Oldest Trademarks in the World

By Jim Dossey, MS, MBA, JD, Registered Patent Attorney

This weekend, an article in the Wall Street Journal acknowledged Taylor Swift’s recent efforts to trademark key catch phrases such as “this sick beat”, “party like its 1989”, “Nice to meet you, where you been”, “Cause we never go out of style”, and “Could show you incredible things!”

Swift is following in the footsteps of others who have trademarked key phrases such as “three peat”, “Man of the match”, and “Let’s get ready to rumble.” Apparently, even Julius Caesar attempted to trademark the phrase “Veni, vidi, vici” in 46 BC (latin for "I came, I saw, I conquered"). However, his efforts were thwarted when his rival, Cicero, had already trademarked “Veni” and “vidi” when Caesar was out of town.

Trademark law has been around for centuries. Many historians note that blacksmiths who made swords in the Roman Empire were the first to use trademarks. The first trademark legislation was passed in England in 1266.

Here are some other examples:

  • 1905 - First trademark registration in Australia

  • 1874 – Nestle’s Eagle Brand grabbed the first registered trademark in Hong Kong

  • 1875 – The Bass red triangle logo was the first registered trademark in the UK

  • 1870 – Averill Paints obtained the first registered US trademark

  • Lowenbrau claims to have the oldest continuously used trademark in the world – 1383

  • Stella Artois – claims continuous use of its mark since 1366


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