Back in April I asked on the INTA ListServ: “What are the oldest trademarks in the world still in use?” Now, the INTA Bulletin (available to members only) is running a two part article on the oldest registered trademarks (slightly different concept).
In Australia, in 1905 a pine tree logo, still in use by Fisons plc. for chemicals, became the first registration there.
In Hong Kong, the first registered trademark was NESTLE’S EAGLE BRAND, granted in 1874, for condensed milk. It’s still in use (EAGLE condensed milk appears to be owned by Borden in the U.S.).
The first registered trademark in Japan was a design of a seated figure, registered for pills and wound dressings, issued around 1884.
The Bass red triangle logo is of course reg. no. 1 in the UK, registered in 1875 (and reportedly in use since the 1600′s).
The first U.S. registration was granted in 1870 for an eagle logo used for paints by Averill Paints, no longer in use.
The search for the oldest U.S. trademark still in use continues.
Contenders for the oldest continuously used trademark in the world are LOWENBRAU, which claims use since 1383 and STELLA ARTOIS, which claims use since 1366.
Two marks which began life as appellations of origin (there’s that term again), are WIELICKA, used for salt since 1241, and WEIHENSTEPHANER, a German beer, since 1040.
My colleague Roberto Kunz-Hallstein claims that the logo of WELTENBURGER KLOSTER BAROCK DUNKEL has been in use for beer since 1050.
My colleague Brett Doyle argues that S.P.Q.R. should be deemed to be a mark for municipal services, in use for two millenia.