What happens if a company name is an already existing commonly used word, i.e. Always? Could for example, a movie studio decide to make a movie and call it "Always", even though there is a feminine care company brand with the same name? Can common words such as "always" be trademarked by one specific company, or are they too much of a general word for such a claim?
The thing your example seems to miss is that trademark protection does not prevent other people from using the trademark for any purpose whatsoever; it only concerns the use of the trademark for the purpose of selling a particular product or service. A movie studio can call their movie Always because they're not selling feminine hygiene products. Indeed, even if they were selling something else it might be fine; consider Delta Airlines and the Delta Faucet Company or Dove chocolate and Dove soap.
Can common words such as "always" be trademarked ...
Why yes. As your question notes, the word has been trademarked.
... by one specific company?
For each product, yes. But an unrelated company might be able to trademark "always" in connection with an unrelated product.
The standard for trademark registration is distinctiveness. Is the mark distinctive with respect to the source or producer of the goods or services?
Proposed marks that already have a meaning fall into three categories:
- marks that are arbitrary ("APPLE", for computers) or suggestive ("DROPBOX", for the cloud storage service)
- marks that are merely descriptive ("REGISTRY OF MEDICAL PATHOLOGISTS")
- marks that are generic terms ("COMPUTER", for computers, or "APPLE", for apples)
Arbitrary or suggestive marks are immediately registrable without having to prove acquired distinctiveness.
Marks that are merely descriptive are registrable only after proving that the mark has acquired distinctiveness.
Generic marks are never registrable.