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.
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.