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Shadow_Ferret
03-09-2006, 09:36 PM
OK, I know that when you use a brand name it should be capitalized (do we also need to add the copyright or registered trademark symbols?).

My question is, how do we know if a term is an actual trademark?

Some have slipped into common use and become just terms, like Linoleum, Velcro, Nylon, and such.

Others like Xerox (for copying), Kleenex (for tissue paper) and so on are on the verge of becoming everyday terms.

New ones are Googling. (I hate that term.)

I'm really wondering about thermos. Is that a tradename? Should it be capitalized?

For instance:

I noted that although they did not serve coffee in paper cups, they did have travel thermos mugs for purchase.

The only reason I was wondering is because I didn't know the plural of thermos and added the word mugs. :) Then I got to thinkin'. Always a dangerous thing.

Is there a website or something where you can go to find out about the use of trademarks?

Jamesaritchie
03-09-2006, 10:08 PM
OK, I know that when you use a brand name it should be capitalized (do we also need to add the copyright or registered trademark symbols?).

My question is, how do we know if a term is an actual trademark?

Some have slipped into common use and become just terms, like Linoleum, Velcro, Nylon, and such.

Others like Xerox (for copying), Kleenex (for tissue paper) and so on are on the verge of becoming everyday terms.

New ones are Googling. (I hate that term.)

I'm really wondering about thermos. Is that a tradename? Should it be capitalized?

For instance:

I noted that although they did not serve coffee in paper cups, they did have travel thermos mugs for purchase.

The only reason I was wondering is because I didn't know the plural of thermos and added the word mugs. :) Then I got to thinkin'. Always a dangerous thing.

Is there a website or something where you can go to find out about the use of trademarks?

Technically, you are suppsed to add the copyright or trademark symbol, but no one does so in fiction. It just wouldn't work. In nonnfiction, however, you must add the symbol.

Brand names can't be copyrighted, so they will either have an R or a T after them. Thermos is a registered brand name, and should be capitalized.
http://www.thermos.com/thermos/cfm/home.cfm

If you Google a word, the first hit or three that comes up will usually tell you whether or not something is a registered brand name, and will show you teh correct symbol to use.

Shadow_Ferret
03-09-2006, 10:15 PM
If you Google a word,

Haha. Funny. :tongue

Thanks for the info. In the meantime I realized what an awful sentence that was and rewrote it. ;)

alleycat
03-09-2006, 10:40 PM
A good dictionary will tell you if the most common names are trademarks or not. For example, if you look up Thermos or Xerox, the dictionary will capitalize the word and also say it's a trademark.

ac

Tish Davidson
03-10-2006, 02:12 AM
The trademark word that aways surprises me is Laundromat. After all this time you would think it was generic, but it is still trademarked.

Maryn
03-10-2006, 05:30 AM
I didn't know Laundromat--but I've run into Dumpster many times over.

There are a lot of trademarked terms that slip into fiction in lower case these days. I've seen xerox used as a verb--something the company is adamently opposed to--and sick people having jello and using kleenex until they're well enough to rollerblade...

I figure I'll do my best and trust editors to catch any I miss. To my surprise, Word 2002 is pretty good at catching some odd ones, like Styrofoam, Formica, and Realtor.

Maryn, who's less than enamored of Word today

MMo
03-10-2006, 05:49 AM
A list of trademarked names provided by the International Trademark Association can be found at:
http://www.inta.org/index.php?option=com_trademarkchecklist&func=display&catid=123&getcontent=1&Itemid=133


Since I hate Tiny URLS -- if that won't copy and paste for you, go to
INTA.org, and follow the links to:
Information & Publishing (http://www.inta.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=58&Itemid=133&getcontent=1) http://www.inta.org/templates/default_inta/graphics/arrow.gif Reference Section (http://www.inta.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=46&Itemid=133&getcontent=1) http://www.inta.org/templates/default_inta/graphics/arrow.gif Trademark Checklist (http://www.inta.org/index.php?option=com_trademarkchecklist&func=display&catid=123&getcontent=1&Itemid=133)

Mo

mkcbunny
03-11-2006, 10:37 AM
Oh my. I had no idea Dumpster was a brand. And my day job is property management. I am laughing at myself out loud right now.

