Research Seminar: Jennifer Black
POLICING FAKES: EARLY TRADEMARK REGULATION IN THE U.S.
This paper examines the problem of counterfeit goods in the antebellum years, contextualizing the rise of these products and their prosecution by the state within the "freewheeling marketplace" described by Stephen Mihm, Ed Balleisen, and others. Through several case studies, the chapter enumerates the issues at stake in the first trademark infringement lawsuits in the US, including the economic anxieties prompted by the Panic of 1837, the tenuous social position of the middle class, competition between domestic and foreign manufacturers, and the unregulated commercial marketplace. The judges in these lawsuits moralized economic behavior in ways that mirrored then-emergent credit reporting structures, infusing middle-class standards of behavior into commerce. As the state struggled to keep pace, early regulatory measures adopted similar moral standards to separate legitimate from illegitimate competition.
Attendees are encouraged to read Black's paper, "Policing Fakes: Early Trademark Regulation in the U.S.," which may be obtained by contacting Carol Lockman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free, reply requested, call (302) 658-2400, ext. 243, or email email@example.com.
Susan Murray will give the featured author talk at Hagley on her 2018 book Bright Signals: A History of Color Television. Drawing creatively on the David Sarnoff and RCA materials at Hagley, Murray will trace color television’s origins as an exotic novelty in the 1920s and 1930s and explain how it became the standard for television programing in the 1960s and 1970s.
Between the 1870s and the 1930s New York City underwent a fiscal crisis approximately every twenty years. This paper examines the causes of and responses to the periodic fiscal crisis of late 19th and early 20th century New York.
This paper explores why unconventional and esoteric philosophical and religious beliefs have sometimes provided the foundation for successful business enterprises over the last two hundred years, and more especially for businesses pursuing goals other than securing returns to shareholders.