A letter from Jacuzzi® surprised Dutch hotel owners and holiday villages. Whether they could stop committing trademark infringement? They had no idea that they did.
Their surprise is perhaps not incomprehensible. In recent decades, most people, at least in the Netherlands, might not have realized that Jacuzzi® is actually a trademark and not a generic name for hot tubs. It was often used as just another synonym.
And that is exactly what the company now wants to prevent, that Jacuzzi becomes a generic name. As you might know, this happened, for example, to trademarks like Aspirin and Frisbee. And if your trademark has become a generic name, it isn’t worth much anymore. Anyone can use it freely.
The lawyers of Jacuzzi® are therefore addressing hotels and holiday villages that do not actually own real Jacuzzi® hot tubs, but who do use the name in ads and other communications ('comfortable suites with jacuzzi') and thus benefit from the (luxury) image and goodwill of the Jacuzzi® brand.
You can think what you want about that (in recent news items, the wording 'threatening language' was used), but for a trademark owner it is literally a matter of survival. The letters from the lawyers, but also the publicity generated by these letters (including this newsletter), help the Jacuzzi® brand to stand out again, to distinguish itself from other brands for hot tubs, bubble baths or ‘integrated jet whirlpool baths’.
And that might not be unjustified. For Jacuzzi® is not just another brand for hot tubs. It is the brand of the original inventor, Candido Jacuzzi, who conceived the idea of the bubbling bathtub in 1949, as a relief for his 15-month-old son Kenneth's rheumatoid arthritis.
Do you want to know more about enforcing your trademark rights? Our professional advisors are happy to help you any time.