Is Genericide Still a Thing?

15 Jun , 2021

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Alphabet (Google) has beaten back challenges claiming that “google” is a generic term for searching in an internet search engine. More recently, Lego took the comedian and talk show host Seth Meyers to task for referring to “Legos” on-air, which led to a flurry of social media commentary expressing strong opinions. Has brand awareness gone far enough that trademark owners no longer need to be concerned that their brands will suffer the fate of ESCALATOR, LAUNDROMAT, and TRAMPOLINE? This audio CLE will consider whether using a trademark as an adjective and conducting awareness campaigns like “Not Even Xerox Can Xerox” and Velcro’s classic 2017 “Don’t Say Velcro” video are still necessary to keep trademarks from becoming generic. We will also take a look at the Booking.com case and consider whether this has lowered the bar for ordinary terms as trademarks.

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