Thirteen years ago today, a name that would strike terror into the hearts of countless wannabe barbarians was first registered as a trademark in the United States. On May 31, 2005, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. was granted U.S. Registration No. 2957043 for the mark JOHN CENA for “Entertainment services, namely, wrestling exhibits and performances by a professional wrestler and entertainer; providing wrestling news and information via a global computer network.” Debuting in the ring in 2002, the name JOHN CENA has come to epitomize the “tough guy” image of professional wrestlers (and hulking brutes in general). While it is unclear whether John Cena could actually beat Chuck Norris in an Internet meme battle, both the 2957043 registration and John Cena himself are still in force.
A half-century ago today, one of the preeminent brands in sports drink history was first registered as a trademark in the United States. On April 30, 1968, Stokely-Van Camp, Inc. was granted U.S Registration No. 848245 for the mark GATORADE for a “fruit flavored soft drink and powder for making the same.” First developed in 1965 by a team of scientists at the University of Florida College of Medicine, the drink was originally intended for use by the Florida Gators football team to help athletes by acting as a replacement for body fluids lost during physical exertion. After several years of successful use with the Florida Gators, the drink was named “Gatorade,” and a deal was signed with Stokely-Van Camp, Inc. to market the product for wider commercial consumption. Acquired by PepsiCo in 2000, the GATORADE brand now enjoys a seventy-five percent share of the sports drink market in the United States, and the original 848245 registration remains in force.
Four score and sixteen years ago today, one of the most memorable and enduring names in candy bar-dom was first registered as a trademark in the United States. On February 28, 1922, the Williamson Candy Company was granted U.S. Registration No. 152550 for the mark OH HENRY! for “candy.” According to current owner Nestlé, which acquired the U.S. rights to the OH HENRY! brand in 1984, “many people mistakenly assume OH HENRY! was named after the famous ball player Hank Aaron, but the true origin of the name is much more amusing”:
Way back when, there was a little candy shop owned by George Williamson. A young fellow by the name of Henry who visited this shop on a regular basis became friendly with the young girls working there. They were soon asking favors of him, clamoring Oh Henry, will you do this?, and Oh Henry, will you do that? So often did Mr. Williamson hear the girls beseeching poor young Henry for help, that when he needed a name for a new candy bar, he called it OH HENRY! and filed a trademark application the following year.
And the rest, as they say, is interjectionary confectionery history. After nearly a century, the OH HENRY! brand is still in use (and is still purportedly “a great-tasting candy bar” with “lots of caramel, peanuts and fudge, wrapped in rich Nestlé Classic Milk Chocolate!”), and the 152550 registration remains in force.