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A process by which a trademark owner loses trademark rights because the trademark is used widely and indiscriminately to refer to a type of product or service. for example, escalator was originally a protected trademark used to designate the moving stairs manufactured by a specific company. eventually, the word became synonymous with the very idea of moving stairs and thus lost its trademark protection. other examples of trademarks that have become generic terms are lite beer, soft soap, and cola. (see also: generic)

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