Generic Term Law and Legal Definition

Generic term is a word that is associated with or known as a particular category of goods and services to which it relates. The result is that the term ceases to function as an indicator of origin. A generic word is one used by much of the public to refer to a class or category of product or service. A generic name can not be protected or registered as a trademark or service mark. For example, any single seller can not have trademark rights in “television” or “oven.” When a seller is given exclusive rights to call something by its recognized name, it would amount to a practical monopoly on selling that type of product. Even established trademarks can lose their protection if they are used generically. For example, thermos and aspirin.