|Points To Ponder - Trademarks Names : Fingerprints of Commerce|
In 1850, the California gold rush was in full swing, and everyday items were in short supply. Levi Strauss, a 20-year-old Bavarian immigrant, left New York for San Francisco with a small supply of dry goods. Shortly after his arrival, a prospector wanted to know what Mr. Strauss was selling. When Strauss told him he had rough canvas to use for tents and wagon covers, the prospector said, "You should have brought pants!," saying he couldnt find a pair of pants strong enough to last.
Strauss had the canvas made into pants. Miners liked the pants, but complained that they tended to chafe. Levi Strauss substituted a twilled cotton cloth from France called "serge de Nimes," which became known as denim.
In 1873, Levi Strauss & Co. began using the pocket stitch design. The two-horse brand design was first used in 1886. The red tab attached to the left rear pocket was created in 1936 as a means of identifying Levi Strauss jeans at a distance. All are registered trademarks that are still in use.
The original Dutch Boy was an advertising illustration. The first Dutch Boy trademark was painted in 1907 by Lawrence Carmichael Earl, a portrait painter from Montclair, New Jersey. He chose a nine-year-old neighbor as his model. Over the years, the Dutch Boy trademark was changed several times. In 1987, the Dutch Boy trademark returned to its 1907 design.
Building designs can also serve as trademarks or service marks. For example, these two designs are registered to McDonalds Corporation for restaurant services.
Sounds can be registered as trademarks if they identify the source of a product or service. For example, the roar of a lionfirst used in 1924identifies the motion pictures of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
The NBC chimes were first used in 1961 to identify the programming of the National Broadcasting Company.
The smell of a product can also serve as a trademark. In 1991, a woman from California registered a scent for her sewing thread and embroidery yarn. The trademark is described as "a high impact, fresh, floral fragrance reminiscent of plumeria blossoms."
The Patent and Trademark Office initially refused registration of Owens-Cornings application to register the color pink for their fibrous glass insulation. Never before had a single color been entitled to protection. Owens-Corning had licensed use of the Pink Panther character, had spent millions promoting the "pinkness" of its product, and presented overwhelming survey evidence that customers of residential insulation knew that pink insulation came from a particular source. Owens-Corning was eventually successful on appeal.
The Green Giant name was created in 1925 by the Minnesota Valley Canning Company as a brand name for a new type of pea. The companys trademark attorney, fearing that "Green Giant" could not be protected legally because it might be interpreted as describing large green peas, suggested adding a picture of a green giant to the label. The company did include a giant on the label, but he was not green until 1935.
F. W. Ruckheim & Bro. created a unique mixture of popcorn, peanuts, and molasses for the 1893 Columbia Exposition in Chicago, the first Worlds Fair. (The Ferris Wheel, Aunt Jemima pancakes, and the ice cream cone were also introduced at the event.) The mixture was popular but difficult to handle because it tended to stick together in chunks. By 1896, the company devised a way to keep the popcorn kernels separate. The "Cracker Jack" name came from a popular slang expression of the time which signified excellence.
The wax-sealed, moisture-proof box was introduced in 1899. Immortalized in 1908 in the lyrics of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," Cracker Jack added surprises in each package in 1912.
The Sailor Jack character, and his dog Bingo, were introduced in 1919. They were modeled on F. W. Rueckheims grandson, Robert, and his dog.
In 1886, Atlanta pharmacist John S. Pemberton took some of his new health elixer syrup to Jacobs Drug Store. Instead of being mixed with ice water, as he had instructed, the syrup was mixed with soda water. Pemberton and others liked the taste and he shifted his marketing strategy, encouraging the use of Coca-Cola as a drink of refreshment.
The name Coca-Cola is a combination of the names of two ingredients, the coca leaf (from South America) and the kola nut (from Africa). The name was suggested by Pembertons bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, who also penned the fancy script logo in 1887.
Between 1887 and 1888, the name and formula were sold three times, ending up with Asa G. Candler. He made minor changes to the formula and ensured it remained a closely guarded trade secret, as it is to this day.
Coca-Cola was first bottled in 1894. By 1914, imitation cola drinks were widespread and Candler wanted a new, distinctive bottle design to readily distinguish Coca-Cola from competitors cola drinks. An employee of a Terre Haute bottling plant designed the now classic bottle design in 1915. His inspiration for the fluted sides and bulging middle was the shape of the kola nut. In 1960, the bottle design was registered as a trademark with the U.S. Patent Office.
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