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I have noticed over the last few years that more and more brands have added a generic product or category name following their brand name on packaging for the goods. 

The first brand to my knowledge that did this was Kleenex years ago. Their packaging says “Kleenex brand tissues” to make it clear that Kleenex is not the name for all tissues and to help people avoid using the “Kleenex” name generically.  

These uses are good strategy for big brands risk becoming such a part of the lexicon that the brand shift towards possible genericness and the resulting loss of trademark protection. Some brands, instead of using the generic product category after the trademark use the term “Brand” for the same purpose.

Kleenex® Brand Logo

Did you know that Frisbee, Jacuzzi, Jet Ski, Rollerblade, Popsicle are all registered trademarks today? But many people misuse each of them to refer to an entire category of goods. A brand name that becomes generic is less profitable, less valuable and less protected under the law.

Here are some brands that I have noticed using the generic term to make it clear that the brand name is not the generic term:

VIA from Starbucks uses the phrase “ready brew” after the mark

Play-Doh – modeling compound

Poland Spring brand

Deer Park brand

Lysol brand

One Response
  1. […] For example, boxes of Kleenex actually say “Kleenex brand tissues,” and many other brands also make sure to use the generic category term on their packaging to make it clear that their brand name is not the category name. Starbucks notes that a Frappuccino is actually a “Frappuccino blended beverage.” For more on this phenomenon, see my earlier post, Avoiding generic trademark use by using generic term after trademark. […]