13
Oct/04

GOOGLING, TIVO-LIKE, And Genericide


‘Genericide,’ is one phenomenon of trademark law that lay clients always seem to be aware of – that they could, in theory, lose their trademark if it becomes the generic term for that product (which I suppose is a secret fantasy of many clients). 

ASPIRIN, CELLOPHANE and ESCALATOR are famous examples of a brand losing its trademark status.  KLEENEX, BAND-AIDS and XEROX are famous examples of a brand retaining its status despite fairly widespread use by the public of those marks to designate the entire class of their respective products.

I don’t think the term GOOGLING dilutes the GOOGLE trademark unless it is utilized to refer to using any search engine.

What to make of this sentence?: “Reuters reports that XM [satellite radio] is planning its own TIVO-like device.”  It makes the trademark TIVO signify not the class of all DVRs (admittedly not a big class), but, somewhat inaccurately, to the functionality of all DVRs.

 

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