A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: genericide

Raising the White Flag to Genericide

By LASIS Staff

Our friend Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. reports that a co-founder of punk band Black Flag can’t stop ex-bandmates from performing as “Flag,” according to a ruling by U.S. district judge Dean Pragerson.

“Defendants have submitted evidence suggesting that even if Plaintiffs own the marks, they have allowed them to fall into generic use,” he wrote.

For more about “genericide,” the bête noir of every trademark owner. see this LASIS classic, which explains how a trademark can fall into general use.

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Genericide: A Trademark Owner’s Worst Nightmare

By Jillian Raines
Every year, society loses more and more trademarks to genericide. While trademark owners try to raise public awareness of their unique brand through advertising, attempts usually prove futile. Genericide acts fast—one generic use leads to another until the once-protectable trademarks are wiped out from the market. Could one of Apple’s trademarks be next?

Currently, Apple is embroiled in a dispute about the phrase “App Store” (two words), which the company laid claim to in July 2008 through a trademark registration. In January, Microsoft decided to challenge the validity of Apple’s trademark in the phrase, claiming it has become generic. This hasn’t stopped Apple from attempting to enforce its mark, however; last month, Apple sued Amazon for using the phrase “Appstore” (one word) in relation to Google’s Android.

While media sources have been active in covering the current dispute, they have been pretty quiet when it comes to connecting the “App Store” debate to the long history of trademark genericide. (more…)

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