Keywords: intellectual property, linguistic expertise, trademark, discourse


The article is at the junction of two research fields: pharmaceutical naming and forensic linguistics. This is due to the fact that forensic linguistics includes not only legal but also linguistic aspects because the language is a means to express certain phenomena. The object of the research is one of the items on the pharmaceutical market. As this market keeps growing, there is always need in the nomination of a product so that it can be distinguished from all the rest. At the same time, the functioning of a pharmaconym is influenced by dynamic processes in the language, which in its turn may have a significant impact on protection of the name as an object of intellectual property. The article notes that, with various types of drug names defined by the law, the general criteria for all the types are uniqueness and lack of similarity with others in their spelling or pronunciation. However, since pharmaceutical naming and protection of the name as an object of intellectual property are matters of both linguistics and law, the article deals with practical application of linguistic knowledge to analyse the distinctive ability of a product name and to spot its transition to universal use, pointing out such cases as the “aspirin” lexical unit, with the product name no longer protected because of its becoming a generic name. The method of linguistic analysis is illustrated by the example of “antigrippin”, the word which is now undergoing the transition from a proper to a generic name. Using the case of “antigrippin”, we show that it is necessary to conduct a three-step linguistic study consisting of the analysis of lexicographic sources, the word structure, and the contextual use of the controversial naming unit.


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Author Biography

Yulia Donskova, First Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov University)

candidate of science in Philology, associate Professor of Institute of Linguistics and Intercultural Communication, First Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov University). E-mail:


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How to Cite
Forensic Linguistics