The TASER sword! Interesting idea, right? The good news is that someone has made one. But that’s bad news for us. Why? We didn’t make it. So what’s in a name? TASER is a trademark: it’s only to be used to describe products made by TASER International.
So a guy invents a sword that also produces an electrical arc, he makes a video, he puts it on YouTube & titles it “TASER sword.” The video goes viral & we’ve been busy trying to correct this misuse of our trademarked brand name. Yes, we recognize that most people would realize this is just a guy who was goofing around & not an actual product made by TASER International. So why are we so diligent in trying to protect our brand name?
A company can lose their brand name. Zipper, kerosene, cellophane, nylon, thermos & escalator are common household words, but guess what? Those were all specific brands before they became generic terms for a product in general. Proprietary brand names can lose their registered trademark protection because they became so successful that they drifted into common usage & became generic. It’s like being a victim of your own success. Inappropriate use of a brand name puts the brand at risk.
What signals when a brand is at risk? When the brand name starts to be used as a verb. If we hear that a police officer ‘TASERed a non-compliant suspect,’ that seems innocuous. But pretty soon this verbal usage could drift to mean any kind of ‘shock’ from any ‘electrified stunning device.’ This would mean our brand has been become generic.
TASER’s fate. Our fate depends on the actions we take now to try to stop our brand becoming generic. The courts are influenced not just by general usage, but also by what efforts a company has made to ward off use of their trademark in generic form when deciding to declare a brand name generic or not.
This is why we’re so persistent about protecting our TASER brand name from misuse.
Can you think of any other brand names that may be at risk?
It’s another ‘TASER death’ headline failure – “Mom who choked and punched son, 3, while ‘high on bath salts’ pictured running naked through street – moments before she was Tasered to death.” An autopsy hasn’t been completed to determine a cause of death, yet this UK news site’s headline claims she was ‘TASERed to death.’ It seems that TASER safety is always called into question. Why is it that people who are acting bizarrely & are possibly on some sort of dangerous drug suddenly die after a TASER deployment & the media regularly speculates that the TASER ECD caused the death? It doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that perhaps the hazardous pharmaceuticals caused this person to die?
Quite honestly, speculation should be left out of the headlines, don’t you think?
Another “TASER death” headline fail – “Lake TASER death investigation.” We’re used to seeing “TASER death” speculative headlines meaning someone died proximal to a TASER deployment but this headline is not accurate. The story reports that, “Medical conditions and drugs killed Glenn David Norman, not the electrical charge from being shot with Tasers.” The story actually reports the TASER ECD did NOT kill this man yet the headline still describes it as a “TASER death.” We’ve contacted the WyanesvilleDailyGuide.com but haven’t received a response. Apparently, they like to “guide” their readers by misleading them with sensationalistic headlines that don’t reflect what’s being reported in the story.
Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say “Drug death” or “Medical condition death?”
A tragic but interesting story was reported in the New Zealand media – , “Coca-Cola® Death.” We came across the story, “Cola Habit Behind Death of 30-year-old New Zealand Woman,” which immediately brought to mind the overwhelming number of, “TASER Death,” headlines we see all too often when in fact the TASER ECD is not found to be the cause of death. While it does appear that the astonishing habit of Coca-Cola consumption caused this woman’s death, we can relate to the overall negative press this story is generating for one of America’s best known brands.
Coca-Cola must be feeling this poorly written headline intended to grab readers eyes is far from the facts of the case. We can imagine Coca-Cola execs are reacting to a “Coca-Cola Death” headline in a similar fashion as when we see “TASER Death” headlines. These so called “TASER death” headlines are often premature & not based on facts but supposition yet they’re Tweeted, blogged, headlined, discussed, & eventually become the first few pages found by search engines.
Today a news story originally headlined, “Officers won’t be indicted in Taser death“ was corrected. Why is it a “TASER death?” The story clearly reports the cause of death is “‘excited delirium’” brought on by cocaine intoxication and a heart condition — and not the use of the Tasers.” Despite this, the headline editor describes it as a “TASER Death.”
The correction, by the way, is ridiculous, “Lancaster officer won’t be indicted in death that followed Tasering. “ The newspaper corrects the headline but insists on including TASER but fails to mention the large amount of cocaine, marijuana and alcohol found in the toxicology.
Perhaps these headline editors should try & grab readers attention with accurate headlines such as “Unhealthy Lifestyle Death” or “Cocaine Death.”
Repeat offender. “TASER death autopsy under review” – headline fail. LakeNewsOnline.com is a repeat offender for headline fails. We’ve contacted the editors for this site several times regarding multiple “TASER death” headline failures.
The story reports that the autopsy results have not been released to the public. If this is the case, the cause of death is not public knowledge. It’s premature for this publication to describe this grim outcome as a “TASER death.”
Once again the media implies that the TASER ECD was found to be causal before they have all the facts. This seriously affects the perception of TASER, its products, & its use by law enforcement – doesn’t it?
What are your thoughts?