What commercial said, “the gift that keeps on giving?” This well known phrase has been used in many commercials over the years. The phrase has been used to sell gifts for Mother’s and Father’s Day, Sports Illustrated subscriptions, gift of the month subscriptions, and the male enhancement drug called Enzyte, just to name a few. However, a search of the United States Patent and Trademark database reveals the first trademarked use for commercial purposes goes to the first talking machines back in 1925. This trademark has since expired and has been used by a number of other commercial ventures since then.
The gift that keeps on giving is meant to invoke the feelings people get when they receive a present. Any present that gives that feeling over and over, such as receiving a magazine every month, would be better than a gift that only provides that feeling once. Unfortunately, not all gifts received are beneficial; this phrase has also been used to describe sexually transmitted diseases and other unpleasant experiences.
To date, there have been four applications to trademark this phrase:
Knowing what commercial said, “the gift that keeps on giving” is difficult to pinpoint because so many companies feel that their products embody this idea. Until the phrase becomes trademarked again, any company or product is free to use it.