Corporate Identity

Subject: Corporate Identity
From: "Gottlieb, Lynn" <Lynn -dot- Gottlieb -at- PSS -dot- BOEING -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 11:35:15 -0700


This appeared in last week's Boeing News (an internal paper). I thought
it was an excellent explanation. Is this true of most (or all)
trademarked corporate names?

Lynn Gottlieb
Tech Writer, The Boeing Company
Bellevue, WA

Question: I wrote a document that contained the phrase "Boeing's
airplanes," and my editor changed it to "Boeing airplanes." She
explained that it was a corporate identity policy, not a grammatical
problem. Is that correct?
Answer: Yes. The Corporate Identity Program not only protects
the company identity; it is also intended to protect company trademarks.
The name "Boeing" is a registered trademark. In keeping with good
trademark practice, certain restrictions apply to use of the trademark
* It cannot be used in possessive or plural form: Boeing
facilities, not Boeing's facilities.
* It cannot be used as a noun or verb: a Boeing airplane,
not a Boeing.
* It cannot be used in abbreviated form, as a suffix or
prefix, or in plural or hyphenated form: Boeing Communications, not
In most cases where a writer might be tempted to form a
possessive, the solution is simple: delete the apostrophe and letter "s"
and let "Boeing" stand as a modifier. Phrases such as Boeing health
programs and Boeing first-quarter earnings are as easy to understand as
Boeing's health programs and Boeing's first-quarter earnings, and help
maintain the integrity of our primary trademark.

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