Re: trademarks

Subject: Re: trademarks
From: Joan -dot- M -dot- Laflamme -dot- 2 -at- ND -dot- EDU
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1993 12:48:14 -0600

>My question has to do with trademarks. In the technical reports that
>we edit, the researchers will occasionally mention a product they have
>used (an emulsifier, a piece of equipment, a software package, etc.)
>by a brand name and with a TM or R or SM or some other trademark type
>of designation. When are these designations required? On the first use
>only? Every time the name is used? What other responsibilities do I as
>the editor have in regards to trademarks? Do I need to include a
>footnote that states something like "XYZ is the registered trademark
>of the A+ Company."? Does anyone have good resource on this topic?

>I have read the article "Trademarks: Caveat Scriptor" by E. Sanford
>Branscomb in _Technical Communication_, 1st quarter. This feature
>focuses on what a trademark is and how to find out who owns the
>trademark. Is there another source that takes up where Branscomb
>leaves off?

>Michele Berkes
>LABAT-ANDERSON Incorporated
>Oak Ridge, TN
>berkesm -at- a1 -dot- osti -dot- gov


I can't give you references because I've forgotten them, but when we had to
deal with this problem at another university about three years ago, this is
the conclusion we reached.

Companies mark TM and so on because they are protecting their trademark.
People who mention the product are not obligated to do so, anymore than
they are obligated to put a copyright symbol by the name of every book to
which they refer.

In fact, it might be better not to try to mark products. By doing so, you
imply that you have indicated ALL cases, and you may have missed some.
Second, it is annoying to the reader--those little marks are real
"stoppers" for the eye.

Sorry I don't have the legal references any more. We found enough to
justify not using them, and since not using them is exactly what I prefer
to do...


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