Valentine's Day - 3 Alternatives And Their Trademarks
A day of romance, February 14th marks a day of celebration of St. Valentine's Day around the world. Yet its origins are a bit of a mystery. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus and they were all martyred, having met untimely ends.
Origins of St. Valentine’s Day
Some people claim that Valentine’s Day is celebrated mid February to mark the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial. Others believe that the church decided to install St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an attempt to convert the pagan celebration of Lupercalia, a fertility festival which was celebrated at the ides of February (on the 15th of the month). Lupercalia was dedicated to both Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, and to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
Whatever the real story behind the origins of St. Valentine's Day one thing that is undisputed is that the commercialization of this popular international feast day grows year on year! Greeting cards, flowers, champagne, chocolates, soft toys are particular favorites and are all gifted heavily on this day to loved ones. However there is a huge and diverse range of Valentine themed products, including some less obvious choices, which have been trademarked over the years!
Decorative candelabras, non-woven decorative coat hooks, school materials, wine, leather articles and software applications are just a few of the more unusual products that have been trademarked, under the product description ‘Valentine’s’. In total more than 1,200 trademarks have been filed worldwide under this product description to date!
Unsurprisingly the top three products are all found in Class 16 with greeting cards (55.9%) topping the list. Calendars (47.2%) and stickers (42.7%) are not too far behind. While chocolate is missing from the list of top products our data reveals an interesting trend. Companies that produce chocolate do not register specifically for chocolates under a ‘Valentine’s’ product description but use a general description - so they can safely market and sell all of their heart-shaped chocolates over Valentine’s Day!
And it appears that Canada is probably the most romantic country in the world! The CIPO is the top registry with a ratio of 28%, followed by the USPTO (20.7%) and the UKIPO (6.3%).
However for those of us who are perhaps a little weary of Valentine’s Day hype (or who are not coupled up this year) here are three alternative days that you might like to borrow and celebrate with friends and maybe significant others in the future instead!
3 refreshing alternatives to St. Valentine’s Day
1. Friend’s Day
Celebrated on February 14th (the same day as Valentine’s Day) in Finland and Estonia, Friend’s Day is a day for honoring friends as well as loved ones. Gifts and cards are handed out, but they can be given to absolutely anyone - from a neighbor to a good friend. It is also a popular day to get engaged. And Estonia has a unique tradition. If you are single why not take a ride on their special Love Bus in the hope of meeting others looking for love?
As of today there are just over 20 valid FRIEND’S DAY trademarks registered (interestingly there have been none filed before the national registries of Finland or Estonia!) Australia seems to be the friendliest nation in the world, with the Australian IPAU taking a 21.7% share of all registrations.
2. Singles’ Day
Singles Day is a Chinese holiday that originated from Nanjing University to be a celebration for single people during the 1990’s. The date of the annual holiday, November 11th, corresponds with four “ones” (11.11) representing four singles. It was originally called Bachelor’s Day as four male college students decided on this day to celebrate the idea of being single. This idea eventually spread into mainstream culture, evolving over time as something that both men and women can enjoy. The holiday serves as a time when people can meet up and socialize at parties, and has also become one of the most popular shopping days in China. In 2019 online retailer Alibaba broke the Singles' Day record with more than $38 billion in sales.
Although Singles’ Day is a Chinese holiday it is interesting to note that when running a preliminary search for the mark text SINGLES DAY there are no valid trademarks found in the China CNIPA registry! Conversely the three top registries are currently the United States USPTO (26.7%), India IPI (20%) and Australia IPAU (6.7%). The three top products are all found in class 35: Advertising, marketing and promotional services (46.7%), Retail services relating to food and Sales promotion services for third parties both having a ratio of 26.7%.
3. Black Day
On Valentine’s Day women in South Korea give gifts to men while men celebrate White Day one month later, on March 14th. South Korea has a third holiday, however, known as Black Day. Celebrated on April 14, single friends get together and eat noodles and celebrate the act of being single. The name stems from the noodle dish, which includes white noodles in a black sauce.
There are over 70 valid trademarks registered with the mark text BLACK DAY at the time of writing, but just 2 of these contain ‘noodles’ in their class 30 product description. South Korea KIPO and China CNIPA both share the love with a 50% ratio each!
Love means togetherness
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