Transblawg links to a trademark checklist of immediate use to those with a professional need to check for trademark status and of interest to the merely curious, like me; as Margaret says, although it is a creation of the International Trademark Association (“of more than 4,300 trademark owners and professionals, from more than 170 countries”), it appears to include only trademarks from English-language countries—it includes, for example, Dual herbicide but not the Dual turntables everybody wanted when I was in college.


  1. Well, this post is ancient, but it is about trademarks, so it seems the right place to post the following poem. The author is not known: it was published in a unnamed newspaper, and then by Brander Matthews in the February 1919 issue of The Bookman.

    Chipeco thermos dioxygen, temco sonora tuxedo
    Resinol fiat bacardi, camera ansco wheatena;
    Antiskid pebeco calox, oleo tyco barometer
       Postum nabisco!

    Prestolite arco congoleum, karo aluminum kryptok,
    Crisco balopticon lysol, jello bellans, carborundum!
    Ampico clysmic swoboda, pantasote necco brittanica

    Here is Mathews’s painfully verbose (he writes the way Pooh’s friend Owl, or WOL, talks) but informative commentary (with extra paragraph breaks, as usual):

    What should have been prefixed to this rambling disquisition is a copy of verses which I found in the flotsam and jetsam of journalism, credited only to a nameless “exchange”. I do not know, therefore, where it originally appeared or to whom the honor of its authorship should be ascribed. It may have been the product of the pen of that ubiquitous Mr. Anon who is perhaps the most constant of contributors to the unnamed “exchange”.

    It was simply and boldly entitled “Ode”; and, as will be seen, it has a full Horatian flavor. Read aloud, with due emphasis and with proper respect for its lordly rhythm, it is undeniably possessed of a sonorous dignity. Perhaps there would be excess of praise if the suggestion were ventured that it sounds a little as if Horace himself had composed it, in some lost language of the past, possibly Etruscan, undecipherable until some patient explorer shall discover its Rosetta stone. The fourth line, for example, “Postum nabisco!” has the very cadence of Horace’s “Fusce pharetra” [Ode 1.22].

    When we undertake to analyze the vocabulary of this delectable specimen of neo-classic versification, we discover that less than a dozen of its words are recorded in the dictionaries of English: aluminum, barometer, Britannica, camera, carborundum, dioxygen, encyclopædia, and tuxedo. Two of these may be only doubtfully English, since carborundum — superbly suggestive of the orotund Latin gerund — is the name given by its American inventor to a product so useful that it is exported to manufacturers throughout the world; and tuxedo is the name generally bestowed by Americans on the article of apparel which the British prefer to call a dinner-jacket. With the exception of fiat, the name of an Italian motor car, made by the Fabbrica Italiano Automobili, Torino, all the other words are to be credited to the ingenuity of the American advertiser; and at least one-half of them, familiar as they may be to us on this side of the Western Ocean, are not yet known to our kin across the sea.

    To identify the majority of these trademarks would be an excellent test of observation and of memory. First of all, we may single out a group of words artfully compounded to designate novelties of food and drink: clysmic, crisco, jello, karo, nabisco, necco, postum, and wheatena. And it is with surprise that we note the absence of uneeda, which we were justified in expecting to find here in company with its fellows, many of them less indelibly imprinted on our memories. Of most of these words the origin is not a little obscure, although we perceive that postum perpetuates the name of its maker, and that nabisco is a foreshortening of National Biscuit Company. Jello is plainly intended to suggest jelly.

    Second, we descry a group of words put together to provide names for articles of the toilet and of the household: ampico, ansco, balopticon, calox, congoleum, lysol, kryptok, oleo, pebeco, resinol, sonora, and thermos. Here again we miss kodak and sapolio, perhaps because they failed to fit into the meter. When we seek the material out of which these words have been made, we cannot blunder if we decide that oleo harks back to the Latin and thermos to the Greek; and we can surmise that ampico is a summary telescoping of American Piano Company.

    Third, and less numerous, is the group of names for patented and protected accessories of the automobile: antiskid, pantasote, and prestolite, a group far smaller than we should have expected to find in the prevailing effulgence of automobile advertising.

    As for the remainder of these hand-made words, I must confess that I am at a loss to suggest any satisfactory classification. I must confess that I am at a loss to suggest any satisfactory classification. Indeed, I do not identify all of them, although there are none with which I feel myself absolutely unfamiliar. I must admit that either my memory is at fault or my observation.

    I believe, however, that swoboda is a name belonging to or assumed by an exponent of physical culture, and intended to designate the specific exercises which he recommends. One or another of the rest of these more or less felicitous examples of trade nomenclature [viz. arco, bacardi, bellans, chipeco, temco, tyco] may have been made up to individualize an edible or a potable, a toilet preparation or an automobile accessory, a camera or a piano-player. Their origin may be abandoned to the researches of linguistic investigators more patient and more persevering than I am.

    I have already noted that nearly all these artificial vocables, whose dexterous collocation lends to this Horatian ode its ample sonority, are of domestic manufacture. Only a very few of them [more now, perhaps] would evoke recognition from an Englishman; and what a Frenchman or a German would make out [of] the eight lines is beyond human power even to guess. Corresponding words have been devised in France and Germany but only infrequently [then!]; and apparently the invention of trade-mark names is not a customary procedure on the part of foreign advertisers.

    The British, although less affluent in this respect than we are, seem to be a little more inclined to employ the device than their competitors on the continent. Every American, traveling on the railways which converge on London, must have experienced a difficulty discovering whether the station at which his train has paused is Stoke Pogis or Bovril, Chipping Norton or Mazzawattee. None the less it is safe to say that the concoction of a similar ode by the aid of the trade-mark words invented in the British Isles would be a task of great difficulty on account of the paucity of terms sufficiently artificial to bestow the exotic remoteness which is accountable for the fragrant aroma of the American “Ode”.

    Google Books link.

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