Generic domains refer to general classes/types of products without reference a brand name it gets murky when you're talking about certain products i.e. Kleenex, etc. In general, however, you can search USPTO to determine a specific trademark application. There is no ironclad, simple response to the question but a general guideline is to look at product classes Satelite, Cable, Mobile TV all fall into that WebTV is a TM, however...
Automobiles - Generic.
Whereas Auto Car truck etc are not!.
As simple as that!..
Nay. Auto, Car and Truck are generic as well. Dodge, Ford, etc. are not.
Nothing about trademarks is simple, ever...
I don't understand you. Are you loking for software?..
Whether a word is generic or not will depends on several things: 1- the word itself, the descriptive of the word, usage of the word.
People throw around generic like it was nothing, but in dealing with TMs, generics may not be as common as you think. Windows is a TM, Apple is a TM, Cheer is a TM. So if you use them for computers, music/computers, laudry detergent, they are not "generic". The same holds true for word/word combos, it depends on the usage.
With your example, I beleive WebTV is a TM, the others could be contrued as generic...
Lat say we use generic words in original meaning. If webtv is trademark it doesn't mean it's not generic. You can trademark any word. Webtv is tv via web as satellitetv is tv via satellite. Maybe webtv and satellitetv were not generic 30 or more years ago, before web and satellites existed but thay are generic today. It's just my opinion and I am not a lawyer..
People say Band Aids generically and that doesn't change the fact that it is still the registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson. What people do and say do not make a trademark null and void. Just try to produce Adhesive Strips and call them Band Aids and see what happens.
Once again, Wikipedia explains all this:.
"A genericized trademark (or trade mark), sometimes known as a generic trade mark, generic descriptor or proprietary eponym, is a trademark or brand name which is often used as the colloquial description for a particular type of product or service as a result of widespread popular or cultural usage. Where a genericized trademark becomes or replaces the common term for a product or service, the mark has become generic. Escalator and Thomas Edison's mimeograph are classic examples. In the U.K. the term hoover has long been colloquially synonymous with vacuum cleaner, owing to The Hoover Company's dominance of the UK vacuum cleaner market in the first half of the 20th century. That it has been more than 100 years since the first vacuum cleaners were commercially available in the UK, and that Hoover is no longer the biggest selling brand of vacuum cleaner in the country, illustrates the depth to which generic trademarks can persist in their usage.
However, a trademark may still become genericized in the absence of significant market share through mechanisms such as viral marketing.
Whether or not a mark is popularly identified as genericized, the owner of the mark may still be able to enforce the proprietary rights which attach to the use or registration of the mark, so long as the mark continues to exclusively identify the owner as the commercial origin of the applicable products or services.".
Read the whole article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genericized_trademark.
I think that explains the whole WebTV issue.
You can create something and that something becomes so universal that people forget that it didn't exist as a word previously. Take, "Robot," for example. It didn't exist as a word before the Czech writer Karel apek coined the term in his story Rossum's Universal Robots in 1920. Now, robots, is generic and in common use. Now you can't trademark it and say it's yours.
Microsoft does seem to think that WebTV is it's property and has indeed successfully defended it against those that have disagreed. There is no doubt that they own the term. I think that people are forgetting that when WebTV started, just like in the case of Robots, nobody used the term in that fashion (though probably thought it). The company created it. (That's common knowledge. Go to Wikipedia and read about WebtV. There's no need to wonder about it whether Microsoft owns the trademark or not: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webtv).
Another very good example of a business creating a phrase that is now a generic term is IBM and eBusiness. IBM coined the term eBusiness. They created the phrase for an advertising concept. Nobody said or thought eBusiness (in that fashion) before IBM invented the word. They failed to trademark it's use, however (by design if you believe what their CEO at the time, Louis V. Gerstner Jr.
Now the term is universal and everyone uses e-this and e-that.
EThat eWas eReally eDumb eOf eIBM, eToo...
And somebody might be in the process of establishing trademark rights for a.
Generic word for a specific use even as we post...
Once again WebTV is a registered trademark. It is a unique word create for a sole purpose to present a certain service. It is owned by MS. It is a unique product and not descriptive. They have about a dozen registrations for WebTV and some even go as far as to establish the distinctiveness is limited to "WebTV" when assocaited with another word...
Bionichead, I see your point but this is not the case here. We use webtv expression (at least here in europe) because it's logical expression for tv via web and not because it's popular trademark.
Ms have the tm, it's not in question but in my opinion webtv is as much generic and descriptive as satellitetv and cabletv. Any lawyer here? Additional explanation would be much appreciated.