California and Federal Legislation


California Early Trademark Laws


"An Act Concerning Certain Trade-marks" (Chapter 478, Statutes of 1861), allowed that, every person engaged in manufacturing or bottling certain beverages could have such trademark, or name, as he deemed proper, stamped on, or blown in, bottles. Persons wishing a trademark for bottled beverages had to file a claim and a description of the mark with their County Clerk and a duplicate with the Secretary of State. The Act made it unlawful for any person other than the registered owner to use, sell, or have in his possession, any bottle, for which a trademark had been acquired under the provisions of the Act. 

California’s Trademark Registration Act or "An Act Concerning Trade Marks and Names" (Chapter 129, Statutes of 1863) widened the scope of trademark registration in the state. The 1863 Act let a person register any peculiar name, letters, marks, device, figures, or other trademark or name. The Act allowed trademarks not just for certain categories of goods, such as bottled beverages, but for any article being manufactured or sold to designate it as an article of a peculiar kind, character, or quality. The trademark had to be registered with the Secretary of State, and it was unlawful for any other persons, without the owner’s consent, to use the trademark or name or a similar trademark or name with hopes of representing their counterfeit goods as the authentic product. The Secretary of State was required to keep records of all trademarks or names filed in his office and make them available for public examination.


1906 Pure Food and Drug Act


Toward the end of the 19th century, several parties came together to put increasing pressure on the food and drug industry. Journalists seeking to expose patent medicines as merely products full of alcohol or drugs with no medicinal qualities joined with the American Medical Association in support of federal legislation to regulate both food and drugs in interstate commerce.

The federal Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 banned "the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated or misbranded or poisonous or deleterious foods, drugs, or medicines, and liquors." While the statute also focused on the issue of adulterated food, the act further required that certain substances, such as alcohol, cocaine, opium and morphine that were in patent medicines be accurately labeled with their contents and quantity contained therein. California enacted similar legislation in 1907.