Securing and Defending Trademarks Protect Exclusive Rights To Use
Posted April 17, 2018

The oldest living US trademark is for (a) medicine, (b) clothing, (c) alcoholic beverages, or (d) books?

It might not be your choice for the one thing you would take if you were stranded on a desert island – although if it were, not everyone would quarrel with that choice – but the answer is (c) alcoholic beverages. The US Trademark Office dutifully logs the first date of use of each registered trademark, and the booze is the clear winner. That Bushmills® Irish Whiskey you’ve been sipping (since 1860) is the oldest brand on your shelves. But if you guessed (a) medicine, you’re not too far off. Ever relied on Tabloid® brand pills? They’ve been on the market since 1884, an appropriate runner up, just in case you’ve overindulged in the winner’s quality products.

While books in their present form have been sold since the 1400s, and clothing in any form since the dawn of time, the purveyors of those worthy commodities come and go much more quickly than the sellers of Irish whiskey. The oldest living clothes brand in the US is Drumhor® of Scotland, famous for their stockings and cardigans, but no longer selling waistcoats or knickers. The longest-running book trademark is Harlequin®, still famous for their stories of florid romance.

Many long-lived brands were not registered with the U.S. Trademark Office until decades after sales began. That’s because the US is a “first to use” jurisdiction, not a “first to file” jurisdiction. Whoever is first to sell the brand is the “senior user,” entitled to the exclusive right to use the brand.

Whether you’re the last brand standing or the latest thing, LightGabler can secure and defend those valuable trademark rights for you. Your great-great-grandchildren will thank you.