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But some companies embrace their brands becoming common nouns, perhaps the best example of this being Google, a company created in 1998 when AltaVista and Yahoo were the top online search engines.

Google, which created a formula that returned more accurate results than its competitors, became so popular that people began saying “Google” to refer to a Web search in general.

Apple declined to comment for this article, but for now it has a majority of the tablet category, which includes Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy Tablet. The iPad accounted for about 73 percent of the estimated 63.6 million tablets sold globally last year, according to research firm Gartner.