XEROX Brand – Prevention of genericide of brands when used appropriately

Internet entrepreneurs often fail to learn and follow the basic rules for SECURING valuable intellectual property rights, including their trademarks and brand names. Learn the right rules for using trademarks so you don’t wake up to find that your most valuable business asset has been lost.

Rule #1: A generic term is not a trademark.

Already a headache? take one aspirin. Yes, once a brand, now a victim of the generic idea.

Some important concepts related to “common” use and their impact on brand equity should be learned. We’re going to have fun in this and the following article with some examples, some of which will surprise you.

1. A coined” term for an innovative product. Even a strong, embossed brand such as XEROX or GOOGLE can suffer legal impairment or, in the worst case, lapse if it is not properly considered Use of the brand, both in advertising and in public. This is most often the case with a product that did not exist before, since the public does not have a common reference point for the new goods or services that are being offered to them. As a result, without constant vigilance, the terms cannot be identified with the trademark owner as an indication of the origin of the goods or services, but with the services and goods themselves. XEROX’s featured ad focuses on educating the public on the correct generic terms to associate with their products while maintaining focus on XEROX as a brand.

2. Terms already generic. On the other hand, some terms like “bra” were generic by design, and no well-informed customer should do that Choose much less Use such a term as a trademark. Generic terms are not trademarks and never will be. Choose smart before you start Usesince efforts to to register and Force can be in vain.

The use of generic and descriptive terms in domain names is also an important issue. Clients are often prompted to do so by major internet marketing gurus Choose Domains that are generic or that describe goods or services. While it may be a great domain for sex research and marketing, it will never be a brand. .com>

3. Pictures of generic products. A photo of a zipper, a generic product, cannot act as a trademark. XEROX is known for its efforts to teach others how to properly use its XEROX mark. Their recent ad, which featured a photo of a zipper, made that point perfectly. (See resource box for link to image).

4. General terms used arbitrarily or distinctively. Terms that are generic for some usages have been considered valid trademarks when applied in different ways. Refer this point to the types of markings, and Selection. For example, “apple” as applied to a type of fruit is generic. Applied to computers, it is “arbitrary”. A less obvious example is SIDE DISH, which was considered non-generic for frozen potatoes, although it would be generic “for dishes served with a main course”. Confusing, you bet!

Headache? Take something Buffer. Just an example of a trademark that is kept descriptive and not generic. (But that’s a topic for another day).

“What does a prospective brand owner need to do?”

1. Use your brand as an adjective – a rule for every brand

Smart brand owners always use their brands in advertising as an “adjective” in combination with the generic term for the product or service. This is especially important when the product is new and unique; there is a risk that “the brand will become the thing itself”. (Aspirin for example). Here’s an example of an “oddly strong” usage:

ALTOIDS® Peppermints

The inclusion of both terms together, with the mark being more prominent in appearance, reminds the consumer of the generic term as well as the specific mark of the generic term.

2. Monitor public use. Learn from the XEROX Brand Program. Efforts don’t end with monitoring their own advertising. Every brand owner needs to learn the rules and review content, but that’s just the beginning. The XEROX Utilization Program goes one step further and teaches the general public how the mark should be used. It’s a subtle reminder not to say, “Can you copy that for me?” Instead, the generic term is “copy”. XEROX does a great job teaching others how to use its brand! You can learn from it and do the same.

We encourage our customers to contact us if they see an item on the web that incorrectly uses a trademark in a generic sense. We write polite letters alerting the innocent perpetrator to the misuse. Most people are happy to correct usage which, if left unattended, can lead to generic ideas.

3. Don’t think of Generic, think of Distinctive. Unless you are confident that you can be successful Choose and Use a generic term as a mark for goods and services in an arbitrary manner (for goods other than those they generically designate), “Don’t try Choose or Use them to build a brand, period.”

4. Re-read rule number 1 at the beginning of this article.

The BRANDAIDE(TM) acronym “INSURE” stands for Examine, Noodles, Choose, Use, Register and Force. INSURE simply reminds brand owners to constantly monitor their brand protection status and the steps to follow. However, breaking up is not easy selection out Protection or Use; or one of them out of need of a strong enforcement Program. As a result, there will be some overlap between the areas of the law of cause and effect applied to trademark protection. Improper advice in one area adversely affects another, sometimes permanently. When we guide business owners in their quest to build a strong brand, this law of cause and effect becomes apparent.

Has your anxiety level increased while reading this post? Take some PROZAC®. It’s still a trademark and Not generic but a brand!

are you ready for more Fill a “Thermos” with “Coke” and ride a “Pig” up an “Escalator” for some “Primal Therapy”.

Copyright 2008 Hodgson Law Group