RE: Legal Requirments for a User's Manual

Subject: RE: Legal Requirments for a User's Manual
From: "Marguerite Krupp" <mkrupp -at- cisco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 09:33:46 -0400

Others can give you specifics, but, depending on the industry, there CAN be
legal requirements for a user's manual. You should consult your company's
legal beagles for specific advice.

Generally, all user manuals must acknowledge trademarks, registered
trademarks, and copyrights to which they refer and should establish the
company's own copyright. These requirements are fairly stringent, as they
involve real corporate assets as well as corporate image.

Notices of cautions, warnings, and danger should appear in appropriate
places in the user manual. Not required, exactly, but if someone gets hurt,
you [the writer, as well as the company] could be sued big time. ANSI
provides standard U.S. formats for these. Underwriters' Labs (U.L.) and CSA
(in Canada) also have standard requirements. The E.U. and other contries may
have their own requirements. I can recall having to put country-specific
warnings into English-language manuals. Again, you should get advice from a
corporate lawyer.

Other industries/specialties have their own requirements. Other threads on
this list have discussed MIL-STD/Mil-Spec requirements and pharmaceutical
industry requirements (see the archives).

In some cases, the requirements are not "legal," but rather just corporate

Have fun!


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