Munich Personal RePEc Archive

An anniversary to mark: the who, what, when, and why of California's trademark registration law of 1863

Paul, Duguid (2013): An anniversary to mark: the who, what, when, and why of California's trademark registration law of 1863.

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Abstract

In 1863, a one-term senator introduced a trademark bill to the California legislature that the Daily Alta California at first reported as of little more than parochial interest. In fact, when seen in local context, the bill might seem to have been aimed primarily at the senator's own business interests. Yet the ensuing law represents the first trademark registration law in the common law jurisdictions. As such, the law is particularly intriguing, because standard histories of law and business usually credit manufacturing interests and states for pioneering trademark law, and in 1863 California was hardly a classic manufacturing state. This essay thus attempts to explore the background of this law in order to answer the questions why California and why then?

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