On Trademarks And Its Use (And Misuse) In The English Language

It’s not surprising how fast-evolving the English language is, adapting to the times, churning new (and old) words that have blended perfectly that sometimes, brands function as commonplace as an ordinary word that it becomes an umbrella term for a product, therefore lessening control of its identity. This causes some problems when it comes to the brand’s distinctiveness, especially since there particular types of trademarks when it comes to classifying its legality and to what extent. There are trademarks that were originally legally protected, but have genericized and thus, ended up losing their legal status (e.g. Aspirin, Dry Ice, Escalator, Heroin, Kerosene, Laundromat, Linoleum, Thermos, Trampoline, and Videotape); abandoned trademarks that now function as generic terms (e.g. App, App Store, Yo-Yo, Zip code, and Zipper); and legally protected trademarks that are applied in some jurisdictions (e.g. Adrenalin, Auto-Tune, Band-Aid, Botox, Bubble Wrap, ChapStick, Clorox, Dumpster, Frisbee, Jet Ski, Kleenex, Onesies, Polaroid, Q-tips, Rollerblade, Scotch tape, Sharpie, Styrofoam, Velcro, and Walkman).

 

The process of being once a trademarked term to becoming a generic term is determined by the Patent and Trademark Office, regardless of the nature.  But most companies are not completely deterred and will go out of their way to inform and correct the public – including media – on the proper use of their trademarked brands. This is mostly done via tradesplaining, which are placed on trade publications and through other forms of advertising specifically for the purpose of reminding.

 

A few examples of these range from direct-to-the-point to quixotic:

 

Xerox®

Xerox brand

Rollerblade®

Rollerblade brand

Frigidaire®

Frigidaire brand

Kleenex®

Kleenex brand

When it comes to writing content copy for your website, it is best to be careful on using terms that are still legally trademarked. The team of copywriters here at MicroCreatives ensure that such cases are reviewed and researched not just to deliver a fitting copy for your business, sans legal implications that may arise due to improper use of “live” trademarked terms.


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