Top 10 Trademark Golden Rules (Plus one!)

Trademark Usage Guidelines

The following is a list of the Trademark Golden Rules so that your company can insure protection of your trademarks through proper usage and reference.

1.         Always use a trademark as an adjective, accompanied by an appropriate noun, i.e. “COMPUTERLAW legal services” or “THE VALLEY CURRENT blog.”

2.         Always use the proper trademark symbol when needed in superscript or subscript SM ™ ®.  If not available, use parentheses: (SM) (TM) (R).

3.         Always use trademarks and brand names in the way they were intended to be used.  They exist to identify the source of specific products or services and they should not be used otherwise.

4.         Properly designate all of the company’s trademarks at the most prominent use (usually a headline) and again on the first occurrence in copy (letters, memos, press releases, white papers, advertising, power point, video and other multimedia presentations).

5.         In the case of presentation graphics, trademarks should be designated on each page, power point or web site.

6.         In the case of newspapers, magazines and publications containing multiple articles properly designate all trademarks on the first occurrence in the Table of Contents, in headlines and on the first occurrence in EVERY article in which they are used.

7.         In the case of brochures, annual reports, books, technical documents and other bound documents, properly designate in the first occurrence in the Table of Contents, in the headlines, and on the first occurrence in text.

8.         Properly designate trademarks in all charts or graphs as they could be copied or pulled and used independently.

9.         As long as all company trademarks are properly used and designated, there is NO NEED to footnote or acknowledge company trademarks in any company document.  If you do choose to do so, the following language may be used: “COMPUTERLAW, THE VALLEY CURRENT, LAWYERS FOR THE INTERNET ECONOMY, etc, (list all trademarks) and their respective logos are registered trademarks of Computerlaw Group, LLP.”  If they have not yet registered, or some have and some have not, simply delete the word “registered” from the above acknowledgement.

10.   In joint party communications or joint press releases, properly designate all trademarks, and ALL trademarks must be in a footnoted listing indicating who owns which marks.

11.   Use of Third Party trademarks:

a)          designate third party trademarks with a superscript asterisk (*) or other footnote    designator.         

b)         each third party trademark should be designated on its first occurrence in the text, even if    indicated with the name of its owner, e.g., Samsung Galaxy*

c)          third party trademark symbols and acknowledgements may be shown as follows:

1)         a footnote at the bottom of the page or chart on which the trademark first appears,   or

2)         a single attribution somewhere in the document

d)         Acknowledgement may be in the form of:

1)          “*other brands and names are the property of their respective owners”, or

2)          “*indicated names are trademarks of other companies”, or

3)          “*designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners”.