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34 trademarked brands that have become household names

Business Insider Logo By Mark Abadi of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 35: Google, Taser, and Xerox are all examples of brand names that have become generic words for a type of product.The process is known as genericization, and in some cases, it can result in companies losing their trademark.Escalator and kerosene are some lesser-known examples of brand names that have turned into ordinary words. Sometimes there is a downside to being successful. In the corporate world, if a company's product is popular enough, it risks something called genericization, which is when the public associates the brand name with the generic class of product itself. That's the fate that befell Kleenex. Although Kleenex is a registered trademark of Kimberly-Clark Corporation, for many consumers, the word has become interchangeable with "tissue." Other brand names that have fallen victim to genericization include Google, Taser, and Xerox. Even common words like kerosene and escalator were once trademarked. We've compiled a list of 34 famous brands that have become genericized, either formally or informally. While all of them have been trademarked at some point in their histories, a few of them have actually lost legal protection due to their name's widespread popularity.

These brands have fallen victim to 'genericization'

Sometimes there is a downside to being successful.

In the corporate world, if a company's product is popular enough, it risks something called "genericization," which is when the public associates the brand name with the generic class of product itself.

That's the fate that befell Kleenex. Although Kleenex is a registered trademark of Kimberly-Clark Corp., for many consumers, the word has become interchangeable with "tissue."

Other brand names that have fallen victim to genericization include Google, Taser and Xerox. Even common words like kerosene and escalator were once trademarked.

We've compiled a list of 34 famous brands that have become genericized, either formally or informally. While all of them have been trademarked at some point in their histories, a few of them have actually lost legal protection due to their name's widespread popularity.

Click ahead to read about trademarked brands that have become household names.

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