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Subject:Re: Is there a name for these? From:Paul Branchaud <paul -at- VEDGE -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 24 Apr 1997 13:01:51 -0400
On Wed, 23 Apr 1997, Debbie Molinaro wrote:
> Is there a word to describe trade names that have become standards?
> For example, Kleenex, Coke, Aspirin, Xerox are often used to describe
> the entire class of products rather than the generic terms. (As in
> Kleenex = tissue, Coke = cola, Aspirin = A.S.A, Xerox = to copy)
I remember dealing with this very topic when I took a Media Law course and
we dealt with trademarks. I couldn't remember if there was a specific term
to refer to brand names that have become synonymous with a type of
product. Before chiming in on this topic, I decided to wait until I walked
my dog this morning, when I knew I would meet up with a Business Law
professor I know. She did not believe there was a specific term either,
but she did say that "it's a phenomenon where the brand name becomes
generic in its meaning, and that is not desireable for the company". She
also used (made up?) the word "genericizing" to describe the phenomenon.
Don't know if it helps, but that's my 2 cents worth.
Paul (whose work in a camera shop exposed him to many, many, MANY people
asking for a Kodak when looking to purchase a camera--I think it's a
Paul Branchaud "Men, do you fear that, one day, your
paul -at- vedge -dot- com wife will run her hands through your
Technical Writer hair... and you won't be there?!"
Visual Edge Software, Ltd. -- Richard Jeni (on hair loss)
--My opinions are rarely shared by Visual Edge and other smart folks--