Old Fashioned Trade-mark Infringement

I guess this falls under the category of “online law” – the proceedings of the Old Bailey (London’s Central Criminal Court) dating back to the year 1674 are now online.  Here are a few excerpts from trade-mark criminal cases from the 1800s. They’re a great of snapshot of horse-and-buggy intellectual property law:

10th September 1894 Unlawfully selling two bottles of gingerbeer to which a trade mark was falsely applied. A kid was caught recycling gingerbeer bottles by collecting empties, washing them, filling them with his own home-brew gingerbeer, then selling them from a roadside wheelbarrow. The manufacturer nailed him for trade-mark infringement – essentially passing off his homebrew for that of the brandname drink. 

13th January 1896 Falsely applying to 1,080 electric lamp holders a mark so resembling the trade-mark of the Edison and Swan United Electric Light Company as to be calculated to deceive.  A more sophisticated operation involving a scheme to unload counterfeit lamp holders. The verdict: Nine Months’ Imprisonment.  The trade-mark owner is the company run by Edison and Swan – the American and British inventors who owned light-bulb patents, and eventually joined forces after settlement of a patent infringement lawsuit.

Some things never change.  

Calgary - 09:30 MST

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