Maria V. Hernandez
Numerous patents and trademarks have a love connection
Washington - Patents and trademarks may not be synonymous with Valentine's Day. However, the Department of Commerce's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted patents and trademarks to many types of candies, flowers, and jewelry associated with the celebration.
Roses are a huge business on Valentine's Day. Coincidentally, the first plant patent issued by the USPTO was for a rose (PP1). Henry F. Bosenberg, of New Brunswick, N.J., received the patent for a climbing rose on August 18, 1931. Red roses are the flower most often sent on Valentine's Day and Fred H. Howard, of Montebello, Calif., received Plant Patent No. 953, for an early hybrid tea rose, on June 20, 1950. Its flower is described as rose red, very appropriate for Valentine's Day. A more recent patent for a red rose (plant patent no. 11,834), was granted on April 3, 2001 to J. Benjamin Williams, of Silver Spring, Md., for a climbing rose named "Scarlet Star."
Florists' Transworld Delivery, Inc.®, more commonly known as FTD, offers a service closely associated with Valentine's Day flowers, and holds trademarks for its symbol depicting a flower deliverer (registration no. 0821318) and for its toll-free number, 1-800-SEND-FTD® (registration no. 1848732). According to the Greeting Card Association, one billion Valentine cards are sent each year. One famous purveyor of greeting cards is Hallmark®, who holds a trademark for its gold crown symbol (registration no. 0525798). Candy is another Valentine's Day tradition and some well-known brands are Godiva® (registration no. 0836376), Russell Stover® (registration no. 0739454), and Sweethearts® conversation heart candy (registration no. 2172266). Jewelry is another popular Valentine gift. Zales®, a well-known jewelry store chain, markets itself specifically for Valentine's Day with the slogan, "Zales the Diamond and Valentine Store®" (trademark registration no. 2112448).
These patents and trademarks, as well as the more than six million patents issued since the first in 1790 and the 2.3 million trademarks registered since 1870, can be seen on the Department of Commerce's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site at www.uspto.gov .
Last year USPTO issued 187,824 patents and registered 102,314 trademarks.
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