Generic names for goods and services may not be registered as trademarks under the Lanham Act, and registered marks that have become the generic name for the goods or services may be cancelled at any time (15 U.S.C. �14(3)). Words that were originally trademarks designating the source for particular products, such as “escalator” and “thermos,” have lost that status and become the generic name for all such products. Companies whose marks are in danger of losing their distinctiveness as source indicators may take steps to raise the public’s consciousness and prevent their marks from becoming generic. One such well-known advertising campaign is run by Xerox Corporation to educate the public to use a “photocopying machine” or “to photocopy” in place of the registered trademark XEROX.

The ‘M4′ Weapon

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