A “generic” term for a general class of products or services cannot be used as a trademark or service mark for the goods or services in those class(es), because the function of a trademark (or service mark) is to identify and distinguish the goods or services of one seller from those sold by all others. Terms such as “apple” cannot serve as trademarks for goods comprising the edible fruits of the apple tree, but other terms that were once valid trademarks, capable of identifying a single purveyor of certain goods or services, have also fallen victim to “genericide” and lost their trademark significance. Some are now so commonly used that the consuming public may not even recognize that these terms were once considered exclusive trademarks of individual companies, such as escalator, linoleum, thermos, and trampoline. (more…)
What do you get when engineers, scientists, physicians, musicians, and artists are admitted to the bar? Baker Donelson's seriously multi-talented intellectual property practice and insightful bloggers on IP issues of importance to their clients in science, engineering, technology, healthcare, education, music, media, and the arts.
Intellectual property has many facets and means different things to businesses, technology companies, colleges and universities, healthcare providers, scientists and engineers, musicians, and artists. The goal of our blog is to keep all types of creative and inventive thinkers up to date on the intellectual property issues that impact the business of creativity and innovation.