Circle & Triangle: trademark, origin & meaning
Why did A.A. stop using the circle and triangle symbol?
Did we lose the trademark on it?
What was its origin and meaning?
What happened was that after many years of using the symbol and claiming it as a trademark, A.A. World Service tried to stop non-A.A. companies from using it on things link anniversary chips.
In this process they learned that the symbol had been in wide spread use, even in temperance societies, well before A.A. existed. Because of that AA never had a legitimate claim to ownership of the symbol and stopped using it.
From the start of the symbols use in A.A. it was recognized as dating back hundreds of years. Page 139 of A.A. Comes of Age
describes its start, meaning and history this way:
Above us, at the International Convention at St. Louis in 1955, floated a banner on which was inscribed the then new symbol for A.A., a circle enclosing a triangle. The circle stands for the whole world of A.A., and the triangle stands for A.A.'s Three Legacies: Recovery, Unity and ServiceYou can read more on the subject at this link
It is perhaps no accident that priests and seers of antiquity regarded this symbol as a means of warding off spirits of evil.