Before leaving my job in September I was a patent and trademark paralegal.
A big part of my job was educating fellow employees on proper trademark usage of our word marks and logos.
Once something is trademarked it can last forever as long as the owner uses it and protects it. If you don’t protect your trademark you can lose your trademark and the word can become generic and available for anyone to use, such as aspirin.
I recently took the SPINNING® teacher training (and after taking and passing a test I became certified). To prepare for my day of teacher training I read the SPINNING® manual ahead of time, as advised.
While I was reading the manual I discovered that SPINNING® is a registered trademark. Before I read that manual I had no idea it was a trademark and assumed it was a generic term for indoor cycling. (Indoor cycling is the generic term.)
I also just recently found out that Mad Dogg Athletics, who owns SPINNING®, recently had their European SPINNING® trademark canceled.
According to this article from INTA (International Trademark Association), the Cancellation Division found that SPINNING® had become the common name in the trade in the Czech Republic market as a type of exercise training and the exercise equipment used in this training.
The article also said, the Cancellation Division found that evidence suggested that Mad Dogg Athletics failed to vigilantly protect the mark when it could easily have done so.
Because of these two issues their trademark was canceled in Europe.
Because I commonly talk about indoor cycling on my blog I will refer to it as that. If I am referring to SPNNING® I will refer to it as that.
If you are still confused about trademarks, here’s another example: KLEENEX® is a type of tissue. Tissue is the generic term. PUFFS® also is a type of tissue.
I believe we should respect trademarks and use them correctly.
Many companies will produce information and or terms on proper trademark usage. Mad Dogg Athletics has information on SPINNING® Trademark Usage for anyone to read.