WHEN A TRADEMARK BECOMES A VICTIM OF ITS OWN SUCCESS
THE IRONY OF THE CONCEPT OF GENERICIDE
A proprietor who launches his new product into the market takes on any market strategy to make such product popular and sought after. He gets a brand name for the product so as to distinguish his brand from other brands of the same class of products and advertises it so well that the brand name becomes a household name and the choice of majority of the consumers as against other competing brands of the same class of products. This is a sign of progress in business for such proprietor. However, where such brand name becomes so popular that consumers mistake the brand name for the generic name of products of that class, the brand name becomes “genericised” and therefore loses its distinctiveness and exclusivity to the proprietor. Thus, any competing company is free to use such brand name on its own product. This is a situation where the success of a product brand has led to its extinction. This paper posits that the concept of genericide operates more as a punishment on a successful proprietor than protecting the interest of competitors and consumers.