Jamesaritchie
03-11-2006, 04:59 PM
I didn't know Laundromat--but I've run into Dumpster many times over.

There are a lot of trademarked terms that slip into fiction in lower case these days. I've seen xerox used as a verb--something the company is adamently opposed to--and sick people having jello and using kleenex until they're well enough to rollerblade...

I figure I'll do my best and trust editors to catch any I miss. To my surprise, Word 2002 is pretty good at catching some odd ones, like Styrofoam, Formica, and Realtor.

Maryn, who's less than enamored of Word today

You have to be careful about letting trademarks get in with a lower case letter. The law says that if a company wants to maintain a trandemark, they must defend that trademark. This means if they become aware of a violation, they must at least write a strongly worded letter warning what wil happen if the misuse isn't stopped, and then must follow up with legal action if somethng isn't done.

Mow, a company is never going to find most violations, but if they do happen to spot it, they almost certainly will respond.

If it can be shown that a company isn't defending its trademark, that trademark will be lost.

In fiction, you're allowed to leave off the trademark symbol, but you can't use lower case.

I'll also add this. Too many brand names in fiction reads horribly. A very occasional brand name for verisimilitude is good, but it takes very few to make the fiction read like a catalogue or a commercial.

HeyBooBoo
05-05-2006, 10:47 AM
I'm having a problem with brand names also. In my novel I have a Papasan chair, Papasan is a brand name so I capitalized it, but it looks strange on paper. I've never seen the type of chair refered to as anything other than a Papasan, so I'm not sure if I should change it to a lower case or leave it as is.

Sandi LeFaucheur
05-05-2006, 01:38 PM
What's a Papasan chair?

Fancy Dumpster is capitalized. BTW, in England, a Dumpster is a skip.

When English people vacuum, they do the hoovering or, more often, 'oovering.

Sandi LeFaucheur
05-05-2006, 01:47 PM
Just Googled (heehee) Papasan, and the website www.papasanfurniture.com (http://www.papasanfurniture.com) spells it with a lower case p.

Re: Dumpster. Wikipedia has this to say: The word dumpster has at least two trademarks associated with it (USPTO (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USPTO) registration numbers 0743745 and 0785783), but today it is often used as a generic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genericized_trademark) word.

In my dictionary (Collins) linoleum is lower case.

mkcbunny
05-08-2006, 10:20 AM
In my dictionary (Collins) linoleum is lower case.
Lowercase in Merriam-Webster, too.

maestrowork
05-08-2006, 05:42 PM
I think dumpster, linoleum, xerox, kleenex, laundromat, and google are now considered common words. Normally, if I use them as verbs, I wouldn't capitalize them ("I just googled her...") but if I use them as nouns, I may ("I needed a Kleenex..."). I'd also rewrite them and try not to use trademarks as verbs or common nouns (except for dumpsters and linoleum):

I photocopied the darn thing (instead of xerox).

I did an Internet search on the information (instead of google).

I needed some tissue paper (instead of kleenex).

reph
05-08-2006, 09:05 PM
"I needed a tissue." Kleenex is a brand of facial tissue. Tissue paper comes in big sheets for wrapping things.

Tish Davidson
05-08-2006, 09:11 PM
What's a Papasan chair?

Fancy Dumpster is capitalized. BTW, in England, a Dumpster is a skip.

When English people vacuum, they do the hoovering or, more often, 'oovering.

Shouldn't they be Hoovering, not hoovering, since Hoover is a brand of vacuum cleaner?

reph
05-08-2006, 10:21 PM
Tish, maybe they should be, but the Brits on another forum of mine always write "hoovering."