Basically, a generic mark is one you would see in a cartoon or sit-com when a character is using a good. When you see a television character drinking beer, the can often says "Beer." When you see the character drinking cola, the can says "Cola." When you see the character eating chips, the bag says "Chips."
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
On generic and arbitrary trademarks: the Candy Crush example.
The developer of the Candy Crush game for mobile devices recently sought a federal trademark registration for "Candy." The article illustrates many common issues when registering a trademark over an existing word that would be generic when used on or in connection with the good or service it literally describes. For instance, "Candy," when used in games for mobile devices, is not unlike "Apple" when used with computers and like technology. If "Candy," were used in connection with candy, it would be generic and incapable of trademark protection. If "Apple," were used in connection with apples, it would also be generic and incapable of trademark protection.