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The sport originated in Victorian England, where it was played by the upper class as an after-dinner parlor game. There is speculation that homemade versions of the game were developed by the British military in India in the 1860s and 1870s, who brought it home with them.
The name "ping-pong" was in wide use before British manufacturer J. Jaques & Son Ltd trademarked it in 1901. The name "ping-pong" then came to describe the game played using Jaques' rather expensive equipment, with other manufacturers calling it table tennis.
A similar situation arose in the United States, where Jaques sold the rights to the "ping-pong" name to Parker Brothers. Parker Brothers then enforced its trademark for the term in the 1920s, making the various associations change their names to "table tennis" instead of the more common, but trademarked term.