Trademarks are an incredibly important part of American trade laws, helping private and public businesses to retain the rights to their identity. Trademarks help to provide and secure rights for the mark, logo and symbol of a company. These branding pieces are crucial to the identity of a company. By trademarking these pieces, companies can prevent other companies from duping consumers into believing that they are the original company.
It is important to understand the history of trademark law if you are considering trademarks for the design pieces of your own company. This information will help you to better understand your rights as a trademark owner.
The first official trademarks in the United States came to be in the 19th century. While branding has always been a part of businesses, this was the first time that these branding pieces were protected.
A major trademark law in the United States came to be in 1996. The Dilution Act of 1996 strengthened the rights of all trademark owners as it worked to prevent copycats. The act states that marks that are too similar to marks that have been trademarked can confuse consumers, and are therefore violations of the held trademark.
One interesting form of trademark law came to be in 1999. The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act worked to prevent individuals from infringing on the web rights of companies with trademarked names. Individuals cannot pick up a URL of a company that has already been trademarked.
These various trademark laws continued to evolve as business in America continued to evolve. These laws will continue to change as businesses and technologies change. Those who are interested in securing their own trademark should understand the full history of trademarks. This knowledge will help them to understand and enforce the rights that are given under the United States trademark.