Words you (probably) didn’t know were trademarked

Do you like playing ping pong or relaxing in your jacuzzi? Well, you can still do those things and many more but… did you know that those terms were actually the names of brands?

Post-it

A post-it note is a sticky note but it used to be the useful product’s name.

And even though 3M’s patent expired in 1997, the term “Post-it” and the original notes’ distinctive yellow color remain registered company trademarks!

Similar offerings manufactured by competitors usually have to go with “repositionable notes” (not so catchy, huh?).

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Band-Aid

Ouch! Got a band-aid?

I don’t think you’ll be sued by Johnson & Johnson’s (they’d have to sue lots of people) but “Band-Aid” is still a registered term and said registration is valid and legal.

However, since the term has become the generic one for an adhesive bandage in the United States, the registration may be challenged and removed if the challenger proves as a matter of fact that the alleged trademark has become generic.

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Scotch tape

The Scotch brand and Scotch Tape are registered trademarks of 3M (also owners of Post-it).

Nonetheless, the term is frequently used as the generic term for pressure-sensitive tapes, even in Spanish! In Latin America, you’ll hear lots of people saying cinta Scotch.

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Jacuzzi

Jacuzzi Brands Corp. is an American company that produces whirlpool bathtubs and hot tub spas known in many countries as, yes, “jacuzzis”.

Still, JACUZZI is a federally registered trademark.

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Frisbee

Because “frisbee” sounds much cooler than “flying disc”, doesn’t it?

The term is often used to generically describe all flying discs, worldwide, but it’s a registered trademark of the Wham-O toy company.

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Ping pong

Many will refer to it as table tennis but many others use the registered term “ping pong”.

The term was in wide use before British manufacturer J. Jaques & Son Ltd trademarked it in 1901. Later, Jaques would sell the rights to the famous Parker Brothers (yes, the creators of Monopoly and Clue/Cluedo!).

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Super Hero

Unbelievable but true. “Super Hero” is a trademarked word.

Most dictionary definitions and common usages of the term are generic and not limited to the characters of any particular company or companies. Nevertheless, variations on the term “Super Hero” are jointly claimed by the two “giants of comic books“, DC Comics and Marvel Comics, as trademarks in the United States.

Both “Super Hero” and “Super Heroes” have been registered. Apparently, we can still use “superhero/es”.

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Awesome facts about famous brands