this Brazilian trademark registered in Class 41, but we are delighted that they are obviously joining the party.

🇮🇹 "St Patrick's Day Sicily" - Never bet against a Sicilian when a party is on the line! This Italian trademark is registered in Class 41.

🇲🇽 "Leprechaun Irish Pub" - This Mexican trademark in Class 43 provides plenty of possibilities for visitors to get lucky.

🇲🇾 "Leprechaun's Gold" - This Malaysian trademark for gaming machines in Class 9 promises a trip to the end of the rainbow.

🇳🇿 "The Leprechaun's Belle Irish Red Ale" - This New Zealand registration is perhaps unsurprisingly listed in Class 32. I'll bet that the more you drink of it, the harder it becomes to order!

🇹🇷 "Shamrock" - I'm not sure about the inspiration for this Turkish trademark in Class 9 for protective gloves. Do they only have 3 fingers?

🇭🇰 "Shamrock" - This Class 25 trademark for clothing in Hong Kong may just facilitate 'the wearing of the green'.

🇿🇦 "Shamrock Pies" - This intriguing trademark from South Africa is filed in Class 30 and lists pies & sausage rolls in its goods and services. I have never partaken of a shamrock pie but I'd be willing to give it a go.

I hope you enjoyed this quick peek into the history and diversity of St Patrick's Day around the world and for all of you filing trademark applications today,

Is féidir leis an ádh na héireann a bheith in éineacht leat!

May the luck of the Irish be with you!

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