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Genericide

You can’t say lawyers aren’t creative!  For the past week or two, a terrific (and very amusing) video has been circulating which was created by the lawyers at Velcro Companies.  The video strives to educate the public regarding proper use of their trademark and VELCRO® Brand.  

The reason for the video is that trademarks are susceptible to becoming generic if not properly used, which can be devastating to a company’s brand and intellectual property portfolio.  This “genericide” is a form of abandonment of the trademark.  Genericide occurs when the trademark becomes synonymous with the name of the product or service itself.  Some common examples of trademarks which became generic include:  ASPRIN, ESCALATOR, and CELLOPHANE.  Others have been or once were on the brink of genericide, such as JEEP, KLEENEX, BAND-AID, and XEROX and have been working hard to recapture the marks.

Don’t commit genericide.  Avoid allowing your trademark become a victim of your company’s success.  Make sure to use the trademark properly and consult your trademark attorney regarding proper usage guidelines.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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