Re: trademark usage questions

Subject: Re: trademark usage questions
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 15:14:38 -0500

At 02:16 PM 5/1/97 -0500, you wrote:
>Good afternoon (or morning or whatever it is where you are).
>I need a sanity check on the following text to make sure it follows
>trademark usage laws correctly:
>" allows you to use development tools, such as PowerBuilder(TM) or
>Visual Basic(R)."
>At first glance, this construction might appear to be wrong because
>PowerBuilder and Visual Basic appear to be used as nouns. But then I
>started thinking that the quote is kind of like saying:
>"it comes in a variety of colors, such as red or purple."
>In this construction, red and purple are adjectives that describe
>colors. Would the same hold true for my actual construction in the first

Yep, you've given proper acknowledgement, Chris. But realize that, first,
you're probably better off with a brief sentence in the front matter to the
effect of "PowerBuilder is a trademark of ________; Visual Basic is a
registered trademark of ________" That dispenses with the largely courteous
trademark acknowledgement, which is the second point. You're not responsible
to the trademark holder to acknowledge any trademark whatsoever. It's just
professional and courteous.

You can't, of course, use another's trademark as your own, or mislead the
public into thinking that you're affiliated with the trademark holder.
That's not going to fly. But you're not obliged to highlight a trademarked
word or words as a trademark. That's the job of the trademark holder. You
can legally misuse another's trademark by using it as a common noun, as has
been done with Kleenex, Jell-O, Xerox, Aspirin, and Escalator. You can do
it, but I wouldn't want anybody to do it. Companies, even little-bitty ones,
bleed continually to defend trademarks.

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
FrameMaker support ForeHelp support
FrameMaker-to-HTML Conversions
HTML Help Consulting and Production

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: FrameMaker+SGML in Chicago?
Next by Author: Re: trademark usage questions
Previous by Thread: Re: trademark usage questions
Next by Thread: Re: trademark usage questions

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads