You don’t search online, you Google it. You don’t use a bandage, you Band-aid it. You don’t photocopy, you Xerox it.
Velcro has faced a similar problem. Their “scratchy, hairy fastener” was such a stupendous success that even after their exclusive patent expired in 1978, allowing other companies to build similar products, they were all called Velcro by customers.
After all these years, the company has released a spoof music video featuring the its lawyers (in the background) and actors – with a simple message that they hope will, well, stick: Don’t Say Velcro. “When you use ‘velcro’ as a noun or a verb, you diminish the importance of our brand and our lawyers lose their *insert fastening sound*,” they wrote in the song’s YouTube description.
The jaunty, melodramatic song with its 1980s-style video begins:
“We’re a company that’s so successful that everywhere you go
You see a scratchy, hairy fastener and you say, ‘Hey, that’s Velcro!’
But even though we invented this stuff, our patent lapsed 40 years ago
Now, no matter who else makes it – you still wanna call it ‘Velcro’
You think it’s awesome for us, we’re famous
But we’re lawyers and it’s causin’ us grief.”
The name “velcro” was derived by its Swiss inventor George de Mestral by combining the words “velour” (velvet) and “crochet” (hook).