In Ancient time, the use of markings to create who owns or made a certain product was already seen. Bison have painted on the walls of Lascaux Cave in southern France contain marks that indicate his ownership, said by scholars. The paintings were made around 5,000 years B. C. (Johnson, 2007). A stone was also seen in the Middle East dating 3,500 B. C. Seals were used in the stone to indicate who made that certain item. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese were also using different forms of stamps or marking to indicate who made that certain thing, like pottery and bricks.
The marking did not only indicate the problem with the product (Johnson, 2007). During the Middle Ages, the European trade guild began using marks to specify who have made a specific product. The first who adopt the practice was the Bell makers; it is followed by other manufacturers like paper makers. They have added watermarks, for the people to know who have made that particular sheet (Johnson, 2007). In the year 1266, the Bakers Marking Law, which rules the use of stamps on loaves of the bread, was passed in England. It is considered as the earliest laws on trademarks. In 1363, the Silversmiths were required to mark their products.
With the influence of the Chinese porcelain, the bottle makers and porcelain manufacturers quality but it also let the people to know whom to blame if there will be a also used marks to indicate who made their products (Johnson, 2007). In 1618, the first court case which involves the improper use of a trademark has happened in England. The manufacturer of a high-quality cloth prosecuted a competitor who made lower-quality cloth, but it use the marking reserved for the top-quality cloth. The case Southern v. How is considered as the first case of actual trademark violation.
In 1751, the Parisian furniture makers were also required to sign their work with marks. (Johnson, 2007). In the United States, Thomas Jefferson recommended the adoption laws prevailing trademarks because of a disagreement over the sail cloth marks in 1791. Whereas, the federal legislation was not cooperative, some of the states passed their own laws. For example, in 1842, Michigan required marks to indicate the origin of timber. The Federal trademark legislation was passed in 1870. the Averill Paints have received a trademark under the law in the same year, making it the first modern trademark issued in the United States (Johnson, 2007).
Since then, a huge body of law has urbanized around trademarks and patents. The number of trademarked items has increased rapidly. The use of registered brand names, have became an important part of business. Non-brand names also known as “generic” products are less expensive. But brand names remain popular because they assure the best quality that generic products often cannot match. The U. S. Patent and Trademark Office is a branch of the Department of Commerce. It is responsible in keeping track of the patent law. Nowadays, more than 2. 3 million separate patents are in existence (Johnson, 2007).