Tannerite Not A Generic Name

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Tannerite Sports LLC issued a press release saying that the United States Patent and Trademark Office have affirmed that the name “Tannerite” is a brand name not a generic category name. In other words, the name Tannerite can only be used by Tannerite Sports, not by any other makers of exploding targets.

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Tannerite is a brand name, not a product category name.

Like many other innovators before them, they will need to constantly defend their name in order to prevent it becoming genericized. Aspirin, Cellophane, Kerosene and Escalator are all names that were once trademarks but were declared generic (at least in the USA). Online people tend to use the word tannerite as a generic name for any binary exploding targets (including homemade exploding targets).

From the press release …

Tannerite® Sports, LLC is proud to announce that its reissue patent has been approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The reissue patent provides a much broader scope of coverage and protection of their intellectual property. The reissue patent was published on July 23, 2013.

“This is a landmark patent reissue for Tannerite® Sports, LLC as well as the entire binary exploding target category. Tannerite® Sports developed and marketed the first binary exploding target,” said Dan Tanner, president of Tannerite Sports, LLC. “Other brands of exploding targets that have come out since Tannerite® was first developed are outright imitations. Now, the Tannerite® brand is being recognized as truly unique and innovative and so says the United States Patent and Trademark Office.”

Tannerite® technical consultant Bruce Broline elaborates: “One driving force behind Tannerite® pursuing a patent reissue is that Tannerite®, the brand, has been generically referred to as the chemical composition in all binary targets – this is certainly not the case. That’s akin to Band-Aid®, Xerox®, and Coke® being used to describe entire product categories. The reason we need to make this separation between the Tannerite® brand and other copycats is that we can’t ensure nor do we trust the performance of their products. Ours are entirely safe when used as instructed and as a shot indicator.


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • allannon

    Not, IMO, an unreasonable assertion. It won’t keep individuals from doing it, but it will keep them from having branding issues.

    The branding could be particularly important given their product; if Tannerite were genericized, and some other company put out incorrectly mixed “tannerite” and caused injury, it would hurt Tannerite’s brand value.

  • gunslinger

    The love of corporate america!

    all due respect, Tannerite is a brand. binary target is a target category. Tannerite is withing their rights to defend their name. I mean, i coulnd’t go out and start selling Colt or LaRue or any other number of precision AR-15s.

    Now if they go after a guy on youtube posting about using a tannerite target, i would hope that Tannerite Sports don’t sue the guy for $50gazillion. they just go about it and say, please remove/change the name.

    • Leoon

      they should probobly leave the true hobbyist’st alone but give the large money making channels like Hickcock.45 and FPSRUSSIA one warning followed bye legal action

      • gunslinger

        the problem is that if they don’t defend their trademark/patent they will loose control of the tannerite name. so they need to go after the hobbyist, as well as the big guys like Hickcock and FPS (and others). but as i said, a simple C&D compared to outright suing may be the more PR friendly way.

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