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Trademarks in the Middle Ages

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In the Middle Ages, with the development of trade and an increase in the production of goods produced by various guilds of artisans and merchants, goods were marked with special stamps, which later became a guarantee of quality. Later, the guilds offered to make mandatory the use of a trademark. Such a move required manufacturers to meet a certain quality standard, and thereby helped protect their reputation.

Sometimes, several artisans could participate in the production of a product. In this case, each of the artisans had the right to leave their stigma on the result of their labor.

In England, in 1266, the first legislative act concerning trademarks was passed by Parliament. In accordance with the act, each baker was obliged to put his mark on the bread. This was done so that in case of non-compliance of bread with standards, it was possible to identify the culprit.

In Russia, one of the first mentions of a trademark dates back to April 22, 1667 in the Novotorgovy Charter. This charter is the first to mention the need to affix «stamps, seals, all sorts of different signs on goods». The statute contained legal rules that governed domestic and foreign trade. According to the charter, the stamp indicated payment of the duty. Soon, a government decree was adopted on the obligatory branding of all Russian goods with special factory or factory signs.

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