Re: Trademarks: adjective and noun usage

Subject: Re: Trademarks: adjective and noun usage
From: "Janet Swisher" <Janet_Swisher -at- trilogy -dot- com>
To: techwr-l
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 18:57:50 -0500

Bell, John wrote in message <23402 -at- techwr-l>...
>I'm questioning the common treatment of trademarked terms. I've
>searched the archives and TECHWR-L topics and I haven't found
>the right information.
>According to INTA and several of the trademark web pages I can
>find, the recommended treatment (required? suggested?) of a
>trademarked term is to treat it as an adjective, never
>as a verb or a noun.

> Is there ANYONE on this list that has been through
>this issue before and has decided to follow INTA's rules and
>use the adjective form? Can you provide some details as to
>why? Has anyone on this list actually been to court over
>the "proper" use of trademarks?

I don't have a choice. My company's lawyers have dictated that our
trademarks *must* be used as adjectives, not nouns. The documentation group
has gone through a couple of iterations with them to clarify what usages are
acceptable, and which are not. This is definitely the most annoying item in
our style guide, and one that we have a lot of trouble enforcing with
outside contractors. (We state in contracts that they must follow our style
guide, and then almost always have to correct them on this issue.)
Generally, we say things like "Start the Foobar program," rather than "Start
Foobar." The one exception I can think of is when referring to the
trademarked term, rather than using it. Therefore "On the Programs menu,
click 'Foobar'." is OK.

Janet Swisher


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