It’s a dramatic headline, okay. It also has nothing to do with the time my Mom claimed:I deleted Google”.

The term genericide applies when a trade mark has become the generic name for, or synonymous with, a general class of product or service, usually against the intentions of the trade mark’s owner. The death of several trade marks that have become generic include escalator, thermos and cellophane. Yes, they were all once trade marks that became the generic descriptor of the goods.

Has Google become generic? This Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the United States recently said no! The case is discussed in detail on IP Watchdog here.

Brand owners may want to look at the INTA’s Practical Tips on Avoiding Genericide.