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NewsFactor: In Defense of the Linux Trademark

“Intellectual property can give lawyers a headache. When it
does, most of us are conditioned to ask the druggist for Aspirin,
not the medical term for the active ingredient, ‘acetylsalicylic
acid.’

“At one time, only Bayer could sell acetylsalicylic acid using
the name Aspirin, and everyone knew the source of the product. But
through lack of active enforcement of the trademark, it eventually
fell into use as a generic moniker for the drug. In the 1920s,
courts officially ruled that Aspirin was a generic name and that
consumers did not associate the name with any particular
producer…”


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