[mythtv-users] OT: TiVo cracks down on grammar

Scott Alfter mythtv at salfter.dyndns.org
Tue Dec 14 19:05:21 UTC 2004

On Tue, Dec 14, 2004 at 12:55:17PM -0500, Jay R. Ashworth wrote:
> Trademarks are a funny thing.
> They *have* to take affirmative action to protect them, or they slip,
> into the public domain.
> Like Aspirin.

I thought aspirin fell into the public domain because the Germans lost WWI. 
A search turned up this:


    The name "aspirin" is composed of a- (for the acetyl group) -spir- (for
    the spiraea flower) and -in (a common ending for drugs at the time).
    Bayer registered it as a trademark on March 6, 1899.

    However, the German company lost the right to use the trademark in many
    countries as the Allies seized and resold its foreign assets after World
    War I. The right to use "Aspirin" in the United States (along with all
    other Bayer trademarks) was purchased from the U.S. government by
    Sterling Drug, Inc in 1918. Even before the patent for the drug expired
    in 1917, Bayer had been unable to stop competitors from copying the
    formula and using the name elsewhere, and so with a flooded market, the
    public was unable to recognize "Aspirin" as coming from only one
    manufacturer. Sterling was subsequently unable to prevent "Aspirin" from
    being ruled a generic mark (and therefore unprotected) in a U.S. federal
    court in 1921. Other countries (such as Canada) still consider "Aspirin"
    a protected trademark.

 / v \ Scott Alfter 
(IIGS( http://alfter.us/            Top-posting!
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