Trademark Question

Subject: Trademark Question
From: r pacholke <rpachol9 -at- IDT -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 20:19:18 -0600

Our department editor sent me the following. If anybody could offer
advice, I figured this list would be a good place to start.
> I'm embroiled in a discussion with our legal department about proper
> trademark usage within our technical manuals (most of which document
> software). The corporate attorney told me to use trademarks only as
> adjectives and to always use the article/trademark name/noun
> construction (e.g., ?the ?MultiPurpose Automated Test Control? application
> in conjunction with the ?TestStation Creator? application and the ?TestStation
> Manager? application ?). This guideline is getting to be impractical to apply
> in every situation because our product names are very long (two words or more)
> and need to be used frequently to distinguish them from our other, multi-word
> product names. Using the recommended construction every time creates unwanted
> bulk and makes for clumsy sentences. The writers have suggested using
> non-trademarked abbreviations or truncated phrases in place of the
> trademarked name, but the attorney has said that is improper use of
> our trademarks. When I open up any Microsoft, FrameMaker, or FreeHand
> manual, the trademarked names are being used as nouns all the time.
> How are other companies writing their manuals to protect their
> trademarks? Is there any looser interpretation of trademark law that I
> can pass along to our attorney so that she will be more comfortable
> with our suggestions? Thanks for your help.

BTW, we have had little luck convincing marketing of the fact that these
long, multi-word product names make written communication difficult.

Dick Pacholke
Sr. Technical Writer/Technology Analyst
MTS Systems Corp.

Home: <rpachol9 -at- idt -dot- net>
Work: <dick -dot- pacholke -at- mts -dot- com>

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