Velcro Stands up to ‘Genericide’

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Picture of Andrew Rapacke
Andrew Rapacke is a registered patent attorney and serves as Managing Partner at The Rapacke Law Group, a full service intellectual property law firm.

Velcro is taking a stand against trademark ‘genericide’ and trying to inform the public, in a fun and entertaining way, about the danger businesses face when the public begins using their trademark as a generic noun for a type good or a verb for the act of using that type of good.

VELCRO is currently the subject of several registered trademarks for company’s brand of hook and loop fasteners invented in the 50’s. Although Velcro’s video may seem lighthearted, it touches on a very serious topic where valuable trademark registrations can be lost due to the public’s use and perception of the term as generic.

The current test, as was used by the 9th circuit to uphold Google’s trademark, is whether the public primarily views the term as relating to the “product and not the producer.” Several well-known trademarks have been lost to genericness including: Thermos, Escalator, and Cellophane.

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