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The fight against “genericide” 

On Behalf of | May 16, 2022 | Trademarks |

Many of the products we use today were brand names before succumbing to gradual use as a generic term. Bubblewrap, dumpster and chapstick, for example, were all brand names each unique to their company. Today, they have lost their original identity to genericide

Genericide is a term for brands, logos, slogans and identifying signs that have become common use. This makes it harder for the original companies to keep their names out of the mouths of their competitors. Many of these companies have to spend more money to separate their identity and return their name to their original usage. 

Google is still fighting to keep their identity 

One of the longest-running fights to avoid genericide is being fought by Google. Their name has been so commonly used when saying “Just google it” that it is hard to tell if “Google” is a brand name or a verb. 

It has been argued that “google” is the only verb possible to describe searching something up online. Yet, the Supreme Court has clarified that “Google” is still a protected trademark. This ensures that Google does not become a generic term for an internet search.

You may need to protect your trademark 

Any brand can become a victim of genericide. It’s hard to control how trademarks are used in daily conversation. You do have the possibility of protecting your trademark early to distinguish it from use in common language. Sending cease and desist letters to companies who infringe on your trademark can lessen the possibility of genericide.

If you believe your trademark has lost its distinct identity or is on the verge of doing so, then you may need to seek experienced legal help to protect your company’s brand.