65 Notre Dame L. Rev. 397 (1989-1990)
Expressive Genericity: Trademarks as Language in the Pepsi Generation; Dreyfuss, Rochelle Cooper

handle is hein.journals/tndl65 and id is 405 raw text is: Expressive Genericity: Trademarks as Language
In the Pepsi Generation
Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss*
The Mets are one offour major league baseball teams that boast their own cloth-
ing store. - Gerald Eskenazi, noting that the Angels, Red Sox and Pi-
rates are about to join the Mets, Padres, Brewers and A's in running
such enterprises'
When I campaign alone I'm approachable. Women talk to me, complain, but
when I'm with Ted I'm a Barbie doll. - Marcia Chellis, quotingJoan Ken-
nedy's account of her life with Edward Kennedy.2
What does all this consolidating mean for publishing? The birth of McBooks.
Sheldon Himelfarb, reporting the effect of McEficiency and
McMarket research on the publishing business after Random House
purchased the Crown Publishing Group.3
'Star War' Funds Cut in the Senate -Headline, New York Times, Septem-
ber 27, 1989.4
Their concern was how to pretend they had never left home. What hotels in Ma-
drid boasted king-sized Beautyrest mattresses? What restaurants in Tokyo offered
Sweet 'n' Low? Did Amsterdam have a McDonalds? Did Mexico City have a
Taco Bell? Did any place in Rome serve Chef Boyardee ravioli? -Anne-
Tyler, describing the guide books prepared by her protagonist, Macon
Leary.5
Trademarks have come a long way. Originating in the stratified
economy of the middle ages as a marketing tool of the merchant class,6
these symbols have passed into popular culture. During the journey,
ideograms that once functioned solely as signals denoting the source,
origin, and quality of goods, have become products in their own right,
valued as indicators of the status, preferences, and aspirations of those
who use them.7 Some trademarks have worked their way into the English
language; others provide bases for vibrant, evocative metaphors.8 In a
sense, trademarks are the emerging lingua franca: with a sufficient com-
* Professor of Law, New York University. I wish to thank Ralph Brown, Dorothy Nelkin and
Diane Zimmerman for their helpful comments, Thomas Nagel for thought-provoking discussion,
New York University law student Lisa Bialkin for her very able assistance, and the Filomen
D'Agostino and Max E. Greenberg Research Fund for its financial support.
1 Eskenazi, Sports Logos Now Symbols of Big Profits, N.Y. Times, June 19, 1989, at Al, col. 2.
2 M. CHELLIS, THE JOAN KENNEDY STORY: LIVING WITH THE KENNEDYS 191 (Jove ed. 1986).
3 N.Y. Times, Sept. 25, 1988, § 4, at 25, col. 1.
4 Rosenthal, 'Star War' Funds Cut in the Senate, N.Y. Times, Sept. 27, 1989, at Al, col. 1.
5 A. TYLER, THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST I 1 (Berkley ed. 1986).
6 F. SCHECHTER, THE HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS OF THE LAW RELATING TO TRADEMARKS (1925).
7 See Eskenazi, supra note I (noting that combined sales of items bearing the logos of the teams
of the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball
amount to billions of dollars); Bates, Big Bucks in Boosterism; Marketing College Souvenirs Has Become a
Billion-dollar Business, L.A. Times, Sept. 25, 1989, Pt. 4, at 5, col. 1.
8 See G. CANNON, HISTORICAL CHANGE AND ENGLISH WORD-FORMATION, RECENT VOCABULARY
250 (1987).

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