In December 2017, a federal jury in San Diego was asked to declare the death of Comic-Con . . . in the trademark sense. They were asked to decide whether “Comic-Con” had become generic, or suffered “genericide,” due to widespread use of the term to refer to a comic convention—much as “aspirin,” once a Bayer trademark, eventually became the common name for acetylsalicylic acid,1 a fate that befell other brands, including cellophane, escalator, and linoleum. Yet other brands that have become common terms, such as Kleenex, have not yet suffered this fate—not yet anyway. Now would be a good time to get some Kleenex, as you may want to have a good cry before this is over.
Published in the Orange County Lawyer