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Kate’s Korner – genericized trademark

May 7, 2010
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Okay, so I know that wikipedia isn’t an infallible source of information, but …

The random things you learn!

One of our sales people today was looking for a hat with a velcro closure on the back in an online catalog and was getting no results for “velcro”. Turns out that all of the hats with that type of closure are called “hook and loop” closures.

I never really thought about it before, but of course Velcro is a brand name for a hook and loop fastener. According to wikipedia, “The Velcro brand is an example of a genericized trademark — a brand name that has become the generic term for a type of product. The Velcro company has forbidden its employees to use the term “velcro”,[11] in an effort to stop this. Instead the employees must use the generic terms “hook and loop fastener”, “hook tape”, or “loop tape”.”

Is a coke a “Coca-Cola” or any coke like soda? Do you call them Band-Aid’s or bandages? Do you walk on Astroturf or artificial turf? Do you use Bubble wrap or Inflated cushioning? Chapstick, Crock-pot, Frisbee, Hacky Sack, Hula hoop, Jacuzzi, Jeep, Jell-O, Muzak, Q-tips, Scotch tape, Sharpie, Styrofoam, Vaseline, Walkman – all great common-place examples.

I don’t really have any point here … just one of those things that made me go “Huh, that’s interesting.” 😉 Is there ever such a thing as too much exposure?

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