This Week In Intellectual Property

On October 19, 1926, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued registration number 219,630 for the stylized LYSOL trademark below to Lysol Incorporated for antiseptics and disinfectants.The LYSOL trademark was first registered in 1906. Lysol disinfectants had no competition until the Dumas Milner Corporation introduced PineSol in 1945. When Dumas Milner initially attempted to register the PINESOL trademark in the 1950s, Lysol opposed the registration. At the time, PINESOL was not hyphenated and, after finding that “Pine” could be slurred as “Pi”, and “Pi-Sol” could be confused with “LYSOL”, the trademark Examiner denied registration. Nevertheless, Dumas Milner continued to use the PINESOL trademark.

Since then the owners of these trademarks have been in an almost constant state of litigation, with occasional truces achieved through co-existence agreements, one of which provided that Lysol would not oppose the registration of the PINE-SOL trademark. Despite the occasional truce, every decade or so the battle flares up when a new Lysol or Pine-Sol product is introduced. Today the LYSOL brand is owned by Linden Corporation, an affiliate of Reckitt & Colman, Inc., while PINE-SOL is owned by the Clorox Company.

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