California Marking & Collective Amnesia.

Paul Duguid.  "California Marking & Collective Amnesia."  U.C. Davis Law Review. 47(2): 581-600.  2013.


The history of trademarks in California merits acknowledgement in 2013 because that year marks the 150th anniversary of trademark law and registration in the state. The anniversary is further significant because California’s was the first trademark registration law in the country, antedating federal law by seven years. In providing a quick and celebratory overview of the anniversary, this Article also draws attention to the ways in which California’s trademark history challenges some of the regularly repeated platitudes about trademark law, its origins, and its development. In particular, this Article shows how the states, led by California, pioneered the development of collective and certification marks, though these are generally attributed to the federal Lanham Act of 1945. The long exclusion of these kinds of marking from both federal law and history, this Article suggests, may be more revealing than their eventual inclusion.


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Last updated:

September 20, 2016