Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I'm bleeding. May I please have a Band-Aid in the genericized sense of the word?

Aspirin, Escalator, and Zipper called: they want their trademarks back.

These three trademarks have something in common: they're not trademarks anymore.

Nope: they're what are called "genericized trademarks," which is what happens to a perfectly good trademark when people start using it to describe an entire class of products, rather than the one intended by the trademark's holder.

After a period of genericized use, the trademark holder can lose the rights or only exercise them in a diminished capacity, called..."genericide!"

So, be a dear and pass the Band-Aids, Xerox, and Kleenex. Actually, none of these brands is a  genericized trademark, but they all came close and had to launch what Wikipedia calls "aggressive corrective campaigns" to assert their ownership of the terms.

Note the strange, alien children in this ad who call Band-Aid "Band-Aid brand." Way to brainwash the kids, legal department!

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