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"Displays/appears" has run its course, so let's do trademarks again (was: "RE: Article in front of hardware or software")
Subject:"Displays/appears" has run its course, so let's do trademarks again (was: "RE: Article in front of hardware or software") From:"Andrew Warren" <awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com> To:"voxwoman" <voxwoman -at- gmail -dot- com> Date:Fri, 13 Jun 2008 13:57:55 -0700
> And, depending on your legal department, you may be required to use
> noun as an adjective to protect the trade name.
> "Aspirin" used to be a trademarked name for an analgesic, and was the
> example used in the advertising class I took in college. (Band-Aid and
> Kleenex also nearly lost their brand names because of their use in
> common language).
> It got really awkward in one manual I was writing to use an article
> before the product name every single time, but our marketing
> demanded we do so.
When a company's paying your salary, you sorta have to follow its rules
no matter how silly or misguided they are... But your marketing
department might have found it instructive to look at how trademarks are
handled by corporations with deep pockets and presumably-competent
Apple and Microsoft don't use trademarks as adjectives "every single
time". Toyota doesn't, either. Nor does Google... And neither do Xerox
or Coca-Cola, two companies that we may presume are INTIMATELY familiar
with the dangers of allowing a trademark to be used generically.
Using a trademark as an adjective -- and/or including the R-in-a-circle
or TM symbol -- is generally safe, but it also impedes readability, and
it's really not required... When's the last time, for example, that you
saw a newspaper or magazine article about the new "Ford Motor CompanyTM
=== Andrew Warren - awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com
=== Synaptics, Inc - Santa Clara, CA
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