Brands have gone bankrupt because of their trademarks going generic

Labeled “genericide” by the BBC, huge brands can lose a lot of money or even go bankrupt just because their brand name becomes generic.

Many trademarks have become the generic name or synonymous with a product or service due to its popularity and/or significance. A great example is German pharmaceutical firm Bayer, which was forced to give up its rights to the Aspirin and Heroin trademarks in the Treaty of Versailles, in 1919.

Speaking of bankruptcy, that’s what happened to Duncan Toys Co. after a judge ruled “yo-yo” had become too ingrained in common speech to remain trademarked.



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