The well known phrase “the gift that keeps on giving?” has been used in many commercials over the years. It has been used to sell gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Sports Illustrated subscriptions, gift of the month subscriptions, and a male enhancement drug, 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, or phonographs, 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 used the phrase, “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.
Create and save customized word lists. Sign up today and start improving your vocabulary!