List of generic and genericized trademarks

List of generic and genericized trademarks


List of former trademarks that have become generic terms

The following list contains marks which were originally legally protected trademarks, but which have subsequently lost legal protection as trademarks by becoming the common name of the relevant product or service, as used both by the consuming public and commercial competitors. Some marks retain trademark protection in certain countries despite being declared generic in others.

Still a Bayer trademark name for acetylsalicylic acid in about 80 countries, including Canada and many countries in Europe, but declared generic in the U.S.[1]
Originally a trademark for a specific type of retroreflective road safety installation.[2]
Still a registered trademark of Innovia Films Ltd in Europe and many other jurisdictions. Originally a trademark of DuPont.[4]
Dry ice[5]
Trademarked by the Dry Ice Corporation of America in 1925.[6]
Originally a trademark of Otis Elevator Company.[7]
Trademarked by Friedrich Bayer & Co in 1898.[9]
First used around 1852.
Trademarked as the term for a preparation of water and the wax from sheeps' wool.[11]
coin laundry shop.[12]
Floor covering,[13] originally coined by Frederick Walton in 1864, and ruled as generic following a lawsuit for trademark infringement in 1878; probably the first product name to become a generic term.[14]
Originally trademarked by Albert Dick.
Carless, Capel and Leonard invented the trade name "Petrol" for refined petroleum spirit.
Primal Therapy
A psychotherapy. Registered by Arthur Janov in 1970. Cancelled in 1978.[16][17][18]
Originally a Thermos GmbH[19] trademark name for a vacuum flask; declared generic in the U.S. in 1963.[20]
Dual tone multi-frequency telephone signaling; AT&T states "formerly a trademark of AT&T".[21]
Originally trademarked by Ampex Corporation,[22] an early manufacturer of audio and video tape recorders.
Webster's Dictionary
The publishers with the strongest link to the original are Merriam-Webster, but they have a trademark only on "Merriam-Webster", and other dictionaries are legally published as "Webster's Dictionary".[23]
Originally trademarked by John Rissman & Sons of Chicago.[citation needed]
Still a Papa's Toy Co. Ltd. trademark name for a spinning toy in Canada, but declared generic in the U.S. in 1965.[24]
ZIP code
Originally registered as a servicemark but has since expired.[25]
Originally a trademark of B.F. Goodrich.[26]

List of protected trademarks frequently used as generic terms

Marks in this list are still legally protected as trademarks, at least in some jurisdictions, but are sometimes used by consumers in a generic sense. Unlike the names in the list above, these names are still widely known by the public as brand names, and are not used by competitors. Scholars disagree as to whether the use of a recognized trademark name for similar products can truly be called "generic", or if it is instead a form of synechdoche.[27] The previous list contains trademarks that have completely lost their legal status in some countries, while the following list contains marks which have been registered as trademarks, continue in use, and are actively enforced by their trademark owners. Writing guides such as the AP Stylebook advise writers to "use a generic equivalent unless the trademark is essential to the story."

Trademarked name Generic name Trademark owner Notes
Adrenalin Epinephrine Parke-Davis Widely referred to as "adrenaline" outside of the U.S., and in the BAN and EP systems.[28][29]
Airfix Plastic injection-moulded scale model kits Hornby Railways Still used widely in the UK to describe a scale model as it was the dominant brand at that time.[30] This news article is one example of the brand being treated as a generic term.
Airshow In-flight entertainment moving map Rockwell Collins Not commonly used worldwide.[31][32][33]
Aqua-lung Open-circuit underwater breathing set with demand valve See Aqua-lung#Trademark issues Or nowadays often merely "scuba", or "air scuba", when there is a need to distinguish from rebreathers
AstroTurf Artificial turf Monsanto Company (formerly)
AstroTurf, LLC
[34] Also gave use to the term Astroturfing.
Armco Crash barrier AK Steel Holding Used widely in the UK to describe a crash barrier manufactured from corrugated steel.[35]
Band-Aid Adhesive bandage Johnson & Johnson Often used as though generic by consumers in Canada and the U.S., though still legally trademarked.[27]
Biro Ballpoint pen Société Bic Used generically in colloquial British and Australian English, particularly for cheaper disposable pens, but remains a registered trademark. Derived from the name of the inventor, László Bíró.[36]
Bubble Wrap Inflated cushioning Sealed Air [37]
Bubbler Drinking fountain Kohler Company Sometimes used as a generic, particularly in Wisconsin and New England.[38]
Chain gun Motor operated machine gun Alliant Techsystems [39] Also appear as a definition in the Oxford English Dictionary, descrbing it as "a machine gun that uses a motor-driven chain to power all moving parts"[40]
ChapStick Lip balm Wyeth Consumer Healthcare [41]
Cigarette boat Go-fast boat Cigarette Racing The nickname derived from fast powerboats that were designed to smuggle cigarettes fast and outrun law enforcement personnel. Trademark was taken following a founding of a company named after the nickname.[42][43]
Clorox Bleach Clorox Company [44]
Coke Cola, soft drink, pop, soda Coca-Cola Company Predominantly used in the Southern United States to refer to any soft drink, not just a cola. Still a trademark.[45]
Colt Revolver Colt's Manufacturing Company A common choice of gun during the Wild West, it was used to describe any revolvers during the 19th century, regardless of brand.[46]
Connollising As a verb, to restore automobile leather interior Connolly Leather Often used by automobile enthusiasts and medias, when to describe restoring leather interiors, thanks to the high international reputation of the company.[47][48]
Crock-Pot Slow cooker Sunbeam Products "Crock pot" and "crockpot" are common synonyms used by cooks to describe any slow cooker.[49]
Cuisinart Food processor Conair Sometimes used in the U.S. to refer to any food processor, but still a trademark.[50]
Dictaphone Dictation machine Nuance Communications To date, one of the five oldest surviving U.S. brands.[37]
Doll Instant Noodle Instant noodles Winner Food Products "Doll Instant Noodle" (公仔麵) is commonly referred in Hong Kong for instant noodles.[51] Winner Food Products (永南食品) has been acquired by its former arch-competitor Nissin Foods in 1989.[52]
Dormobile Motorhome Bedford Vehicles
then Dormobile (Folkestone) Ltd
Widely used in the United Kingdom to describe any motorhomes.[53] This article by the BBC is an example of the term being used generically.
Dumpster Front loader waste container Dempster Brothers, Inc. A registered trademark[54][55] of the Dempster Brothers in 1963, dumpster is originally a portmonteau of the word dump and the last name Dempster. It originally appeared in the 1951 product name Dempster Dumpster,[56] while related patents date back to 1937.[57][58]
Durex Adhesive tape (Australia, Brazil) 3M Used in Brazil ("fita durex")[59] and some areas of Australia[36][60][61] as a generic name for adhesive tape.
Durex Condoms (UK) SSL International In the UK and Spain, a brand of condom, which is often used generically.[62]
Elastoplast Adhesive bandage Beiersdorf Commonly used in the UK and other Commonwealth countries.
Esky Cooler Coleman Australian usage[63]
Filofax Personal organizer Letts Filofax Group [64][65]
Formica Wood or plastic laminate Formica Corporation, part of Fletcher Building Widely used for the generic product. An attempt to have the trademark quashed failed in 1977.[66]
Frigidaire Refrigerator Electrolux Commonly used in Canada by French Canadians, especially abbreviated as "frigo".[67]
Frisbee Flying disc Wham-O [68]
Glad Wrap Cling-film Glad (company) [69] Used in Australia, New Zealand.
Hacky Sack Footbag Wham-O [70][71]
Hills Hoist Rotary clothes line Hills Industries Australian usage[72]
Hoover Vacuum cleaner Hoover Company Widely used as a noun and verb.[66] De facto loss of trademark in the UK.[73]
Hula hoop Toy hoop Wham-O [74]
Jacuzzi Hot tub or whirlpool bath Jacuzzi [75]
JCB Backhoe loader J. C. Bamford Has become a generic term for an excavator mounted with both a front loader and a backhoe in British English, as recognized by the Oxford English Dictionary.[76] Invented by J C Bamford Excavators Ltd., which is still the largest supplier of backhoe loaders.[77]
Jeep Compact sport utility vehicle Chrysler Chrysler recently used "trademark awareness" advertisements to prevent the brand from becoming a generic noun or verb, including such statements as They invented ‘SUV’ because they can’t call them Jeep[78]
Jell-O Gelatin dessert; jelly (UK) Kraft Foods The Jell-O brand also encompasses pudding products.[79] This is one example of usage by Martha Stewart.
Jet Ski Stand-up personal watercraft Kawasaki Used universally to refer to any type of personal watercraft. This news article is one example of usage.
Jiffy bag padded mailing envelopes Sealed Air [80]
JumboTron Large-screen television Sony Still used, although Sony exited the market for this product in 2001.[81]
Kool-Aid Flavored drink Kraft Foods Company Often used as the generic term for any drink mix in the United States
Kleenex Facial tissue Kimberly-Clark Often used by consumers as if it were generic in the U.S., France and Canada, but still a legally recognized trademark.[27]
Lava lamp Liquid motion lamp Mathmos [82][83]
Lexan Polycarbonate resin thermoplastic glass SABIC [84][85]
Matchbox Die cast toy Mattel Used at its height of popularity to describe die cast cars.[86]
Memory Stick Flash memory storage device Sony [87]
Multiball Willams A feature in pinball where two or more balls are in play at the same time.[88]
Muzak Elevator music, background music Muzak Holdings An often derogatory term frequently used to describe any form of Easy Listening, smooth jazz, or Middle of the road music, or to the type of recordings once commonly heard on "beautiful music" radio stations.[89][90]
NOS (Nitrous Oxide Systems) Nitrous Holley Performance Products Widely used generically to describe nitrous systems used in motor vehicles.[91] One example of this was when it was used prominently in the 2001 film The Fast and the Furious.
Onesies Infant bodysuit Gerber Products Company Often used by consumers in the U.S. as if it were generic; "Onesies" still a legally trademarked brand name of Gerber, which objects to its usage in the singular form as "Onesie" or as a generic product name.[92]
Otter Pops Plastic tube filled frozen snack with flavored sugary liquid; ice pop (UK); frozo-pop (US) National Pax Often used as a name for a style of frozen snack consisting of a frozen tube in which frozen sugary liquid is pushed up through the top and eaten.[93]
Perspex Acrylic glass Lucite [94]
Philadelphia Cream cheese Kraft Foods According to Kraft Foods,[95] the first American cream cheese was made in New York in 1872 by American dairyman William Lawrence, and in 1880 'Philadelphia' was adopted as the brand name after the city that Americans considered at the time to be the home of top quality food.
Photoshop Photo manipulation Adobe Systems Commonly used as a verb to generically describe digital manipulation or compositing of photographs.[96]
Ping Pong Table tennis Parker Brothers Originally trademarked by Jaques and Son, was later passed to Parker Bros. A number of U.S. organisations nowadays are required to refer its sport as table tennis as means of trademark protection.[97][98]
Acrylic glass Altuglas International,
Rohm & Haas (formerly)
Often misspelled with a double "s", which appears to have become generic, possibly providing partial protection for the tradename "Plexiglas"[99][100]
Polaroid Instant film Polaroid Corporation Commonly used to refer to instant photograph shot during model auditions.
Popsicle Ice Pop; ice lolly (UK) Good Humor-Breyers [101]
Portakabin Portable building Portakabin Ltd. Widely-used term for a portable modular building in the UK.[94][102][103]
Post-it Sticky note 3M Often used by consumers as if it were generic in the U.S. and Canada, but still a legally recognized trademark.[104]
Pot Noodle Instant noodles Unilever Used widely in the United Kingdom as it is the dominant brand.[94]
Pritt Stick Glue stick Henkel A newspaper article by the Daily Mirror (on 27 March 2010) treated the brand as a gerneic name,[105] another example of use is by The Guardian on its 16 June 2007 article.[106]
Q-tips Cotton swabs; cotton buds (UK) Unilever Often used by consumers as if it were generic in the U.S. and Canada, but still a legally recognized trademark.[107]
Realtor Real estate agent National Association of Realtors Often used by the public, the media, and even real estate agents to refer generally to any real estate agent, but the term is a legally recognized trademark of the National Association of Realtors. The terms "Realtor" and "Realtors" refer to members of this association, and not to real estate agents generally. The National Association of Realtors is engaged in ongoing efforts to prevent the mark from becoming generic. These efforts include, among other things, writing to members of the media to complain of improper usage, distribution of information and guidelines on correct usage, and the development of an educational video on the subject. National Association of Realtors' trademark protection video.
Ribena Blackcurrant squash GlaxoSmithKline Refers to blackcurrant squash in common usage, although other flavours of Ribena exist.
Rizla Rolling paper Imperial Tobacco Often used to describe rolling papers which are used to contain rolled tobacco or marijuana.[108]
Rollerblade Inline skates Nordica Commonly used name by consumers in the U.S. and Canada, but the name is still a trademark.[109]
Saran Wrap Plastic wrap; cling film (UK) S. C. Johnson & Son
Asahi Kasei
Scalextric Slot car Hornby Railways Used commonly in the United Kingdom to describe slot cars and the hobbies itself.[110]
Scotch tape Clear adhesive tape (US) 3M Appears in dictionaries as both generic and trademarked.[111] "Trademark Law" advises that proper usage is "Scotch brand cellophane tape" to combat "generic tendencies".[112]
Ski-Doo Snowmobile Bombardier Recreational Products Usage in Canada, especially Quebec and British Columbia.[113]
Sea-Doo Sit-down personal watercraft Bombardier Recreational Products Used regionally in the U.S. (where the company holds 50.3% of the market share) to refer to any type of sit-down PWC. Usage is strongest in Canada, especially in Quebec, where the manufacturer is based.[114]
Sellotape Clear adhesive tape (UK) Sellotape Company, owned by Henkel Consumer Adhesives Often used generically as a verb and noun.[115][116][117] Appears in dictionaries as both generic and trademarked.[118]
Sharpie Permanent marker Sanford L.P., owned by Newell Rubbermaid James Faulkner, Sanford's marketing manager has said "In America the Sharpie name is used as the generic for a permanent marker".[119]
Speedo Swim briefs Speedo [120]
Stetson Cowboy hat John B. Stetson Company Although John B. Stetson Company manufacturers other types of brimmed hats, the word Stetson has been long used[121] for a generic cowboy hat which features a high crown and wide brim.
Stanley knife Utility knife Stanley Works Commonly used generically by the public, the press and law enforcement officers when it is used during an incident as the following two links indicates, regardless if said weapon is actually a utility knife. The trademark have since entered into a dictionary term.[122]
Stelvin closure Screw cap Rio Tinto Alcan Often used generically.[123]
Sto-Fen Diffusion filter Sto-Fen Products Often used generically to describe a flash gun diffuser.[124]
Styrofoam extruded polystyrene foam Dow Chemical Company In the United States and Canada, "styrofoam" is often used as a generic term for disposable foam cups, plates, coolers and packing material, although these are made from a different polystyrene product than true Styrofoam Brand Foam,[125] which is made for thermal insulation and craft applications.[126]
Super Glue Cyanoacrylate adhesive Super Glue Corporation The term "superglue" is often used informally as a verb or noun, but is still a trademark (US)[127]
Super Heroes Superhero DC comics Marvel Comics The two-word version of the term is a trademark co-owned by DC Comics and Marvel Comics.[128]
Tannoy Public address system Tannoy Ltd. UK usage[129]
Targa top Semi-convertible hard roof panel Porsche Although first used in the 1960s, trademark was not claimed until the 1970s, when its popularity grew; hence, the name is treated as a generic trademark by the general public and the motoring press to describe a detachable hard roof panel.[130]
Tarmac Asphalt road surface. Tarmac Often used by consumers as if it were generic in the UK, but still a legally recognized trademark.[131]
Taser Electroshock weapon, stun gun Taser Systems
Taser International
Acronym for a fictional weapon: Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle.[132] Taser is a registered tradename, prompting a backformed verb "to tase" which means "to use a Taser on", although "to taser" is also commonly used.
Telecopier Facsimile machine Xerox [94]
Tippex Correction fluid Tipp-Ex Refers to white liquid applied with a brush used to hide mistakes, written or typed, with ink so they can be overwritten. (Europe, especially Germany, France, Spain and the UK)
Tivoli Amusement park Tivoli A/S The Danish Tivoli Gardens amusement park has registered its colloquial name "Tivoli" as company name and trademark. In Danish language, the word “tivoli” has however been a generic term for “amusement park” from before the Tivoli Gardens opened in 1843[133] and is still used as such, for instance in the name of many other amusement parks all over Denmark[134] and other Scandinavian countries. This is currently the focal point of several legal disagreements,[135] with the first (Tivoli A/S vs Innocent Pictures ApS) expected to reach Denmark's Supreme Court in 2010 or 2011.
TiVo Digital Video Recorder (DVR) TiVo, Inc. Records television shows and movies without the need for a VCR or videocassette, and allows users to rewind live television.
Tupperware Plastic storage containers for food Earl Tupper preparation, storage, containment, and serving products for the kitchen and home, which were first introduced to the public in 1946.
Tylenol Paracetamol,

