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Death By Popular Demand

It is strange to think that aspirin, escalator, zipper, cellophane, thermos and pilates were once trademarks. Over the years, the public adopted these terms to refer to a category of product, rather than to the specific manufacturers, and the brand owners lost their exclusive right to each of these terms.

This article discusses genericide, a form of abandonment under U.S. trademark law, and the straightforward steps brands can take to safeguard against it.