|Trademark: Do not erase|
- A trademark is generally a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.
- A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. Throughout this booklet, the terms “trademark” and “mark” refer to both trademarks and service marks.
In the June 1, 2015 Advertising Age magazine, Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. placed an advertisement asking that people respect its registered trademark on Kleenex® Brand Tissue. In the annals of trademark protection, there are stories about those marks which have not been well protected and which people use freely. A popular trademark for a brand of tissues falls into that category (i.e., Kleenex® Brand Tissue). Are all tissues called a ______? Most people do not realize that using the trademarked name for all tissues is disrespectful of Kimberly-Clark and their intellectual property.
Reclaiming a trademark, once people are used to abusing it, is a difficult task. However, I'll note that this ad was in an industry publication. Kimberly-Clark wants advertisers and other companies to respect their trademark, and they may be able to win that battle. I hope the company realizes that it will take more than one ad and that the topic will need to be addressed through several channels. I hope they also realize that this will need to be an ongoing concern for the company.
The image above was taken from the Kimberly-Clark advertisement. It is not the entire image, since I've tried to use as little as possible while still conveying the message.