Re: TM symbol in GUI

Subject: Re: TM symbol in GUI
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 10:30:33 -0800

Cadorette Johanne wrote:

Is it common to include trademarks in a UI?
For example, we have a license option window that lists the various
options customers can purchase; TM appears between parentheses next to
some of the options.

This seems a widespread usage. If you think why a trademark symbol is used - to protect your company's intellectual property or to acknowledge another company's - then it's reasonably obvious why: no company wants to take a chance in any of these areas. Moreover, the standard procedure in this matter is, when in doubt, err on the side of caution, and include the trademark.

The Microsoft Manual of Style recommends not using the TM symbol in
software elements. Opinions?

The Microsoft Manual of Style often has sensible suggestions, but this isn't one of them. Possibly Microsoft is large enough that it (or part of it, anyway) feels well able to protect itself without scattering trademarks everywhere? But whatever the case inside Microsoft, it's not good advice for other companies.

If the trademark should appear in the UI, is it acceptable to just use
TM between parentheses instead of the uppercase TM?

"(TM)" became a standard back in the days when few typewriters had a key with a trademark symbol. It's still widely used with plain text, so it's probably an acceptable alternative. Some publications even use the trademark symbol, immediately followed by "(TM)" in their front matter - which seems like overkill, but is about as cautious as you can possibly be.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

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TM symbol in GUI: From: Cadorette Johanne

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