Which Brands Have Become Everyday Words?

From Vaseline and Kleenex to Scotch tape, there are many brand names that have become generally accepted as generic terms for the respective products. While some are obvious, others may be less apparent. For instance, did you know that heroin and aspirin were once branded terms?

The LLCAttorney.com team researched popular brand names that have since become common terms for generic products. Some of the most surprising brand names on the list are medications. For instance, heroin is now a generic term for the street drug, but at one point it was trademarked by pharmaceutical company Bayer. Aspirin is also now commonly known as the generic term for acetylsalicylic acid pain medication, but it used to be a branded term belonging to Bayer as well. Bayer (which is a German company) lost the trademarks for both heroin and aspirin after World War II as part of war reparations under the Treaty of Versailles.

Some of the other surprising generic terms that used to be branded terms are kerosene (originally trademarked by geologist Abraham Gesner in 1854), dry ice (trademarked in 1925 by the DryIce Corporation of America), trampoline (originally called a rebound tumbler before the trademark became generic), and bubble wrap (name owned by Sealed Air Corporation, but now considered to be a generic term). Brand names typically become generic trademarks due to their popularity or significance in the market. When trademarked terms become widely used for any related product, they can become generic terms.

Are there any brand names that are now generic terms on the graphic that are surprising to you?

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