Trademark Bureau 'MYTKHUN'




The longer you put off
the registration of your trademark -
the more you jeopardize
your business!


The history of trademarks traces back to ancient times and it is hardly possible to fix the exact date when the first trademarks appeared.

Yet in 5000 BC people were producing pottery with indication of the name of the ruling Chinese emperor, name of the manufacturer and place of making.

Hellenistic author, a Greek Egyptian Horapollon, wrote his book «Hieroglyphica» probably in the 5th century AD, though it was published only in the 15th century. Horapollon considered hieroglyphs not as elements of Egyptian language, but as ideograms conveying certain notions. Some of the hieroglyphs from Horapollon's book, for example Phoenix bird, became a commonplace in emblematic science.

Symbolizing and emblematizing were extremely popular in medieval Europe. In the 15th century the military outfit was very bombastic and rich in emblematical elements: innumerable mottos abundantly decorated hats, jackets, armors and horse harness.

Officially in England they started marking gold and silver in 1300, when the king Edward I enacted the law, which prohibited jewelers to sell their gold and silver ware without previous stamping at the Goldsmith's Hall (assay office in London); those who tried to counterfeit the hallmarks were sentenced to death.

Dwelling on the topic we cannot help mentioning merchant's marks — personal marks that existed since the beginning of 13th century till the end of 16th century and were widely used by traders and merchants throughout Europe. These merchant's marks can be considered as predecessors of modern trademarks because they bore names of traders and served as a guaranty that the sold goods were of expected quality. In the 15th century there appeared printer's marks, which were put on books to identify printer, for instance German printer Johannes Gutenberg used the mark representing a double shield, which first appeared in books published in 1462. In the 16th century emblems decorated not only palaces and castles of noblemen, but also on inns and taverns, hence were widely used in trade.

The first legislative act concerning trademarks was adopted by British Parliament in 1266 under the reign of Henry III, and according to that act every baker had to put his mark on the bread he produced.

In Great Britain the law on registration of trademarks was enacted on August 13, 1875 and it granted to trademark holder a monopolistic right for his mark, and also the right to sue the infringers in court on the basis of certificate. The Department of Registration of Trademarks opened in London on January 1, 1876. The first registered trademark was the red triangle of the company «Bass & Co.», which they put on the bottles with ale.

Although the mark of «Bass & Co.» is considered as the oldest registered in the world, but it was not the first one among still existing trademarks. The point is that the law on registration of trademarks was passed in the USA on July 8, 1870, and they began registering five years earlier than Englishmen. The first mark registered in the USA was one of the «Averill Chemical Paint Company», which represented an eagle holding in its beak a pot of paint and a pennant with a slogan. However the Law of 1870 was later repealed as contradicting to the Constitution and the first registration was annulled. The new law appeared in 1881. Since 1905 trademarks are registered by the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The trademark of «Pepsi Cola» was registered in 1898 and since then this logo was constantly changing along with fickle fashion. Thus the mark underwent modifications in the design of typeface in 1905, 1908, and 1940. In 1950 there appeared an image of cap with a logo on it, this cap was modified several times so that only a circle was left. The latter was in 1996 transformed into three-dimensional image of children's ball. Probably the developers of this device are exploiting our affection for childhood memories and try to invoke a subconscious interest.

Heraldry and heraldic symbols were at all times in the focus of attention — from old ages the using of blazons was a prerogative of the noble, but in times of industrial revolutions there appeared corporate coats of arms, which belonged to guilds of craftsmen. Among registered trademarks one can still find many elements of heraldry. Sometimes companies use in their emblems such elements, which are associated with the state emblem. In Russia, for example, there are a lot of trademarks using a stylized double-headed eagle. There is an ambiguous approach to this problem: on the one hand, it is banned to use the state emblem directly; on the other hand, many directors of enterprises are willing to call up associations with state symbols. A possible solution for this dilemma can be a greater degree of stylization of the elements of the coat of arms.

At present a special sign warns people that the trademark is registered.
The signs (R) - ® or TM - ™ placed near the trademark indicate that registration is either in force or pending, so that possible infringers knew that unauthorized using of that mark can lead to serious consequences.

© 2002-2004  Trademark Bureau MYTKHUN
Logo: Shumilov   Concept & design: GV
P.O. Box 583, Main Post Office, Tiraspol, MD-3300, Moldova.
tel./fax.: (373 533) 93324     E-mail: