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Did you know that the following terms are registered trademarks (click for registration details)?

Each term is commonly mis-used to describe an entire category of products, not a specific brand.

I recently came across the following humorous discussion of ‘Jaccuzzi’ and ‘hot tub’ on the television show The Big Bang Theory. Goody-two-shoes Sheldon properly notes that Jacuzzi® is a brand name and not all hot tubs are Jacuzzis.

See video here: http://youtu.be/t7SHjXEOs5s?hd=1&t=9s

Tip: Help others use your trademark properly – not as a verb, and not to describe an entire category – in order to reduce the chances of it becoming generic. Provide proper use guidelines if necessary, and sent notes asking mis-users to correct the mistake.

What other trademarks are commonly misused as a generic term? Leave your favorite in the comments. Obvious ones include: Hula Hoop, Frisbee, Xerox, Kleenex, Google, and Popsicle.

2 Responses
  1. Stephen M. Nipper says:

    Another one that surprises geeks is LISTSERV.