An Interesting Question in Trade-Mark -- The "Innocent" at Law.
In Supreme Court Chambers, yesterday, before Chief Justice Ingraham, an interesting question came up as to the right of an author to the exclusive use of his nom de plume as a trade-mark. A short time since, on the application of Mr. Simon Stern, counsel for Samuel L. Clemens, known as Mark Twain, a temporary injunction was granted restraining J. B. Such from publishing a certain advertising medium in the form of a book, entitled Fun, Fact and Fancy. Yesterday argument was had on the return of the order to show cause why the injunction should not be made permanent. It appeared from the affidavit of Mark, and argument of his counsel, that about a month since the defendant applied to him to write a sketch for an advertising pamphlet the applicant was about to publish, offering therefor $1,000, or as much more as was asked, defendant stating that other prominent authors and humorists had agreed to contribute. Mark informed the stranger that he was too busy to do so, but offered to assist him so far as to give him permission to publish any one of several sketches which he then and there marked in a printed volume of his sketches. About a month subsequently, while traveling by the Erie Railway, on his way to take steamer for Europe, Mark had a book thrust upon him by the newsboy, containing five of his sketches, and on the title page the following: "Revised and selected for this work by Mark Twain." Having no connection with the book, other than as already stated, this method of treatment, after his liberality, aroused the ire of the "Innocent," and the present suit was the result. It is claimed on behalf of the plaintiff that he has a vested right, as against all the world, in his nom de plume. "Mark Twain;" that such right is guaranteed to him by the laws relating to trade-mark, and that defendant, and all parties claiming through or under him, should be perpetually restrained from the use thereof.
After an elaborate argument by Mr. Simon Stern on behalf of plaintiff, and Mr. Charles Mathews on the part of defendant, Judge Ingraham took the papers, saying he would render a decision in a few days.
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