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Unique
10-31-2005, 04:49 PM
-Once and for all....

When writing, when do you use:

TM -

(c) -

(R) -


Trademark, copyright, Registered (registered what? Registered TM or Registered copyright?

Duh-eeeeiiii....I get so confused. Can anyone help me get a lock on this so I don't forget? It seems like I look this up constantly and still don't have it down definitively.

DaveKuzminski
10-31-2005, 09:33 PM
When writing, use:

(c) -

However, only when in published book form.

Using it on your manuscript is the mark of an amateur and warns publishers that they're dealing with someone who A) doesn't trust them, B) doesn't know enough about the industy, and C) may be a pain in the backside to deal with.

Dawno
10-31-2005, 09:40 PM
Unique, are you asking about what the right symbol to use in writing about a product or brand name, such as Coke (tm) or (r) or what?

That's what I thought your question was about - and I'd be interested in the answer too. I'm thinking that I'd go to the site of the product in question and just use whatever I see them using.

Unique
11-01-2005, 02:41 AM
Yes, I guess that's what I'm asking.

Microsoft actually had a whole page of how they want to be identified for certain products. (And it varies)

But others - such as Coke, Nike, JC Penney, etc. have (c) at the bottom of the webpage. Nike says their 'swoosh'(swish)(whatever) logo that little ~ mark is trademarked....but is the (c) at the bottom of the page for the information on that page? (Which is what I thought) Or does it apply to their whole nine yards?

but what I'm wondering is if you are using them in text like:

When you are marketing your own corporate identity, it is unusual - nay, almost unheard of for the small business owner to have the big advertising budgets of Coke (?), Nike (?), or JC Penney (?).
I suppose I could leave it nekkid - people know what I'm talking about - but I want to do it correctly. Heck, it might not matter for all I know. If I ever had a lesson covering that situation either: a) I've forgotten, b) I was asleep, or c) I skipped that day.:Shrug:

Zisel
11-01-2005, 02:43 AM
Heres some information about how things work in the US, at least:

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/doc/basic/ (http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/doc/basic/)

The site says, Any time you claim rights in a mark, you may use the "TM" (trademark) or "SM" (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the USPTO. However, you may use the federal registration symbol "" only after the USPTO actually registers a mark, and not while an application is pending.

As far as I know, the (c) mark is only for creative work such as a specific piece of writing, music, or an image. From that then, the (c) on Coke's Web site pages would apply to the writing on that page and the (R) beside the logo applies to the logo's style and, in Coke's case, the word itself.

Im not a lawyer, but as I understand it works like this:

Joe could open a company tomorrow called Joes Stupendously Amazing Photography (TM) then when he gets his trademark name registered with the USPTO (not just when he gets an ordinary business licence) he can change it to Joes Stupendously Amazing Photography (R), but each individual photo he takes has a (c) mark.

Unique
11-01-2005, 02:43 AM
However, only when in published book form.

Using it on your manuscript is the mark of an amateur and warns publishers that they're dealing with someone who A) doesn't trust them, B) doesn't know enough about the industy, and C) may be a pain in the backside to deal with.

Well, thanks, Dave (I think)

It's not in a manuscript (not my manuscript anyway)
Published? Maybe - but not by me.
And I'm always a pain in the backside so maybe I should leave it in as a warning.

Maryn
11-01-2005, 02:48 AM
When you are marketing your own corporate identity, it is unusual - nay, almost unheard of for the small business owner to have the big advertising budgets of Coke (?), Nike (?), or JC Penney (?).
I suppose I could leave it nekkid - people know what I'm talking about - but I want to do it correctly.

My understanding--I'm not a laywer, either--is that unless you say something negative about a trademarked product, you may mention it freely. In fiction, I could have a character thrown out of JC Penney, where she'd gone to pick up some Nikes, because she brought in a Coke.

Maryn, cheerfully muddying the waters

Pat~
11-01-2005, 02:54 AM
I believe (c) is for a creative work, and (R) is for a registered name. An example, The Purpose-Driven Life -- the book is copyrighted (c), but the name 'Purpose-Driven' is a registered trademark, (R), meaning you can't use it for your product. I'm not sure about (TM), unless maybe it's a variation of (R).

Maryn
11-02-2005, 12:41 AM
Pfft, who wanted to wear Purpose-Driven Nikes anyway?

Maryn, who did her five miles today, driving the shoes her own self

Dawno
11-02-2005, 01:12 AM
Pfft, who wanted to wear Purpose-Driven Nikes anyway?

Maryn, who did her five miles today, driving the shoes her own self

I should get a pair of those. I can't persuade myself into a walking/jogging program so maybe a pair of Purpose-Driven Nikes would help...

Dawno, who loves hijacking topics from Unique :)

Richard
11-02-2005, 03:09 AM
-Once and for all....

When writing, when do you use:

TM -

(c) -

(R) -


None of them. I just say 'All copyrights and trademarks recognised' or similar. TM and (C) are effectively worthless in any event. If you've done something you shouldn't have, they're going to sue you anyway.

Unique
11-02-2005, 03:30 AM
Dawno, who loves hijacking topics from Unique :)


Hijack away! That's what I'm here for.....You didn't know?


*Think*

Kathie Freeman
11-03-2005, 03:05 AM
(c) is for a literary creation, whether it's registered at the LOC or not. It can be a book, poem, story or advertising slogan.

(tm) is for a brand name or product name such as Coke or Ford.

(R) means the product is registered at the US patent office.

ideagirl
11-07-2005, 01:24 AM
Microsoft actually had a whole page of how they want to be identified for certain products.

