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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Great logos and wordmarks from Winnipeg's past ....

Today's National Post had a great, fun article exploring the depths of Canadian Trademarks Database to see who owned what, from the expression "Take off, eh?” to the Eaton's name and logo.

I thought I would take a look back at some Winnipeg gems, particularly logos, and see who owns what. Surprisingly, the trademarks for many of them have expired over the years as organizations  failed to renew them. (Note that though the logo's trademark may have expired, the corporate name or word mark may still be protected.)


The word mark and logo for Winnipeg: One Great City, the "meh" sounding tourism campaign, was registered in 1991 and allowed to expire in 2008 by Tourism Winnipeg.

Many slogans associated with the city, though, came from business organizations and not necessarily for tourism purposes.

"Love Me, Love My Winnipeg" was registered in 1983 by the Winnipeg Chamber of commerce as part of a campaign for the “promotion of the City of Winnipeg as a place in which to work, do business, and live.” Its ownership of the trademark expired in 2000 when it failed to renew it.

Go back to 1980 and "Where the New West Begins" was registered by the Winnipeg Business Development Corporation for much the same purposes. This logo did make it onto city documents and vehicles. The ownership of the trademark fell by the wayside 1996.

Some Winnipeg facilities had nifty logos back in the day. The Winnipeg Convention Centre's original logo is retro gold. Filed in 1975, they failed to renew it in 1993.


Sports logos are always fun.

If you want to make a replica of the replica Winnipeg Falcons jersey, forget it. Hockey Canada owns that trademark along with other Winnipeg Falcon-related logos. Interestingly, the Winnipeg Victorias logo is registered by a Vancouver-based group called Vintage League in 2010.

The original Winnipeg Goldeyes logo from 1954 appears to have expired back in 1985 when TV station CJAY at Polo Park failed to renew the trademark.

Juniors Drive Ins has a trio of logos that were filed in 1976 but all expired in 1995. To give an idea of how detailed the description of logo could be, here is how their round one pictured above was described:

"Superimposed on semi-circles, the upper portion of which is red and the lower portion of which is blue, are the words JUNIOR'S DRIVE INN in white with semi-circles created by the "J" and the "S" in white and OF WINNIPEG in black. These semi-circles are surrounded by a series of circular frames commencing with the inner circle to the outer in the following colours respectively: orange, white and black."

It seems as though the original Winnipeg Sun logo (1991 - 1994) has expired.

Interestingly, so has the Winnipeg Transit black-on-orange "T" logo. Originally filed in 1978, they don't appear to have renewed it in 2010. Transit's Rapid Transit "rt", "telebus" and "navigo" logos are still active, though. **** The Transit logo appears twice. Once as expunged and a second time, in 2009, as being active again. Perhaps someone forgot to renew it and because of the length of time it has to go through the process again.


There were some surprisingly old trademarks in the database that have been spoken for until very recently.

Pellessier's Banquet Ale, for instance, was registered by the brewery in 1953 and renewed by Labatt's right up until 2014.

Sloane's Malt Extract's logo showing two servicemen saluting the product name was registered in 1929. The product seems to have had its heyday in the 1930s and 1940s, but the trademark for the name and logo were renewed right up until 2000.

The oldest Winnipeg-related trademark I could find was for Royal Crown Soap. The trademark was registered in 1893 when Manlius Bull, yes, that was his name, created the company. In the 1990s it got ensnared by the conglomerate Unilever and they stopped renewing the trademark in 2013. A sister product, Royal Crown's Sodaline Soap, was registered in 1903 and expired in 1994.

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