RE: Trademark possessives?

Subject: RE: Trademark possessives?
From: "John Posada" <JPosada -at- isogon -dot- com>
To: "Geoff Hart" <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 18:04:51 -0500

Different companies will enforce this differently.

>Since when? Do you mean we have to start
>saying "the software produced by Microsoft"
>instead of "Microsoft's software"

I worked for a major telecom company doing proposals. One of the
departments that had to sign off was the legal department. A 50 million
dollar effort would not go out unless they signed off....and yes, they
would catch every "Microsoft's software" and make us rewrite it to "the
software produced by Microsoft".

They also made us change every instance of "[Company] ensures that..."
to "[Company] will help to ensure that...

Drove marketing and sales just NUTS!

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
Isogon Corporation

Since when? Do you mean we have to start saying "the software produced
by Microsoft" instead of "Microsoft's software"? Do you mean we can't
say "Word's spellcheck sucks rocks"? Pshaw. This guideline violates
common usage.

<<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.">>

Pace Sun (and my dear friend Janice Gelb, who co-wrote the guide), this
advice is nonsense _for people working outside the company that is
trying to protect the trademark_. You won't find any journalist who
observes this advice; check out PC Magazine, for instance. You can
certainly write your way around the problem (e.g., "the Word
spellchecker" instead of "Word's spellchecker"), but why bother?

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