by Brian Zylstra | May 14th, 2012
(Image courtesy of Washington State Archives)
As many business owners know, our office’s Corporation Division is where companies register trademarks that are used exclusively within Washington State or the region.
In fact, the Secretary of State has been registering trademarks since statehood. Of course, many of the early products and goods are no longer sold, but their trademarks live on. Our State Archives has preserved roughly 3,000 expired trademarks, many of them beautifully artistic and scenic — frame-worthy even (see below).
The State Archives provided the low-down regarding Washington trademarks: On Feb. 21, 1891, Washington’s 2nd Legislature passed House Bill No. 134, “An Act in relation to trade marks,” which stated that “Any person may adopt, for the exclusive use of said person, any mark, vignette, monogram or other device..not already in the rightful use of any other person in this state, to be known as a trade mark.” The law’s intention was to identify and distinguish by whom goods were being made and sold in Washington.
The expired trademarks collection includes eight note cards that are unretouched scans of trademark designs submitted to the Secretary of State between 1892 and 1895.
We’ll do a blog post soon that features the online poll allowing you to vote on your favorite May Archives treasure.