Genericness as a Defense in Trademark Law and Legal Definition

Defendants can succeed with a genericness defense in trademark cases when a mark that is allegedly infringed is the mark that describes the entire category or genus of product that the mark is supposed to distinguish. It cannot receive protection under the trademark law. Generic marks are either generic from the outset, or become generic after they become part of the common descriptive name of a category or genus of products. Therefore, a mark that has been registered can loose its registration through a cancellation proceeding or by order of the court where the term has been shown to have become generic through use.