August 07, 2014

The 109th Anniversary of Winchester's H Federal Trademark Registration

by Guest Blogger


Last week, I wrote about the trademark trivia on Trademarkology's twitter feed. One of the interesting historical nuggets that appeared on the feed last week related to Winchester's H trademark registration for cartridges. The 109th anniversary of this registration was this past Friday. Here is the original specimen of trademark use:

08 01 05 H

I rarely stumble across trademark registrations as old as this, and it made me wonder what the "H" stood for. I consulted our resident expert, Dr. Wik. I. Pedia, and I discovered that the Winchester Rifle Model 1866 mentioned in the specimen above was Winchester's first rifle (source). It was a modified and improved version of the Henry rifle.

The Henry rifle was the the first reliable rimfire, lever-action repeating rifle. It was invented by B. Tyler Henry in 1860, who worked for Winchester's predecessor, New Haven Arms Company. Henry left the company over a dispute about compensation and ownership of the company. After Henry's departure, the New Haven Arms Company reorganized as the Winchester Repeating Arms Co.

Winchester introduced its new and improved version of the rimfire Henry rifle in 1866. Winchester's first commercially available metallic cartridge ammunition was a large caliber rimfire load that was also introduced in 1866. To honor Henry for his work, all Winchester rimfire cartridges carried an "H" headstamp (and still do today).

Interestingly, the Henry rifle and the Winchester 1866 figure prominently in one of my favorite Westerns, Silverado. The Henry rifle is the firearm of choice for one of the main characters, Malachi "Mal" Johnson, played by Danny Glover. Mal's Henry rifle is actually a mocked up Winchester 1866 that has had its fore-end removed. In this clip, Mal brings some bad news to Emmett (Scott Glenn) . . . along with a couple rifles:

The key takeaway here (besides not angering Danny Glover and Scott Glenn) is that Winchester's 109-year-old H trademark registration can last forever as it is being used in commerce. This is just one of the many benefits of owning a federal trademark registration. When you consider that in most cases a federal trademark registration can be obtained for less than $2,000, a registration provides great bang for the buck (pun intended).

The lawyers at Trademarkology provide trademark registration services backed by the experience and service of one of the nation's oldest law firms. Click here to begin the process of protecting your brand name with a federally registered trademark.