Legally speaking, Bardex is a trademark of C. R. Bard, Inc., in reference to various urological catheters. The company also makes a line of rectal catheters which have one or more inflatable balloons intended to maintain the position of the catheter while inserted.
However, inside the fetish community, many individuals use the C. R. Bard company's line of products for anal play (rather than medicine), calling them just a "Bardex," in a similar way that "Kleenex" or "Xerox," both trademarks of their respective corporations, tend to be used generically (i.e. "could you pass me a Kleenex"). "Bardex" is on the verge of becoming a generic as well ... but with a very different meaning than C. R. Bard ever wanted!
Because of this, C. R. Bard's lawyers (currently Roberta S. Bren of Oblon Spivak McClland Maier and Neustadt) have sent threatening letters to various sites that use their name in this fashion, including BME (because someone mentioned shoving a "Bardex up their ass" in a story on Eunuch.org):
- References to the BARDEX mark used to refer to enema equipment are likely to cause confusion as to the origin of the products identified and dilute the value of our client's federally registered mark in violation of the trademark laws. The BARDEX mark ... is not related to enemas or enema equipment ... We are concerned that improper references to our client's mark and product are likely to mislead consumers, resulting in misuse and possible injury.
Below is a screen capture from the Bard Medical catalog. As you can see, they very much do make enema equipment (although not specifically under the "BARDEX" mark, so it's sort of like calling your "Volkswagen Golf" a "Beetle"):
As far as their demand that people not refer to using BARDEX products in their ass, the complaint is of debatable merit—trademark law does not generally protect against personal "misuse" of a product unless a specific license agreement has been violated. For example, the odds of being successfully prosecuted by Ford over saying, "Today I ran over an old lady with my Ford—when it comes to vehicular homicide, you can't go wrong with Ford," are probably slim.
Some high-traffic adult websites have responded by manipulating the search engines by leaving, in large letters in high-profile places, tags like:
|BARDEX is BEST for kinky enema butt sex!|
As a result of both this and the popularity of these products for anal play, a web-search for Bardex will return a huge volume of pornographic and adult content rather than medical catalogs. Whatever you choose to do with C. R. Bard's products, if you decide to write in a public forum about your anal (or other) experiences with a BARDEX product, you should be sure to include a note along the lines of "BARDEX is a registered trademark of C. R. Bard, Inc."—otherwise you can certainly expect to be threatened with a lawsuit as well.