Not much has spanned the last century. Less has lasted the past 100 years without change. That is why the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is proud to announce that 15 trademarks are celebrating their centennials this year.
The picture of a chef holding a bowl of hot cereal, Nabisco's CREAM OF WHEAT logo, and General Electric's "GE medallion" are two widely identifiable registered trademarks that have been part of the American culture for the past 100 years. Other well-known registrations celebrating 100 years in 2000 are Carnation Brand condensed milk and Pabst Milwaukee Blue Ribbon Beer.
Since the first trademark was registered in 1870, words, phrases, symbols, designs, shapes, and colors have established the identities of countless sources of goods and services for consumers worldwide. Nearly 1 million registered trademarks are in use today, including the oldest U.S. trademark still in use, SAMSON, with the design of a man and a lion, registered on May 27, 1884, for use on cords, line and rope.
USPTO, a user fee-funded agency of the United States, within the Department of Commerce, administers laws relevant to granting patents and registering trademarks. The Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office advises the Secretary of Commerce and other Federal departments and agencies on intellectual property policy matters. Over 6 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790 and 2.3 million trademarks have been registered since the first in 1870. Last year USPTO issued 161,000 patents and registered 104,000 trademarks.
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