14 J. Corp. L. 925 (1988-1989)
Putting the Cart before the Horse in Assessing Trademark Validity - Toward Redefining the Inherently Generic Term

handle is hein.journals/jcorl14 and id is 935 raw text is: PUTTING THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE IN ASSESSING
TRADEMARK VALIDITY-TOWARD REDEFINING THE
INHERENTLY GENERIC TERM
I.  INTRODUCTION   ...................................................................  925
II.  BACKGROUND    ....................................................................  933
A. Legitimate Functions of Trademarks .............................   933
B. Assessing Trademark Validity .......................................  935
III. THE PROBLEM OF INHERENTLY GENERIC TERMS .......................        939
A. Inconsistent Application of Legal Standards ...................    939
1. Primary Significance Test .....................................  940
2.  Genus-Species   Test ..............................................  944
B. Distinguishing Between Descriptive and Generic Terms ....          949
C. Evaluation of Trademark Validity in the Abstract ..........        955
IV. TOWARD REDEFINING INHERENTLY GENERIC TERMS ..................           963
V. JUSTIFICATIONS AND SAFEGUARDS ..........................................  965
A. Justification by the Statutory Language .........................  966
B. Promotion of the Legitimate Trademark Functions .........          967
C. Section 43(a) Serves as an Inadequate Safeguard ............       967
D. Fair Use Defense Serves as an Adequate Safeguard ........          969
V I.  C ONCLUSION  ......................................................................  971
I. INTRODUCTION
Trademark law,' a subset of the broader body of law known
as   unfair    competition,      exists   to    prevent    deception2     in   the
1. Current statutory trademark law is governed by the Lanham Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C.
 1051-1127 (1982 & Supp. V 1987).
2. The Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania noted that the
purpose of the Lanham Act is to 'protect the public from the confusion and deception which
flows from the copying of marks which, through their distinctiveness or exclusivity of use, identify
the origin of the marked products.' A.J. Canfield Co. v. Concord Beverage Co., 629 F. Supp.
200, 206 (E.D. Pa. 1985) (quoting W. E. Bassett Co. v. Revlon, Inc., 354 F.2d 868, 871 (2d
Cir. 1966)). A leading trademark commentator notes, So long as it is not generic or descriptive
of the goods or services sold thereunder, the one who first adopted it will be protected against
any subsequent appropriation or imitation by others, so that the public is not deceived. This
principle dominates the law of trademarks. 3 R. CALLMANN, THE LAW OF UNFAIR COMPETITION
TRADEMARKS AND MONOPOLIES  18.01, at 2-3 (4th ed. 1983) (emphasis added).

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