You don't actually have to follow their instructions re: where to put copyright or other symbols, unless you work for them, or if you work for someone else and your supervisor insists that those symbols need to be there (e.g. if you work for an advertising firm that's been hired by Nike). Speaking of copyright, it is different than trademark in that you don't have the right to use someone's copyrighted work AT ALL without their permission, unless you fall into one of the exceptions (like if you're writing a term paper or a book review, you can quote parts of someone else's book). So the question of when/where to put the (C) symbol is pretty much a non-issue, since apart from the few exceptions, you can't use something copyrighted in your own work at all without the copyright holder's permission.

With trademark, however, you don't need permission: you can write about Jello, Jack Daniels, Nike, etc. all you want--the only thing you can't do is use one of those trademarked names (or symbols, like Nike's swoosh) on a product or service that you provide. Like, you can't home-brew your own whiskey and call it Jack Daniels. But you can have a character drink Jack Daniels on every page of your story, if you want to, without needing permission and without having to put (R) or (TM) after the name. Just FYI, the difference between (TM) and (R) is that (R) can only be used if the company has gone through the time and expense of registering their trademark with the federal government, while (TM) creates legal protection before the company has done that (some companies never bother to register it federally). Federal registration (R) protects the product nationwide, while (TM) might or might not protect it nationwide--(TM) protection has more "holes" in it than federal protection does.

However, although you don't have to use those symbols unless you're doing work for the company, the company that has the trademark does have to put (TM) or (R) next to the word/phrase or logo. The reason the company has to put the (TM) or (R) there is because if it doesn't, it could lose legal protection (i.e. it could lose its trademark, and if that happened, other companies would have the right to use that word/phrase or logo on their own products). So if you're working for the company as an employee or contractor, or if you're working for someone who's working for the company, you have to use the (TM) or (R). Otherwise, you don't; lots of people think you do, but keep your eyes open: look at newspaper articles and books where people are described using something (drinking Coke or Jack Daniels, driving a Ferrari, whatever)--you will never see, at least not in a professional publication (Wall Street Journal, book by a major publishing house, etc.), a (TM) or (R) symbol in the text, unless it's there for ironic purposes (e.g. in an article poking fun at a company that is involved in some ridiculous legal battle).

Copyright is a little different. Assuming we're talking about something that's already copyrighted, you don't have to put the (C) symbol on the copyrighted thing even if you work for the company that has the copyright, because an artist, company, or other copyright holder cannot lose its copyright no matter what you do. A company could lose its trademark if it lets it become generic (e.g., if everyone starts calling fruit-flavored gelatin Jello, there could come a point where Jello would no longer be the only company with the legal right to use the word "Jello" on its products). But there is no way to lose your copyright these days, not since we (the US) signed the Berne Convention. Copyright exists whether you put the (c) symbol on or not. The reason people still use the (c) symbol is because it serves two purposes: (1) it warns eejits who might steal it that it's copyrighted and (2) it increases the $$ damages that the copyright holder could win in court if someone stole it.


Coke, Nike, JC Penney, etc. have (c) at the bottom of the webpage. Nike says their 'swoosh'(swish)(whatever) logo that little ~ mark is trademarked....but is the (c) at the bottom of the page for the information on that page? (Which is what I thought) Or does it apply to their whole nine yards?

The (c) at the bottom of the page is for the web page. The only time you, a writer, would have to mention someone else's copyright is if you were using an excerpt from something of theirs within your own work (and to use it in your own work, either you would need their permission or you would have to fall into one of the few exceptions), and then in a footnote or somewhere like that you would say that that excerpt was "Copyright 2004 Nike Corp." or whoever. You would certainly never use it in the actual text of your article/story.


When you are marketing your own corporate identity, it is unusual - nay, almost unheard of for the small business owner to have the big advertising budgets of Coke (?), Nike (?), or JC Penney (?).

(1) All of those are trademarked (not copyrighted--it's not possible to copyright a single word or a very short phrase), so you can mention them to your heart's content without getting the company's permission.

(2) All of those are registered trademarks, so the company will use the (R) symbol with them (not the (TM)), but YOU do not need to include the (R) symbol.

ideagirl
11-07-2005, 01:50 AM
(c) is for a literary creation, whether it's registered at the LOC or not. It can be a book, poem, story or advertising slogan.

(tm) is for a brand name or product name such as Coke or Ford.

(R) means the product is registered at the US patent office.

That's pretty close. To clarify: (c) means copyrighted. Things that can be copyrighted include not only literary works, but any kind of text (literary or not), photo, painting, movie, song, choreographical work, etc. etc. To be copyrighted it has to be fixed in a tangible medium, e.g., written down or notated, recorded on video, whatever. And as for text, keep in mind that short phrases can't be copyrighted--so, for example, titles of books or movies are never copyrighted (though on occasion they may be trademarked). For more info, see the US Copyright Office (http://www.copyright.gov/).

(TM) and (R) are both for brand names and other things associated with brands (e.g. graphical logos like the Nike swoosh). (TM) means trademark and (R) means registered trademark. Lately you'll see (SM) too--that means service mark, and it's exactly like a trademark except that it's associated with a service instead of an object (e.g., accounting services as opposed to tennis shoes). Anyone who has something unique to sell can slap a (TM) or (SM) on it without needing any government permission; if they want better legal protection, they have to register it federally and use the (R) once it's registered. But either way, you have to be selling something to have a trademark--you can't just reserve the trademark for future use. For more info, see the US Patent and Trademark Office (http://www.uspto.gov/).

Unique
11-07-2005, 02:49 AM
ideagirl that is absolutely top rate information. Thank you very much.

You provided the details and clarification to stick it deep in my mind once and for all. I had all the little *bits* but I could never get them arranged in my mind just the way I wanted them. That worked.

Again. Thank you.