Even Google was hoodwinked into the menace of Generic-ide
Procuring a trademark in the entrepreneurial rush these days is inevitable. The online trademark registration is not the hassle. The fundamental challenge is to choose a distinctive and a unique trademark. The moment the trademark becomes too mainstream, it becomes tuff to enforce it against the world of copycats.
For newbies, before you start using, it is incumbent to conduct a comprehensive trademark search and find the registration possibility. It is important to check the availability and other options and ideas out there. What if someone had the same vision like yours before and claimed it? (Sadly, you would probably have to think a bit more to get your trademark approved) Alternatively, maybe there are countless people with the same idea ( you still have chances of owning it, but will have a tough time protecting the same). The bottom line is distinctiveness; it is a peculiar characteristic of a strong trademark.
Non-Dictionary words are easy to protect. We have already had seen success stories or made up words like Kodak, Quiznos, etc.
# The Contentious Element
According to the laws, there is another outlook to the mark you pick. A mark should not be descriptive of the nature of goods and services associated with it. You cannot register a trademark containing the word ‘Chemist’ if you operate a chain of Chemists.
The law protects the rights to the words which describe the actual thing or the activity you are engaged in.
‘A Trademark should be distinct and not descriptive.'
As addressed by the courts, a trademark must not be generic; in fact, they use the term ‘Generic-ide’ for it. It occurs when the world at large recognizes and uses a trademark in its generic sense by means to describe the goods and services, irrespective of the fact as to who created, sold or branded them.
It becomes a threat to famous brands. Over years of toil, they establish their goodwill and end up in such a thin situation where their trademark becomes inseparable from goods and services at large in the minds of the public.
# Some Great Legends Trapped
We have had a great history of brands which have fallen into the pit of genericide or are right on the brim of being the next to be victimized.
These are few brands which you may be using synonyms with your everyday words: Q-Tip, Thermos, Cellophane, Bubble Wrap, Escalator, Asprin, Xerox, Polaroid, Band-Aid, Yo-Yo or Google!
Have the world reached on a page in the internet saga where searching the web is inseparable with the trademark google?
Well, just Google it!
Not yet, Google has still not become generic.
The court gave a verdict that Google has not yet fallen prey to genericide.
# The Case Law
‘Google’ was dragged into the rustle of infringement menace, when back in 2012 a man acquired 763 internet domain names with the word Google.
The issue was who could use the word ‘google’ in a series of domain names which included googlebrackobama.net or googlediney.com and much more.
Even though the word ‘Google’ is used as a noun or a verb, the court passed a verdict that the trademark Google will not be ceased. It is capable of getting protected from the unlawful usage by others.
This is contrary to the decision given in the case of ‘Aspirin’ Trademark. The court regarded the same trademark as a generic name, on the grounds that the public describes pain killers as ‘Asprin’ and not an extract of ‘Acetylsalicylic Acid.’
The court believes that the name to be referred as generic, requires proof that there is no other alternative left to describe that particular gamut of goods and services.
In the case of Google, It is not regarded as a case of genericide cause it the world has not yet reached to the era of Google dominance in the absolute sense.
Even though the courts have kept the criteria for genericide high, its a constant threat for all the famous and well-known marks are on the verge of integrating their unique identity with the goods and services they are associated with.
Are trademarks like Uber, Airbnb, Alibaba, Crossfit really safe?
About the author
Limiting her in few words would be a herculean task. She Likes to add some zing to the story. When not writing, she loves to watch movie. She especially enjoys being a fashionholic. Affiliated with QuickCompany which deals in Company Registration, Trademark Registration in India, Company Search, Trademark Search and Other Legal Activities.