Trade Mark Genericide.
One of the main features of a trade mark is that it is distinctive and unique to your brand. This differentiates you from other competitors in the market.
A major concern for all those that hold a trade mark is that it will become a common place term, and loose its distinctive elements.
A term that may not commonly be known but vital for the understanding of trade marks is that of Trade Mark Genericide.
Trade mark Genericide is where a trade mark looses its rights of individuality and protection by becoming a common place word.
Genericide can occur due to a couple of reasons. For example: through the trade marks owners failure to oppose another infringing trade mark or through ‘improper use’ of a mark.
The result of trade mark Genericide means that the word becomes a 'common place term', diluted into every day context. This can therefore be used by anyone. In the US there have been several cases where trade mark Genericide has occurred. These include the terms: escalator, aspirin, Pilates.
Trade mark Genericide comes at a greater risk when your company expands and grows in popularity.
Here at the Trademarkroom we can advice you on your trade marks and help you prevent your trade mark from becoming a generic term in the future. Below are several points you may need to be aware of:
- Utilise the signs TM and (R) to indicate when you are a registered brand
- A word only mark could be coupled with a generic term to distinguish between your marks
- Make sure that you are aware of any similar marks that are in the same/similar goods and services as your brand (you can do this with our watch service that we offer)
By making sure these steps are completed at the start of your brand, you are in a good position of increasing your marks longevity.
Please contact the trademark room team if you have any further questions on trade mark Genericide.