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>I read that the once trademark 'Hoover' (for vacuum cleaner) became generic
>through common usage and can now be used without restriction - presumably as
>'hoover'. Having your product name pass into widespread usage can't be too
>bad for business though!
Actually, that's just what people are trying to avoid by protecting their trademarks. Once your trademark (say, "Aspirin") passes into common usage, everyone can call their ASA products Aspirin, too (as has happened in the USA, but not in Canada)... or if all paper tissues are "Kleenex" then every manufacturer can call their paper tissues "Kleenex"... suddenly, all the product marketing is valueless, because the product name has now become a generic.
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