Quiz - What is a Christmas Seal?

1904 Danish TB Seal issued at Christmas time 1911 type 2 Christmas Seal 1912 Christmas Seal 1914 Christmas Seal 1915 Christmas Seal 1916 Christmas Seal 1918 type 1 Christmas Seal 1920 type 1 Christmas Seal 1921 type 1 Christmas Seal 1922 Christmas Seal 1923 Christmas Seal 1924 Christmas Seal 1925 type 3 Christmas Seal 1926 Christmas Seal 1927 type 1 Christmas Seal 1928 Christmas Seal 1929 Christmas Seal 1914 Commercial Christmas Poster Stamps

a) a commerical Christmas poster stamp used on Christmas mail and packages

b) a tuberculosis or lung charity label issued at Christmas time by any of 76 different countries, totaling hundreds of different national and local tb societies, as stated in this pamphlet issued in 1976 by the American Lung Association

c) a fundraising seal which includes the double barred cross, or Cross of Lorraine proposed in 1902 at the international conference on TB in Berlin, as the international symbol of the fight against TB

d) a tb seal issued by the ALA, or any other Organizational or Constituent Member of the International Union against TB & Lung Disease

e) an entry in the Christmas Seal contest held at the World Conference on Lung Health, the annual convention of the International Union against TB & Lung Diesase

f) a seal issued by the ALA or it’s predecessors, since it’s acquisition of a registered trademark for the term in 1987.

If you choose “f”, you are correct, Christmas Seal® is a registered trademark of the American Lung Association.

Because "Christmas Seal" is part of the name of our Society, we are vitally interested!

Articles/notes from newspapers making reference to "Christmas Seals" before the ALA registered their trademark. The dates range from 1915 to 1982 , a good time range to show how "Christmas Seals" is a generic term. Five of these are from the first year of the seals' issuance (Boys Town, Catholic Charities, HCA, New Mexico Boys Ranch, and Roweton Boys Ranch). I think this is additional evidence of the generic nature of the term, since the organizations used it right from the beginning.. four are the earliest reference I've found (Grace, NAACP, Starr, Wheatridge).

Patent denied when inventor waited too long

Patent case, denying patentability because the inventor waited "almost a decade" before filing. Even though it's a patent case, it's relevant to someone waiting 80 years, as the ALA did, to file for a trademark. In that 80 years, many organizations jumped in and used the term. The case is abstracted below.

In the 1876 case Consolidated Fruit Jar Company  v. Wright, the Consolidated Fruit Jar Company alleged other jar manufacturers were infringing its patent on Mason jars and requested the Court forbid their competitors from selling their versions of the jar. The Court refused, reasoning that, because the Mason jar was not patented for almost a decade after its creation and introduction to the marketplace, the original inventor “acquire[d] no title, and his invention or discovery . . . is lost to him.”

George Painter, member CS&CSS

PDF icon Boys Town - Allen (OK) Advocate 12-8-49 1,1.pdf PDF icon Catholic Charities - Glens Falls Post-Star 12-5-1921 p9.pdf PDF icon Grace - Nemaha County (NE) Herald 11-13-31, 2,3.pdf PDF icon NAACP - California Eagle 12-13-35 5,5.pdf PDF icon HCA - Catholic Union and Times 12-2-15 5,6.pdf PDF icon Roweton - Chillicothe Gazette 12-5-68 pp.2,23.pdf PDF icon New Mexico - Clovis News-Journal 11-30-55 4,3.pdf PDF icon Starr - Battle Creek Enquirer 11-19-45 8,3.pdf PDF icon Wheatridge - Brooklyn Standard Union 10-7-23.pdf PDF icon Christ Child Society, Washington Star 11-26-26, 27,1.pdf PDF icon Capper Foundation Christmas Seal 11-25-82 1.1.pdf