RE: Trademarks...again

Subject: RE: Trademarks...again
From: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 08:29:45 -0600

From: Gail Ludvigson <gcludvigson -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Subject: Trademarks...again

As a former trademark attorney, let me chime in with the rest of the
posters. Asking your law department is important, especially since it
ultimately is their responsibility to ensure that you use the company's
intellectual property correctly.
However, there's something else to think about besides the use of the
various symbols (TM, SM, (r)). You also have to use the trademark
correctly in order to protect it. U.S. law requires that a trademark be
used as an adjective rather than a noun or verb (descriptive use). This
is where many users have gone wrong--and committed what has come to be
known as "genericide." The best examples are aspirin and escalator. They
became nouns rather than "brand names" and passed into the public domain
as common words--their users could no longer claim them as private
property. This almost happened to Xerox and Band-Aid as well. If you
listen closely, you may hear "Band-Aid brand" bandages or "photocopy"
instead of "xerox."
Besides federal law, there's also a labyrinth of state laws to navigate
concerning notices and registration.
Just my two cents from previous experience.

Gail Ludvigson
Seattle, WA 98105


In line with this reasoning, has "google" officially lost its status as
a brand name?

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