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Germany's number 1 brand "Perkeo" celebrates its 125th birthday

Papierakte "Perkeo"

Trademark number DE 1 - "Perkeo" registered on 16 October 1894

A dwarf gave the name

It took just 16 days from the filing of the application to the registration of the German trademark number 1 "Perkeo": on October 1, 1894, the "Law for the Protection of the Description of Goods" or "Warenbezeichnungsgesetz" for short came into force, which for the first time also protected word marks and equipment. On the same day, metal goods entrepreneur Carl Holty registered the first German word mark with the then Imperial Patent Office in Berlin. The trademark was already registered on 16 October for lamps and lamp parts. The brand name goes back to "Perkeo", who worked as a dwarf at the court of the Palatine Elector Charles III in the 18th century. According to tradition, the man from Tyrol, who weighed 100 kilograms, guarded the so-called Big Barrel in Heidelberg Castle, which at the time held around 222,000 litres. When asked by his lord, whether he could drink the barrel alone, he was asked "Perché no? ("Why not?"). And so he got his name.

Brands can live forever

It is not known why Carl Holty chose this name for his lamps. What is certain is that the trademark is still registered in the DPMAregister today, for the time being until 2024. And the trademark could loosely become 150 years or older, because trademark protection can be extended indefinitely.

Around 816 000 German trade marks are currently valid

What one would probably never have dreamed of in 1894: A total of around 816,000 German brands are currently in force. Their paper files are kept in the trademark archive in the Jena office. Since the introduction of electronic trademark files in 2015, however, the DPMA has only stored new trademarks electronically. This makes sense, as around 70 percent of all trade marks are already registered online. This means that in 100 years' time people will no longer be able to view the trade marks from 2019 - in contrast to trade mark number 1 - as a paper file. But perhaps in this not too distant future people will ask what paper files are?

Picture: DPMA

Last updated: 15 October 2019 

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