The oldest registered trademarks in the world. Hello, it’s Mikołaj Lech here. For a long time I’ve wanted to create a recording about the oldest registered trademarks in the world. Preparing this material was a great fun for me. I felt like an archaeologist who, after shreds of information, tries to reach some potsherd. It was interesting because many trademarks were related to suprising stories. I will start from the oldest. People have always invented inventions or used various signs in trade. In the distant past, however, there was no law protecting this kind of intellectual property. No one, therefore, registered his trademarks because there were no Patent Offices. Although it must also be clearly stated that the signs used at that time met exactly the same functions as at present. They were used to distinguish goods and services on the market. For example, in antiquity, ceramics often had signs indicating the person of the producer. As you can see on the left, it was an octopus. In the Middle Ages, trademarks were used by craft guilds. Craftsmen assembled within guilds had an obligation to use specific trademarks. The product marking was primarily aimed at identifying the product with its manufacturer. This was also an information about the high quality of products from a given craftsman. As you can probably guess, it built his opinion and reputation. However, with time it became obvious that one man is not able to produce as many products as needed. This task was commissioned to the journeymen of the given plant. The trademark itself, therefore, began to serve as a master’s guarantee of the quality of the marked goods. And for attempting to falsify such marking, severe punishment was threatened. At that time, the then rulers gave privileges to use certain trademarks. However, it is fair to say that they did it only for financial reasons. The person concerned paid the ruler the high price for the hereby privilege. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are a period of intense economic development in Western Europe thanks to: establishing economic freedom; the abolition of guilds, and cancellation of privileges. The industrial revolution taking place at that time turned out to be a breakthrough. Many of the inventions that came into being at that time fueled the technological progress incredibly. As a result, production has become cheaper and more goods have been launched on the market. In this situation, the importance of trademarks grew. Placing them on the goods allowed to distinguish the producers from the goods of the competition. For the consumers, the signs allowed them to make conscious purchasing decisions. Certain brands began to enjoy greater popularity, which in turn encouraged the competition to copy them. They could have impersonated more reputable marks. And such conditions of growing, not always honest competition required the introduction of a law that would protect entrepreneurs. The effect of this was that in the 19th century, the first laws defining the rules for the registration of trademarks were passed in many countries. On their basis, also national patent offices were created, which kept registers of protected trademarks. When I initiated working on this article, I started by looking for the oldest trademark in the world. Everywhere I read that it is a British mark from 1876. Only that I found the Czech beer trademark PILSNER from 1859. At first I thought it might be some error in the database. Only that on the website of the Czech patent office you can check how this trademark was successively renewed every 10 years. And I did not say the most important one. Almost 160 years have passed and it is still in power! So when I was on vacation in the Czech Republic I decided to find it. And I succeeded! I’ve found a beer with the oldest registered trademark in the world. For me, as a passionate, it is a fantastic thing. In Great Britain, the trademark registration act was passed there in 1875. Formally from the next year, the British Patent Office began work. The first trademark was registered by the Bass company. The trademark was used to mark beer. Perhaps you associate it because it is produced until today in only slightly refreshed graphics. An interesting story is associated with this sign. It is told that the employee of Bass company spent the New Year’s Eve night on the stairs of the Patent Office to be the first to file an application to protect the brand of this beer. And he succeeded! Bass received the first two registrations. And that’s the trademark I read about in many publications that it is the oldest in the world. Interestingly, just like the Czech trademark – it is still in force. In the British registers I also found another interesting trademark, which protection has been extended successively since 1878. This trademark is used to mark canned ham. As you can see, it was advertised in an interesting way. Let’s move to the United States for a moment. Unfortunately, it is not known what the first filed trademark in the USA looked like. However, what was possible to determine is the work of an amazing coincidence. Well, around 2000, an employee of the US Patent Office found an old, dusty book in the archive. He did not really know what it was, but he was intrigued by the date on it: July 1870. He felt that he was holding something important in his hands. And actually! It turned out that he found the first official register of American trademarks. As you can see, there is information that the first trademark was filed on July 28, 1870. What is interesting, 3 months later the another trademark was formally the first trademark which was registered. From what we know from the description, this trademark was used to mark paints and depicted an eagle holding a pot of paint in its beak and a pennant bearing the inscription “Economical Beautiful”. The problem is that there is absolutely no reproduction of this trademark anywhere. I’ve been looking everywhere: at the websites of Patent Offices around the world, on American law blogs and even in scientific publications. Everyone referred to the information from this register. Unfortunately, no one has shown the reproduction of this sign. At some point, I