RE: Follow-up: Trademarks AS nouns...?

Subject: RE: Follow-up: Trademarks AS nouns...?
From: Christi Carew <ccarew -at- rangestar -dot- com>
To: 'Jill Waite' <jwaite -at- criticaldevices -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2000 09:26:14 -0700

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jill Waite [mailto:jwaite -at- criticaldevices -dot- com]
> Subject: Follow-up: Trademarks AS nouns...?

> From my research, I conclude the following:

> 2. Brand names, i.e., trademarks, need to be marked with
> trademark symbols
> at first and/or most prominent use.

And sometimes more often.

> 3. Trademarks are adjectives and must be followed by noun
> descriptors.

Not a rule, but a good guideline.

> 4. Because trademarks are adjectives, not nouns, then it is
> not permissible
> to use them as possessives or plurals.

I've an exception to this rule when the trademark is a company name, such as

> Question:
> If we (a) mark the brand name only on the first and/or most
> prominent use
> AND (b) use the descriptor only on the first and/or most
> prominent use, then
> is it permissible to use the brand name as a possessive or
> plural later on
> in the text? Or do you keep monkeying with the sentence
> structure to ensure
> these brand names do not get used in this manner?

Knowing your company's market and their position in it will help make this
decision. As Geoff H. pointed out, it's probably fine for Adobe to refer to
PageMaker in their docs, not PageMaker desktop publishing software.
However, as I mentioned in a recent post, a company that I used to work for
felt that it needed to include the descriptive generics at every instance to
try to ensure that it's brand did not fall into generic usage.
I suspect that most of the time, it's probably ok to drop the descriptive.
However, in my current company, we won't; we'll continue to use the
As for marking the trademark every time or just the first time, that issue
is currently under investigation at my company.

Christi Carew
ccarew -at- rangestar -dot- com

RangeStar Wireless

All communication contained in this e-mail is entirely my own and is not
necessarily endorsed by my co-workers or employer.

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