Coca-Cola settled on its famous contour bottle design almost 100 years ago, in 1916, after several years of trials with other far less distinctive shapes (at least under today’s standards):
Federal trademark registration data confirms the first use date to be July 8, 1916. The description of the contour bottle design mark in 1960 was: “The trademark consists of the distinctively shaped contour, or confirmation, and design of the bottle as shown”:
The silhouette or outline of the contour bottle design stands alone as a federally registered trademark even without words:
The negative image or silhouette of the contour bottle design is also federally registered as a trademark:
And, now the outline or partial image of the contour bottle design shape even finds itself in multiple other federally-registered formats for the Coca-Cola brand:
The beauty in the design to trademark types, of course, lies in the fact that the shape can be owned as a trademark, forever . . . .