lost hope. My mind was just racing because if the trademark was found, it’s photo would be everywhere. At least on the website of the US Patent Office. I had this strange feeling, so I decided to find out if there are any product packages from the company’s products on the Internet. And that’s how I found their stencil paint from 1867. You should see how happy I was 🙂 The logo matched to the description of the trademark in the register. There is an eagle holding paint in its beak. The inscription on the sash is correct. And most importantly, it’s the reproduction from the materials of the company that filed this trademark for protection. So after a long search I found the first registered trademark in the United States. A trademark that everyone is writing about, but nobody has seen it. A few years after the registration of this trademark, the American Supreme Court recognized the provisions on the basis of which it was granted protection for unconstitutional. Formally, the oldest is now a trademark depicting the biblical Samson fighting with the lion. What you can see is a trademark from the registration date. What is interesting, under the same registration numer you can see the refreshed version . In Poland replacing of a trademark is not possible. This mark was registered in 1884 and, like its Czech and British predecessor – it is still in force! However, there are more such over 100 years old trademarks. Undoubtedly you associate registered in 1893 Coca-Cola trademark. There is also a registered in 1897 trademark HEINZ. This brand is known in Poland for ketchups. In the same year, JOHN DEERE trademark was registered. It is a well-known all over the world the manufacturer of agricultural machinery. By the way, in one of the articles on my blog, I pointed out that JOHN DEERE registered his characteristic green and yellow painting as trademarks being colors. But let’s go back to the old continent. Since 1880, this Danish trademark has been constantly protected. In Sweden, exactly on January 2, 1885, the following two trademarks were registered. Both are still in force. In 1885, the first Norwegian trademark was also registered. Its protection expired relatively recently in 2005. There is another trademark in force registered in the same year. The trademark is used to mark cotton threads. In Finland, the first trademark was registered in 1891. It was also used to mark cotton. The oldest Spanish trademark was registered in 1893. Let’s move on. Germany. Here, the trademark that proudly holds number 1 was registered in the word version in 1894. It was used to mark the lamps. The trademark is in force to this day. It is said that it is automatically renewed by the German Patent Office for historical reasons. Trademark number 2 is as follows. As I checked, it expired in 2010. In the context of Germany, the following trademark is often considered the oldest. According to my calculations wrongly because it was formally registered in 1896. Perhaps, many people pay attention at the date of application, which took place 21 years earlier. I guarantee that you have dealt with this trademark many times. Especially if you were a student. You will find it on popular highlighters. Of course, its protection is prolonged to this day. Before I go further, I wanted to show you one German trademark. In my opinion it is very interesting. There’s no accounting for taste, but this trademark just captivated me 🙂 And as a curiosity, I will tell you that its protection expired in 2011. In Australia, the Trademark Act came into force in 1905. Previously, the four former British colonies had their own local registers of trademarks. After the Act came into force, these rights were still in force, though without the possibility of extending them. The first trademark was formally registered in 1906. It was used to mark chemical substances used in medicine. And finally, Poland. There’s a reason why I am talking about my country at the end of my video. When the first national acts regarding trademarks were passed, Poland was not on the maps of the world. In the nineteenth century, we were covered by the laws of the partitioning powers. On my blog I have thoroughly described the history of the oldest Polish trademark. This trademark was filed for protection in 1918 in one of our partitioning powers. It was used to mark ultramarine, in other words paint. Formally, under the transitional provisions, it obtained protection in Poland on April 11, 1924. This time shift was caused by the then Minister of Industry and Trade. In 1919, he ordered to stop the proceedings for granting patents and registration of trademarks. The idea was that our economy after the war needed time to rebuild. 5 years later Polish Patent Office has already started to work normally. The protection of the oldest trademark has already expired, but I was curious, which one is still in force. It turned out that there is registered to this day a trademark which was filed 5 days after the first one. It is used to mark pipe connectors. But I do not associate it. Among other recognizable trademarks being still in force I found KODAK for marking of cameras, CAMEL for marking of tobacco and cigarettes, LUCKY STRIKE for the marking of tobacco , GILLETTE for shaving blades, MILKA for marking of chocolate and confectionery and figurative trademark STAINWAY. In this case this trademark is designed for marking hand-made pianos. That’s pretty much everything about interesting trademarks I found the information about. With this recording, I wanted to show you that the industrial property that I deal with at work is a relatively young field of law. If we assume that it was born together with the Paris Convention in 1883, it is not even 150 years old. For comparison, the foundations of today’s civil law are found in Roman law from over 2000 years. It is also interesting that the protection of the trademark consecutively prolonged may be eternal. This principle is not functioning with industrial designs or patents. I hope that this recording was interesting for you in terms of legal protection of a brand. If you want to stay up to date about everything what I am talking about here, please feel free to subscribe my channel. See you.