No one may own trademark rights to a word/term that is a generic name. A word/term is generic if its primary meaning to the prospective purchasers is the product/service and not the producer of the product/provider of the service. Words/Terms that originally are trademarks/marks may, over time, be adopted by the public as the common name for the product/service and become generic. If a word/term becomes generic, the owner of the trademark/mark cannot exclude others from using it or recover damages for the use. Examples of words that have lost trademark protection because they became generic names of products they identified include "aspirin", "thermos" or "cellophane."
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