Changing trademarks (was UNIX vs. Unix)

Subject: Changing trademarks (was UNIX vs. Unix)
From: Karen Farrell <kfarrell -at- GXT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 09:29:40 -0500

<snip from billm -at- EICON -dot- COM>
It seems to me that the lowercase Unix is entrenched as a generic term
while the uppercase UNIX is used when talking about specific systems.
Can this be the case or am I missing something? For e.g., if I write:

"Linux is a Unix clone"

I'm within my rights to use lowercase. But if I write:

"If you are using the Digital UNIX system..."

You would be obliged to use uppercase UNIX.

I know of some companies that use Unix as their style for just this
reason; however, I still beleive it's wrong. It's like writing about
imported vehicles and generically calling them hondas, only using the
initial cap, Honda, when writing about a specific Honda car.

I realize that the history of UNIX systems is fuzzy at best and the
trademark has changed hands a few times, but it is still a trademark.
I'm no legal expert, but if you have a trademark, and you let people use
it incorrectly, you can lose it.

I play it safe on this one and always use UNIX. (It also keeps our UNIX
freaks happy--no easy task!)


Karen Farrell
Technical Writer
GX Technology Corporation

"If you take hyphens seriously, you will surely go mad."--John Benbow,
Oxford University Press

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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