Raise your hand if you’ve ever asked for a Kleenex when you just wanted a tissue. We’ve all been there, right? Well, in the wild world of trademarks, that’s a no-no, and here’s why it’s more than just a grammar geek’s nitpick.
The Nitty-Gritty of Trademark Grammar
Trademarks are like those celebrities that go by one name: think Madonna or Cher. They’re not just any name; they’re special. They don’t want to be lost in the crowd of common words. When we say “Kleenex tissues,” we’re giving the brand its moment in the spotlight—it’s an adjective that describes a very specific type of tissue.
Why It Matters
Using a trademark correctly isn’t just about sounding smart; it’s about legalities. If everyone starts calling all tissues “Kleenex,” then poor old Kleenex becomes just another word for tissue. It loses its power, and worse, its legal mojo as a protected brand name.
Trademarks are Not Verbs or Common Nouns
Remember when “to google” became a verb? Handy, but that’s exactly what we want to avoid. We search with Google, we don’t “google.” Otherwise, Google could go the way of the escalator, which, believe it or not, was once a trademarked name!
How to Keep Trademarks Special
Think of a trademark as your friend who insists on being called by their full title. You wouldn’t just shorten “Sir David Alexander the Third” to Dave, would you? So, let’s not shorten “Kleenex tissues” to “Kleenexes.” It’s about respect—and keeping lawyers happy.
Making It Stick
To wrap it up, remember:
- Use trademarks as adjectives: They describe the noun, they’re not the noun.
- Be specific: Say “Kleenex brand tissues” instead of just “Kleenex.”
- Avoid verbification: You clean with a “Swiffer duster,” you don’t “Swiffer.”
Lightening the Mood
So, for those who hear “grammar” and flashback to confusing school days, think of trademarks as your grammar school crush—special and not to be forgotten. Let’s keep them in the adjective zone where they belong, and we can all avoid a trip to the principal’s office, also known as the courtroom.
If you have additional questions or need some pointers when creating a trademark for your business or brand, feel free to contact us by calling (888) 666-0062 or by clicking here to schedule an Initial Discovery Session online.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.