RE: Trademark Possessives

Subject: RE: Trademark Possessives
From: "Lisa Wright" <liwright -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "'John Posada'" <JPosada -at- isogon -dot- com>, "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 16:01:40 -0800


I think you have it right for the most part. Where this usually gets
confusing is that a trademark is also frequently the name of the company. So
you can talk about the features of Microsoft(r) Word, and also Microsoft's
strategic objectives, but not Microsoft's(r) features. Is there a page we
can link to? That might help figure out whether they are following their own
rules. Word isn't a trademark, so, hrm, I suppose you could write
Microsoft(r) Word's features.

It's also entirely possible that the writers have been using it incorrectly
and the editors didn't catch the error! :-)


(Send along some of that good job-huntin' vibe...I got laid off again!)

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-53104 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-53104 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com] On Behalf Of John Posada
Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2004 2:07 PM
Subject: Trademark Possessives

Hi, guys...I've always gone on the premise that you cannot make a
trademarked term a possessive. This was corroborated to me by the SUN Style
Guide. I quote:

"Never use trademarks in the possessive or the plural." (page 62)

Even in the MMOS, page 239, it says "Because legally a trademark is an
adjective, Microsoft trademarks should not be used as verbs or nouns or in
the possessive or plural form."

So, I always thought it was correct to write "Microsoft's", but not
"Microsoft Word's"

With me so far??

I thought so, until I came across numerous instances on the Microsoft web
site where it states that "Microsoft is a trademark", yet on the same page,
uses "Microsoft's".

Am I right on this and their web site writers don't follow it correctly, or
is there some fine point I'm missing?

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
Isogon Corporation

Trademark Possessives: From: John Posada

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