Which came first? AMI Logo or TRIFORCE (r) symbol?

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If you’ve seen the AMI logo, it resembles three triangles. It’s actually not three triangles. Instead it depicts a stylized letter A stacked on top of a stylized letter M.

However, some of our logos incorporate triple triangles along with words (See our MG9098 NVMe, SAS, SATA backplane controller logo). You see, in order for someone to trademark a logo, it must be distinctive or run the risk of being declined. In fact, the United States Patent Office (USPTO) has a spectrum of distinctiveness classification. Visit the USPTO for more information on this subject.

I’ve gone through the USPTO database looking for a registered trademark or service mark that depicts just three triangles. I couldn’t find any. I guess that using three triangles alone as a logo isn’t distinctive enough to be granted a trademark.

However, all that aside, this subject comes up from time to time in varying forms.
“Did AMI copy the TRIFORCE® symbol design?”

When I first heard about this, I was confused as I didn’t know what the TRIFORCE® symbol was. In fact, I’ve never seen or played any of The Legend of Zelda™ video games.

So, which came first?

This is a difficult question to answer as I don’t know exactly when Nintendo of America Inc. publicly released a game that used the TRIFORCE® symbol. I can only give you the AMI perspective. Perhaps someone from Nintendo of America Inc. could answer this. From what I can tell, The Legend of Zelda™ video game was released in 1986, but didn’t use the triple triangle.

Even though AMI was founded in 1985, prior to the release of the game, the AMI logo wasn’t created until a few years later. As mentioned earlier, the AMI logo is actually a stylized letter A stacked on top of a stylized letter M. At the time, many technology companies used striped logos. My predecessors decided to incorporate that feature so when someone looked at our logo, they would assume, “Oh, a technology company.”

The AMI logo was first used on boot up splash screens in early 1990. It was basically created using our own ASCII character codes opposed to an image file. The first AMI logo was comprised of four individual characters in a two by two grid. The reason for doing it this way was because the initial boot screens didn’t support graphics. In fact, during the late 1980s and early 1990s, most monitors were monochromatic. Think green or amber monitors. Even color monitors only supported a handful of colors. Most computers only supported text. Back then, computers were called clones… I am going off into a rabbit hole.

If you know when the TRIFORCE® symbol was first used, please let me know.

Nintendo® is a registered trademark of Nintendo of America Inc. The Legend of Zelda™ is a trademark of Nintendo of America Inc. TRIFORCE is a registered trademark of Nintendo of America Inc.
The include picture is a photograph of a Google image returned result from https://9gag.com/gag/a3Y3pV8/american-megatrends-logo-is-the-triforce
AMI is not affiliated with Nintendo of America Inc., 9gag or any of its affiliates.
The AMI logo is a registered trademark of AMI Inc.
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