Trade Mark

Trade Mark

Trade Mark, a method of relating a commodity to the person or firm owning, producing or distributing it. The method may be a brand, beading, label, ticket, name, word or other device. (It is distinguished from a trade tame, which denotes the commodity.) It is protected by Trade Marks and Merchandise Marks Acts from being copied by competitors.

Economic interest in trade marks is twofold. First, by being used to identify a commodity they enable consumers to buy with more certainty and knowledge and thereby help in one sense to make markets more perfect. Secondly, they distinguish or differentiate a commodity from other physically similar commodities, and so enable partial 'institutional' monopolies (resting on name or repute) to be built by advertising, branding and distinctive packaging, etc., and this fragmentation of markets by 'product differentiation' makes them more imperfect. Except where consumers' freedom of choice is limited, one brand dominating the market, or by agreement among producers to limit competition among themselves, the degree of monopoly power exercised by an individual producer is not likely to be large.

Trade Union, an organization of employees, wage-earning or salaried, whose principal object is to negotiate on the terms and conditions of employment of its members. British trade unions can be divided into several types: those based on craft or skill whose members have some degree of training; those based on an industry or occupation, such as the National Union of Railwaymen; white-collar or professional unions, such as the National Union of Teachers; and the two huge general unions, the Transport and General Workers' Union and the National Union of General and Municipal Workers, each with members, often semi-skilled or unskilled, from many branches of industry.

In the early 200o's there were 65o trade unions in Britain with a total membership of almost ten million. Five hundred unions were small. Nearly eight million employees were members of the thirty-eight largest unions. The three largest unions had over three million members. Trade union power was therefore highly concentrated in the hands of relatively few unions. The strength of unionism varied between industries. Some were highly organized, as in the railways, docks, mines: in others, such as engineering and road transport, the majority of workers were union members; in some, including those with a high proportion of female labour (as in catering and distribution), trade unionism was comparatively weak.

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