Saturday, May 05, 2007


Briefly, here is what AP says:

A trademark is a brand, symbol, word, etc., used by a manufacturer or dealer and protected by law to prevent a competitor from using it: AstroTurf, for a type of artificial grass, for example.
In general, use a generic equivalent unless the trademark name is essential to the story.
When a trademark is used, capitalize it.
Many trademarks are listed separately in this book, together with generic equivalents.
For questions about trademarks not listed in this book, the International Trademark Association, located in New York, is a helpful source of information.
On the Net:
brand names
When they are used, capitalize them.

Brand names normally should be used only if they are essential to a story.
Sometimes, however, the use of a brand name may not be essential but is acceptable because it lends an air of reality to a story: He fished a Camel from his shirt pocket may be preferable to the less specific cigarette.
When a company sponsors a sports or other event identified only by the company's name, use the name on first reference: Example: Buick Open.
However, when an event is clearly identifiable without the company's name, drop the name on first reference and include the sponsor name elsewhere in the story or at the bottom as an Editor's Note. Example: FedEx Orange Bowl would be identified in the story only as Orange Bowl.
Also use a separate paragraph to provide the name of a sponsor when the brand name is not part of the formal title.
Brand name is a nonlegal term for service mark or trademark. See entries under those words.

service mark A brand, symbol, word, etc. used by a supplier of services and protected by law to prevent a competitor from using it: Realtor, for a member of the National Association of Realtors, for example.

When a service mark is used, capitalize it.
The preferred form, however, is to use a generic term unless the service mark is essential to the story.

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