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Brand Bible by Debbie Millman

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F39 Job:09-26878 Title:RP-Brand Bible
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BRAND BIBLE40
(Text)
TRADEmARkS
AND ThE
GRowTh of
coNSUmER
pAckAGED
GooDS



04
 as the rst millennium b.c., arti-
sans would stamp a unique symbol onto their
wares to prove their provenance. This was useful
since the trade in these goods, such as earthen-
ware pots and other durables, could reach far and
wide, extending across the entire Mediterranean
world. These marks provided some assurance
as to their origin. This practice continued with
the growth of trade and commerce and became
commonplace during the rise and prominence
of the guilds of medieval Europe. However, as
today, these marks were certainly no guarantee
of authenticity.
One of the rst formal, mark-related laws was
implemented in England in 1266, during the
reign of King Henry III. The Bakers Marking Law
required bread makers to mark every loaf of bread
with pinpricks or stamps. The law was passed to
ensure that the bread met certain standards and
that bakers would be accountable for the goods
they produced.





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(Text)
Morton Salt
advertisement,
circa 1941
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BRAND BIBLE42
(Text)
The rst step toward legal protection for trade-
marks was the 1862 Merchandise Marks Act,
which made it illegal to knowingly copy anoth-
ers mark for fraudulent purposes. However,
enforcing this law proved dicult, as it was
extremely hard to prove who had used the mark
rst. To solve this, in 1875, the United King-
dom passed the Trade Marks Registration Act,
which allowed for the formal registration of
unique trademarks with the United Kingdom
Patent Oce, formally creating the infra-
structure for the modern consumer brand.
When the law went into eect on January1,
1876, the brewery, Bass Ale, registered the
world’s rst ocially recognized trade-
mark, the companys famous red triangle
logo; the symbol remains in use to this
day.
In the United States, protection of
trademarks was not as well dened
at the time. Although the United
States Constitution established
the legal groundwork for a patent
system, it wasn’t until Congress
enacted the Federal Trade Mark
Act, in 1870, that that brands began
to enjoy legal protection.

The rst known case of fraud concerning a trade-
mark was Southern v. How in 1618 England: A
prominent clothier accused a rival of axing his
mark upon an inferior product. While the case was
ultimately decided for the plainti, the government
didn’t institute many protections to assure the
rights of the rst users of a particular mark.
Indeed, long after this rst legal challenge, most
marks were seen as signatures, simply denot-
ing authorship. They were not utilized to secure
trade protections, nor were they seen as a means of
protecting buyers from fraudulent goods. Beyond
the sale of luxury goods that enjoyed a prosper-
ous trade across regions, most goods that entered
into commerce did so, and remained so, at the local
level. Therefore, the purchaser and seller typically
had an innate trust for each other. This trust, often
with roots in a relationship developed over time,
existed irrespective of the maker’s mark. Yet all of
this changed with the Industrial Revolution.
The onset of the Industrial Revolution in England
brought with it an explosion of goods and services
for sale as well as a proliferation of new consumers
with the means to purchase these products. Most
importantly, for the rst time, goods were being
mass produced at a central location and shipped
to far-ung locales. It was during this time that
brand names and trademarks became increasingly
important. In order to protect their oerings—and
prots—from fraud, manufacturers in England
began clamoring for ocial legal protection.
Early Bass Ale
packaging
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