U.S. Supreme Court
Brown Chemical Co. v. Meyer, 139 U.S. 540 (1891)
Brown Chemical Company v. Meyer
Argued March 18, 1891
Decided April 8, 1891
139 U.S. 540
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Words which are merely descriptive of the character, qualities, or composition of an article, or of the place where it is manufactured or produced, cannot he monopolized as a trademark.
An ordinary surname cannot be appropriated as a trademark by any one person as against others of the same name who are using it for a legitimate purpose, although cases are not wanting of injunctions issued to restrain the use even of one's own name where a fraud upon another is manifestly intended or where he has assigned or parted with his right to use it.