Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Legal systems that enforce exclusive rights to words claimed as trademarks face two common problems: the trademark may degenerate into a generic word for the product, and a manufacturer may try to restrict a generic product name from the public domain by various means. Difficult questions must be confronted when the trademark claimant seeks to enforce the generic word. The authors compare the approaches that have been taken by the United States and four Commonwealth countries, all of which have evolved very different common-law and statutory solutions. The Article concludes that although there are shortcomings in American law, they are insignificant when compared with the state of the law in the foreign nations.