What is the mission of the website?
Generic trademarks are a fascinating topic, even for people not involved with patents, trademarks, or legal questions. We want to create a worldwide list of such examples and wants to share this information with others.
Our project is a work in progress. We still lack a lot of information. We continuously add new examples to our database. We regularly share how our project is doing.
What definition of generic trademark do you use?
Different countries and legal systems have different rules on generic trademarks. We stick to the following definitions that are all fairly similar:
- A generic trademark is a brand name that has become the generic term for, or synonymous with, a general class of products or services (Wikipedia)
- The process by which a brand name loses its distinctive identity as a result of being used to refer to any product or service of its kind (Oxford Dictionary)
- When, in the minds of a substantial majority of the public, the word denotes a broad genus or type of product and not a specific source or manufacturer. (Harvard)
We do not necessarily follow the legal requirements in your specific country.
What conditions must a trademark fulfil to appear on this website?
We do not decide whether a brand should or could be considered a generic trademark. There exists a lot of information on trademark eponyms already. We add items to our list of generic trademarks when they:
- Appear in certain established "user generated" lists with generic trademarks, like Wikipedia, Wiktionary, or tvtropes;
- Appear as examples in books on the subject, like Words that Make a Difference, From Altoids to Zima or What’s in a Name; or
- Appear as examples in newspaper articles on generic trademark, like written by the BBC.
Learn more about the sources we use.
Your website contradicts certain laws / cases in my country
We are an international project. We do not follow the laws specific of one country.
I don't use this brand in a generic way.
We are an international project. Probably you won't know all examples. The examples in our database also include examples only used in that way in a single country (eg. Chile or France) or in a specific language (eg. Spanish). This means that we list brands, even if they are not considered generic in another region or country.
How did you collect all those newspaper examples?
All examples of generic use in newspapers are researched and collected by hand. You can help too!
I found mistakes and wrong information.
We are a project under construction. Let us know where we messed up using the contact form. We will check your remarks and correct them.
Can I use the information on this site?
Yes you can! The most simple way is to use your web browser and retrieve the information you need. Secondly, we have specific feeds to give you structured access to our data, see "How to access our data". Lastly, we share parts of the results on our dedicated Github page.