Definition - What does Genericide mean?

Genericide is a term used in intellectual property law to describe the process in which widespread use of a trademark results in the loss of associated rights and safeguards. This usually occurs when the trademark is used so frequently that it becomes synonymous with a product or service. Common examples include escalator and cola.

Justipedia explains Genericide

Basically, genericide is what happens when a trademark is used so frequently in the context of daily conversation and/or popular culture that it becomes "just another word." In other words, instead of representing a single product or service, it represents a whole group of related products or services.

Once this occurs, trademark protection is no longer applicable, meaning that anyone – including the former trademark owner's competitors – can adopt it for their own purposes. As a result, trademark owners dislike and discourage casual use of the mark.

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