History of Trademarks


historyoftrademarks_introA trademark is a sign used in trade to distinguish goods and services. It is a kind of intellectual property (IP). Trademarks tell us the source of products, connecting them to the companies from which they come. They are usually words or logos.

Think of the name of your favourite chocolate bar, your favourite jeans or your favourite social media network – they’re all trademarks.

Trademarks have a long history that reaches back to ancient times and beyond. Explore this interactive timeline to find out more about the origins of trademarks.


Choose one example from the timeline below to find out more about. Try to source some images and extra facts in order to put together a short presentation to your class. This could be in the form of a poster, a slide show or a role play.

With a partner, spend 5 minutes each looking through the information on the timeline below then take turns to test each other on what you remember about some its key information.

The timeline below ends at the end of the 19th century. Try to find out more about trademark law in the 20th century.

Check out some ideas about IP and international cooperation. Which three key dates would you add and why? Share your ideas with your class.


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