Re: Product name = noun or adjective?

Subject: Re: Product name = noun or adjective?
From: "Ridder, Fred" <F -dot- Ridder -at- DIALOGIC -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 31 May 1997 12:10:37 -0400

As other posters have pointed out, the biggest issue here is
whether you want/need/expect protection for the name under
trademark laws. If your product name is used more like a
model number you needn't agonize over the noun/adjective issue
(model numbers are generally not protected by trademark laws).
But if your product name is part of your company's identity and
you wish to be able to restrict the way anybody else can use
that name, you need to pay attention to the trademark laws.

As Ernie Tamminga's post indicated, there's widespread
misunderstanding about why trademarks are supposed to be
used only as adjectives. This all stems from the way the
laws and international treaties define trademarks. The
underlying concept of a trademark is that it is a proprietary
device for distinguishing the trademark owner's particular
product or service from other similar products and services.
In other words, the law specifically defines trademarks as
functioning in a descriptive or distinguishing role, which sounds
like the definition of an adjective to me.

For a very usable and comprehensible discussion of what
trademarks are (and aren't), how to use them, and how to
protect them, I recommend the All About Trademarks web site:

Fred Ridder
f -dot- ridder -at- dialogic -dot- com
Senior Technical Writer
Dialogic Corporation

And to keep our marketing people happy:
Get the Dialogic Edge at:

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Cheryl Kidder [SMTP:chekid -at- SYMIX -dot- COM]
>Sent: Friday, May 30, 1997 9:25 AM
>Subject: Product name = noun or adjective?
>Hi All:
>I need some clarification on the use of a product name in
>For years we have used our product name as a noun in all our
>literature, manuals and online help. The question came up today
>whether or not this is a problem and should it actually be used as an
>For example, the product name "Great Stuff" has been used so: With
>Great Stuff you can do anything you want. The suggestion is to make
>it like so: With the Great Stuff system, you can do anything you
>Do any of you have any experience with this situation?
>Many thanks,
>Cheryl D. Kidder
>Senior Information Developer
>Symix, Inc.
>chekid -at- symix -dot- com

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: Re: Tech Writers and Programming [revisited]
Next by Author: RE(2): Standard abbreviations for colors
Previous by Thread: Re: Product name = noun or adjective?
Next by Thread: Job Opening - Slovenia

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

Sponsored Ads