TiVo Gets Its Wish: People Start Forgetting The TiVo Name

from the be-careful-what-you-wish-for dept

There's always a fear in the marketing world that your brand name becomes generic and you lose the trademark over it. Kleenex. Xerox. Band-Aid. It happens all the time. A year ago, TiVo was worried about the exact same thing, even having their lawyers nastygram people who misused "TiVo", especially as a verb. "I TiVo'd that show last night" is a big no-no, apparently. In some ways, perhaps it's working. A new study (the methodology seems a bit questionable, I'll admit) suggests that fewer people are referring to their DVR use as "TiVoing." The study doesn't seem to have a base case, showing whether this has increased or decreased, but is clearly trying to imply that fewer people just use the generic word "TiVo" to describe off-brand DVRs. So, is that a good thing? It's exactly what TiVo's lawyers wanted a year ago. However, you have to wonder, in the long run, is it better for everyone to use your brand name (at which point you can make a marketing play about being the "one true TiVo" or "the original TiVo") or have no one use it?
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  • identicon
    no, 15 Nov 2005 @ 10:02am

    No Subject Given

    I have never, and will never say that I "Tivoed" something. It'll always be "recorded", or rather, "downloaded". ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sohrab, 15 Nov 2005 @ 10:21am

    No Subject Given

    I prolly use Tivo alot more then other things. I always say "I wish I had a Tivo" or "I wanna Tivo that show" and i would consider myself tech savvy so I think im falling in that tunnel

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    andrew, 15 Nov 2005 @ 10:27am

    tivo

    isnt it good. its advertising when someone says that. when i say i tivoed that show, people know i use tivo even if i use something else. when people look for a dvr to buy, they think tivo and they buy one because thats what they hear. just my $0.02

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    brandonjp, 15 Nov 2005 @ 10:34am

    just like ipod

    shame on TiVo on for being so cutting edge and making the DVR famous. the same thing happened / still is happening with the ipod - i hear tons of kids who don't have any clue what an 'mp3 player' is, but as soon as you say 'ipod' they know it

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    rick, 15 Nov 2005 @ 10:38am

    TiVo'd???

    When compared to the ReplayTV device, I found the ReplayTV to be a better deal. I can pull the shows off my DVR and serve them up on other computers/tvs connected to computers throughout the house. I haven't been fond of the TiVo system from the get go. I agree with the last post I read, I "record" shows, I don't "TiVo" them or "ReplayTV" them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ellen archer, 15 Nov 2005 @ 10:52am

    patents

    technically, kleenex et al have not lost their trademark. if you look at a box of off brand tissue it says something similar to "compare to Kleenex brand facial tissue". those companies still retain the right to the trademark usage of that particular word.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Edward, 15 Nov 2005 @ 12:01pm

    Tivoing

    I tivo shows.
    My friends tivo shows.
    They tivo shows.
    We all tivo shows.
    Its all about tivoing!
    Its all about tivoing!
    Its all about tivoing!
    Its all about tivoing!
    Its all about tivoing!
    Its all about tivoing!
    Its all about tivoing!

    Sorry for the annoyance, but it is pretty lame to harass people as to how a name is used.
    It should be a compliment!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dam, 15 Nov 2005 @ 12:08pm

    They Risk Losing It

    While there may be an argument for letting a trade name become a verb, a company that does so risks losing the exclusive use of that name. Most famous example -"Yellow Pages". Anyone can publish the Yellow pages. Years ago, the old Bell Telephone System failed to protect the name. Through common use, they lost the right to use the name as a trademark.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Joe, 15 Nov 2005 @ 12:45pm

      Re: They Risk Losing It

      Of course, the most famous lost brand name is "Aspirin". Bayer lost that one a long time ago.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Chris Longley, 15 Nov 2005 @ 1:04pm

        Aspirin

        Aspirin is still a protected Bayer trademark in some countries such as Canada. Elsewhere they lost it during the war

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2005 @ 5:25pm

          Re: Aspirin

          Heh, 'the war'.

          There will pills, and pharmacists, everywhere.. And then they hit me with the vallium, and.. next thing I knew.. I was in a refugee camp full of Pfizer researches, in the new country of Merckonia.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Brad, 15 Nov 2005 @ 8:02pm

            The real loss

            The loss isn't whether or not a name is legally distinct - it is a problem when your name becomes too common. When you are watching TV, and some commercial says "Why not go ahead and 'tivo' this program with your new CrappyBrand Recorder!"

            If the name falls into "common use" it ceases to be protectable. Anyone can say "Use this to tivo your favorite programs at home!" about their DVRs. Protecting a name is very valuable. It keeps a company from giving the name's credibility they spent years and millions of dollars building to their competition for free.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Chris Longley, 16 Nov 2005 @ 8:12am

              Re: The real loss

              I disagree ever so slightly, even if it does fall into common use, such as "can I have a Coke please", or (in Britain anyway) "I need to Hoover the stairs" you don't automatically lose your rights to the mark. Sony *did* lose the rights to the word "Walkman" for personal stereo in one country, I think it was Holland but would have to check.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    haggie, 15 Nov 2005 @ 1:12pm

    No Subject Given

    That's hilarious. I use the verb and improper noun "tivo" all the time because I built my own PVR using a computer, a TV card, and Sage software, but my non-tech friends don't even understand how that is physically possible...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andrew Klossner, 15 Nov 2005 @ 2:08pm

    not Xerox

    Xerox has not lost its trademark.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bernie, 16 Nov 2005 @ 10:21am

    TiVo

    I don't know the diff between TiVo and RePlay but I've had a couple of RePlay machines, one of them since RePlay first came on market. I hate going back to realtime TV. A DVR is a DVR possibly, but it's the service itself that makes a real difference. There is a difference in the actual service, menus and whatnot. I heard that TiVo has to be fiddled with to make it skip commercials. I heard that the new RePlay machines skip commercials while recording! Are those things true? I've also noticed that it's tough to get through a commercial break cleanly what with varying commercial lengths. And whatever happened to time? On cable anyway, so many shows don't start on time, run over; the broadcast guys at least keep to the clock! Could it be that advertisers are trying to screw it all up again?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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