Labels and Trademarks and Prints, Oh My! Legal Evidence of US Interest in Brand Protection in the 1800s

  • Ross D. Petty Babson College, Babson Park, Massachusetts USA


Purpose –This paper examines a number of legal sources for evidence that US marketers were
interested in protecting their brand identities in the 1800s.

Approach – This research examines historical legal records.

Limitations –Many original records were lost in the 1836 Patent Office fire or have been simply lost.
However, this research project will continue in an effort to find whatever records may still be

Contribution –Existing literature examines trademark statutes and federal registration that began in
1870. This work examines several types of evidence and additional sources that both pre-date 1870
and provide a fuller understanding of the period from 1870 to 1905.


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