Forty-five years ago today, the name of Cincinnati, Ohio’s professional football team was first registered as a United States trademark. On August 8, 1972, the creatively-named Cincinnati Bengals, Inc. was granted U.S. Registration No. 940763 for the mark BENGALS for “entertainment services in the form of professional football game competition.” The Bengals were formed as a member of the American Football League in 1966 by Paul Brown, the team’s first head coach and namesake of its current stadium in downtown Cincinnati. Brown took the name from an earlier but unrelated “Cincinnati Bengals” football team that played from 1937-1941. The Bengals became part of the National Football League after the AFL’s 1969 merger with the NFL. Today, the BENGALS name is still in use, the 940763 registration is still in force, and the team still hopes to one day win a Super Bowl.
Almost anyone in this country who has ever been or had a school-age child is likely familiar with the publishing company known as Scholastic, and exactly four score and seven years ago, the SCHOLASTIC mark was first registered as a trademark in the United States. On August 5, 1930, The Scholastic Publishing Company was granted U.S. Registration No. 273405 for the mark SCHOLASTIC for a “semi-monthly magazine.” Founded in 1920, Scholastic would grow to become “the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books…employing more than 8,400 employees and serving customers in more than 165 countries in 45 languages.” The company’s current list of publications include the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings series, and numerous elementary school favorites such as The Magic School Bus and Captain Underpants series. Today, the SCHOLASTIC mark is more prominent than ever, and the 273405 registration is still in force.
The American Institute of Architects, or “AIA,” is the preeminent professional association for licensed architects in the United States, and on this day fifty-two years ago, its name was first registered as a collective membership mark. On August 3, 1965, the AIA was granted U.S. Registration Nos. 793831 and 793832 for the marks AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS and AIA. Both marks were registered for “indicating membership in good standing in applicant,” the “applicant” being a member architect. Unlike traditional trademarks and service marks, which are used to identify the source of particular goods or services, collective membership marks exist solely to indicate that the user of the mark is a member of a particular organization, such as the AIA. Interestingly, although the AIA traces its roots back to 1857, the association waited more than a century before finally getting around to registering its name as a collective membership mark, which, one imagines, is quite a bit longer than it would have taken a group called the “American Institute of Trademark Attorneys.” As the ancient Romans used to say, “Carpe TM!”
Forty-five years ago today, a brand that would become indelibly linked to the information age and affect countless lives across the globe was first registered as a trademark in the United States. On August 1, 1972, the Intel Corporation of Mountain View, California was granted U.S. Registration No. 939641 for the mark INTEL for “integrated circuits, registers and semiconductor memories.” In the 1970s and 1980s, INTEL chips were instrumental in ushering in the era of the personal computer, and the brand achieved near-monopoly status in the computer world in the 1990s. Today, the INTEL brand still reigns supreme, the 939641 registration is still in force, and the company remains the largest and most valuable chip maker in the world.