News & Analysis as of

Genericide

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Winter 2018

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Crowdsourced Content in Video Games: How Ownership Issues Almost “Ganked” a Copyright Case - In Blizzard Entertainment v. Lilith Games (Shanghai) Company, a federal court denied a motion for partial summary judgment for...more

So big they failed… How trademarks become generic

by McAfee & Taft on

Most of us understand that a trademark is the brand name for a product: Oreo® sandwich cookies, Kleenex® tissue, Velcro® fasteners. But what happens when one brand name becomes so ubiquitous and so closely identified with a...more

VELCRO: Call me “Hook and Loop?”

Velcro BVBA, makers of the famous “VELCRO” brand hook and loop fasteners, have taken a humorous and effective stab at trying to assue that it retains trademark protection for that mark. Its concern is that people are...more

Google May Be A Verb, But Verb Use Alone Does Not Constitute Genericness

by Weintraub Tobin on

Just Google it. Can you Google the score? Have you Googled the restaurant’s reviews? These are all common phrases in today’s internet-reliant society, and it’s entirely due to the creation of Google and its widespread...more

Trademark Genericide: How To Protect Your Brand

by Revision Legal on

Xerox, aspirin, thermos, and hoover were all once trademarks that lost their protected status because their names became generic. Most recently, Google’s trademark status was challenged unsuccessfully....more

Is It Too Late For Velcro To Hook The Public On Hook And Loop

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

In an effort to protect itself against genericide—the death of a trademark because the brand name becomes synonymous with the type of product—Velcro’s legal department released a video two weeks ago pleading with the public...more

What Are You Thinking, Coke Zero?

The above advertising billboard is plastered all over the Twin Cities at the moment, and it got me thinking, so here I am, once again, writing about Coke Zero, remember this can?...more

“Hook and Loop” Meet Chutes and Ladders

Nearly everyone in the IP community is talking about the hilarious viral Velcro music video released last week. Hat tip to Patently-O, Martha, and Brett...more

Is Comic-Con The Victim Of Genericide?

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

A federal judge in San Diego has cleared for trial a case that may strip San Diego Comic-Con from trademark protection. First, some background. Even a registered trademark such as Comic-Con can lose protection if it...more

Life in the Lowercase Lane: Lessons for Trademark Owners About Genericide

Death by genericide is a painful way to go, for trademarks that is. When the public comes to think of a trademark as the common word for a product or service -- as opposed to identifying its exclusive source -- the trademark...more

MarkIt to Market® - August 2017

The August 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® discusses lessons for trademark owners about genericide, lists the new gTLD Sunrise periods, and upcoming speaking engagements. Please see full Newsletter below...more

Tiffany Wins the Generic Battle, and the Spoils of War are Significant (Updated)

by Knobbe Martens on

Update: U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain has awarded Tiffany & Co. $11.1 million in treble profits and $8.25 million in punitive damages. Judge Taylor Swain wrote in her opinion that Costco’s management “displayed...more

My Namesake Triumphs: Tiffany & Co. awarded $19.35 million

The four year saga ended (at least for now) with Tiffany & Co. being awarded for its vigorous fight to maintain its trademark and protect against genericide. As previously reported, Tiffany & Co. filed suit against Costco...more

Media Law Bulletin: Google: Everybody Does It Everywhere — But It’s Still Trademarked

by Sedgwick LLP on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that the Google brand continues to enjoy trademark protection, notwithstanding that the word “google” has entered (maybe stormed) the popular lexicon to describe...more

Intellectual Property Law - July 2017

SCOTUS: For Patent Venue, Domestic Corporations ‘Reside’ Where Incorporated - Why it matters: On May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court issued its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC—rejecting...more

No Trademark Genericide: GOOGLE Is Not “a Google”

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit made a point to remind trademark litigants of the relevant laws and policies pertaining to trademark “genericide” when it sustained summary judgment in favor of ubiquitous search...more

Wait… “GOOGLE” is Not a Generic Word?

by Field Law on

Is Google a brand or just a word meaning “conduct an online search”? A trademark can suffer “genericide” when it becomes so commonly used that it transforms from a unique brand name into a generic word which is synonymous...more

But Is It Okay to Google His Name? T-Pain Not Guilty of Genericide

“Baby it’s okay, you can Google my name.” This line from T-Pain’s hit, “Bottlez,” became a focus in a recent Ninth Circuit trademark case on my favorite intellectual property issue: genericide. Among other evidence, the court...more

Google Escapes Genericide Claim in Ninth Circuit Decision

On May 16, 2017, the Ninth Circuit rejected a petition for cancellation of the GOOGLE trademark based on a “genericide” theory that claimed Google should lose its trademark protection because the word “google” has become...more

“GOOGLE” Survives Attempted Genericide

On May 16, 2017, the Ninth Circuit affirmed Google Inc.’s summary judgment win in a lawsuit that sought to cancel the GOOGLE mark on the ground it has become generic. In early 2012, David Elliot registered 763 domain names...more

“I googled it”: Generic Words and Trademark Rights

by Field Law on

A registered trademark can suffer "genericide" if it becomes so commonly used that it transforms from a unique brand name into a generic word which is synonymous with a product or service....more

Trademark Law & Genericide: Google's Not Dead Yet

by Lewitt Hackman on

Domain name registration is usually a good first step to cement trade name and mark ownership. In a previous blog we reminded readers that possession, even in Intellectual Property matters, is nine-tenths of the law...more

Even GOOGLE Can Google After All

by Fish & Richardson on

In a well-reasoned opinion, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that the GOOGLE trademark has not suffered death by genericide – even if the public uses it as a verb for searching the Internet. The case before...more

GOOGLE Mark Is Not a Victim of Genericide

by BakerHostetler on

On May 16, 2017, internet search engine and content provider Google Inc. was handed a win by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Elliot v. Google Inc. The court ruled that the GOOGLE trademark had not...more

Do You Google? Court Holds “Google” Not Victim Of “Genericide”

by Cole Schotz on

You may know that “aspirin,” the word commonly used to describe acetylsalicylic acid, was once a trademark ­– i.e., brand name – for the acetylsalicylic acid made by one company: Bayer. The word “aspirin” lost its trademark...more

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