Dictionary.com Word FAQs
Is there a way to know if something is a generic name or a brand name?
In the commercial and pharmaceutical fields, generic name is a misnomer for 'nonproprietary name'. A nonproprietary name is a short name of a chemical, drug, or other substance that is not subject to proprietary (trademark) rights but is the name in general public use for these substances. A nonproprietary name is often recognized or recommended by governmental agencies and other organizations. A brand name (brand-name or name brand) is a trade or propriety name. It describes product bearing a trademark, especially a well-known one; it is also the trademark itself. A brand name can also be a trade name for a product or service of a particular company and may or may not be a registered trademark. An example of a brand name is "Tylenol," and the generic name for this is "acetaminophen." In a college or unabridged dictionary, words that are trademarked are indicated in the definition or with a label. Most of the time, however, the generic name will be defined otherwise and its entry will not explicitly tell you that it is the generic name. To know for certain if something is a generic name or a brand name, you would need to check an appropriate specialized dictionary, i.e., a medical dictionary, science and technology dictionary, business dictionary, etc.