Subject: Trademarks
From: Mark Levinson <mark -at- CRABAPPLE -dot- BITNET>
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 1994 10:34:49 IST

Nobody forces you to register a trademark, though an unregistered trademark,
like an unregistered copyright, is harder to defend in court if ever you
need to.

The "TM" symbol means "trademark, but not registered." Anyone can use it
any time, as long as the usage is in good faith. (The R-in-a-circle
mark, on the other hand, means "registered trademark.")

Nobody can force you to go research the latest trademark status of every
product you refer to, particularly since a lot of companies are pretty
sloppy about their own trademark notices. However, it is polite to
explicitly credit other companies' trademarks and it is wrong to refer to
anyone's product in a way that implies a closer relationship than you
have. (If you're marketing a fruit syrup and want to put "Tastes great
with Coca-Cola" on your bottle, you've got to be careful not to make
the bottle mistakable for a Coca-Cola product.)

I never saw anything so long-winded as the explanation that Kris Jaeger
posted, but I've seen (and I understand that lawyers justify) short
blanket notices that boil down to "All the trademarks in this document
belong to whomever they belong to," and what Kris posted looks more
intelligent to me.
Mark L. Levinson, SEE Technologies, Box 544, Herzlia, Israel
mark -at- dcl-see -dot- co -dot- il | voice +972-9-584684, ext. 230 | fax +972-9-543917

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