File Under: You Learn a New Thing Every Day


I come from a family in which knowledge of details, minutiae, trivia and other such trifles are well-prized. It is with this long-nurtured sense of curiosity that I therefore approach new factoids with relish.

So imagine my surprise, when reading the delightfully geeky Wordplay blog (the crossword puzzle blog of the New York Times), to learn that “MACE is actually a registered trademark for a spray first sold in 1962 by Lake Erie Chemical.” Having little experience with this substance, I had never thought one way or the other as to whether MACE was a brand or a particular type of pepper spray. Indeed, Mace Trademark Corp. owns multiple registrations for MACE in connection with “self-defense products, namely tear gas, pepper and dye spray weapons” and “volatile liquid preparation for temporarily incapacitating persons.” By virtue of these registrations, the trademark MACE is presumed to be a valid, distinctive mark capable of identifying a single source.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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