A Different Trademark Question

Subject: A Different Trademark Question
From: "Marilyn Baldwin (mlbb -at- capgroup -dot- com)" <Marilyn_Baldwin -at- CAPGROUP -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 14:09:48 -0800

Our tech comm team is currently looking at our few existing Word templates
to see if they need revision so that they can be used more effectively in
the future by the team and by contractors we sometimes bring in. Another
tech writer and I are having a polite disagreement. We produce INTERNAL
documents - e.g., release notes, user guides, operations manuals - for
mostly IT and occasionally business customers. The other writer believes
that it is necessary and proper to have the second page of all documents
list any products mentioned in the document (e.g., "Click File/New in your
Word document..."), along with trademark info - an example from one of this
writer's recent documents, which used a template created several years ago
by a long-term contract tech writer:

Word is a registered trademark of Microsoft
Excel is a registered trademark of Microsoft
Lotus 1-2-3 is a registered trademark of IBM
Visioneer/Paperport is a registered trademark of Visioneer
Acrobat, Distiller, and Exchange are registered trademarks of Adobe

Electronic Research Reports,
Printed at 13:34 PM on April 2, 1998 (<= another bit of useless info;
the last save date is ok)

Copyright ? 1998 by The XXXXX Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document was created by the <group name>.
Any changes or revisions to this document should be directed to the
<group name> at <location>.

I think this whole page is overkill for an internal document. Even
technical training providers don't include such information in their
brochures to potential (external, of course) clients. They just claim to
be the best training vendors for Word, WordPerfect, Excel, whatever - no
trademarks, no trademark info.

I think even the last paragraph is no longer applicable, since our
procedure now is to turn over final documentation - and ownership of it -
to the requestor. We may be called in again to make revisions, etc., but
we feel it's important that the users/owners of the data should be
accountable for it. That way, no matter who the current tech writers are -
or whether a contract tech writer created a particular document - it lives
on a server/drive/location that is meaningful to the user/owner. And I am
not at all sure that saying a document is copyrighted makes it so (?).

Anyhow, I'd like to hear what the rest of you (who write only for
in-the-house customers) do about product names and information in your
documentation. I am perfectly willing to admit that I'm off-base here, and
to leave the template as is, if the majority of my peers see this
differently than I do. Thanks in advance for your input!

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