yoda as a genericq

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 4 22:07:00 UTC 2010

Ron, you're right--if you believe that "sure sign" is a legal term. Of
course, if I wanted to make it a definitive criterion, I would have
said ... hmm, let me think about it ... I probably would have used
"dispositive" or "legal criterion" or something else that would have
conveyed the meaning "legally binding". Last I checked, "sign", even a
"sure sign" was merely an indication. But, yes, verbing is a much
stronger indication than de-capitalization. The test is actually a
multi-part list. Popular perception is an element, but it is hard to
quantify. More importantly is the lack of enforcement of the
mark-holder against violators who use the mark as a generic term.
Another factor is whether the mark-holder made an effort to
distinguish its product from other similar products--for example, if
they refer to "Kleenex tissues" rather than simply "Kleenex".


On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 5:30 PM,  <ronbutters at aol.com> wrote:
> Victor is simply mistaken when he writes:
> " Trademark law will tell you that
> verbing is a sure sign of genericization, but it says little of capitalization."
> Verbing is one indicator, but not a "sure sign"; ditto capitalization. The test is what people believe. Capitalization and verbing are merely two kinds of empirical evidence.

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