Acetaminophen in the US & Canada

McNeil Consumer Healthcare [41]
Vaseline Petroleum jelly, petrolatum Unilever Often used by consumers as if it were generic in the U.S. and Canada, but still a legally recognized trademark.[107]
Velcro Hook-and-loop fastener Velcro company Used as generic, but still trademarked.[136] Often used as a verb.[137]
Walkman Personal stereo Sony Corporation Was often used generically for any portable stereo player, and in 2002 an Austrian court ruled that it had passed into common usage,[138] but still a legally recognized trademark.[139]
WaveRunner Personal water craft Yamaha Motor Company Often used, along with Jet Ski, to refer to any type of personal watercraft.[140]
Windex Hard-surface cleaner S. C. Johnson & Son [41]
Winnebago Class A recreational vehicle Winnebago Industries Used in the United Kingdom to describe a coach sized American motorhome.[141]
Wite-Out Correction fluid Société Bic A white liquid applied with a brush used to hide mistakes, written or typed, with ink so they can be overwritten.[142](US)
Xerox Photocopier or to make a photocopy Xerox Xerox has used "trademark awareness" advertisements to prevent the brand from becoming a generic noun or verb, including such statements as "You can't make a Xerox."[143] However, it is used in India as a generic word for 'Photo-Copy'
Zodiac Rubber-tubed inflatable boat Zodiac Marine & Pool Used colloquially to refer to any brand of rubber-tubed (or other synthetic material) boat (sometimes with a rigid hull, sometimes with a rubber floor)


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  • Ginsburg, Jane C.; Litman, Jessica; Kevlin, Mary L. (2001). Trademark and Unfair Competition Law (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Foundation Press 

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  • List of non-English generic and genericized trademarks — This list is about generic and genericized trademarks in languages other than English . For English, see List of generic and genericized trademarks. : Cite references by quoting mainline publications using the trademark generically The following… …   Wikipedia

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