Monday, 21 February 2011
When does a trademark end?
It's always interesting to read how some words in English were once trademarks, but no longer are, like aspirin, heroin (!), linoleum, thermos, and zipper. Companies work to preserve their trademarks, even as they benefit from the genericization of their product names. Examples of words that are caught in this gray linguistic space might include to hoover, to xerox, to fedex, to tivo (not yet a verb in this dictionary reference), and of course, to google.
Update 27 Feb 2011 Be sure you read the comments.
After the smoke cleared around this discussion last week, the word that came down was ... guess?
Perhaps someone can enlighten me.