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Avoiding Genericide With Your Brand: 5 Worthy Ways to Defend Your Trademark

Have you tried the BBQ friendly wine with no name? Or is it The BBQ Friendly Wine With No Name? See the problem? I don’t know if it’s even a brand name!

The wine owners probably thought they were ever so clever, but it’s tough to defend a descriptive name against encroachment let alone get a trademark. Your intellectual property isn’t worth much if it’s confused with a generic product. Of course, genericide has plagued many companies including Bayer (for aspirin), Dow Chemical (for cellophane), and Otis Elevator (for escalator).

5 Worthy Ways to Defend Your Mark:

In order to prevent your name turning generic, follow these worthy steps:

  1. Create a Red Hot Brand Name – Avoiding issues in the first place is the best defense. My company creates many brand names; a description of our services is here.

  2. Stop Using Your Brand Name As A Verb – I’ve admonished Chase before for its slogan of “Chase What Matters” or DIRECTV for “don’t just watch TV, Direct TV.” If you don’t respect your brand name, it’s assumed others won’t respect it either.

  3. Rigorously Defend Your Mark – There’s a reason Xerox, Kleenex, Jacuzzi, Q-Tips, and Rollerblade rigorously defend their marks and you should too!

  4. Put Others On Notice – If you have a registered trademark for your brand name, use the designation. My corporation, The Nuancing® Group is a registered trademark and always appears that way. The registration alerts others that it’s mine!

  5. Monitor Your Mark – If you think someone’s using a variation of your mark, connect with your intellectual property attorney for next steps.

What are you issues with your brand name? What other brand names do you love or hate? Share in the comments below.

I am NOT an attorney and the above blog was for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your attorney for specialized and individualized legal guidance.

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