Sunday, December 19, 2004

Don't TiVo It!

I was ran across this and thought it was kind of interesting:

Using TiVo Registered Trademarks

The TiVo logo and trademarks are some of our most valuable assets and it is essential that they be used correctly in writing and are protected or they will be lost.

A trademark is lost when it becomes generic, i.e. when it has come to mean the product as distinguished from a certain brand of the product. If our trademarks become generic, they could be used by competitors to describe their goods or services. Consider the following now-generic nouns that were once trademarks: Escalator, Linoleum, Kerosene, Lonolin, Cellophane, Thermos, Aspirin, Yo Yo and Bikini. The importance of correct trademark use cannot be emphasized enough. (I also thought of brand names I always use generically: Band Aid, Kleenex, Saran Wrap, Chap Stick - then there are also things like using Google as a verb which I've heard they didn't like either for the same reason)

What is a trademark? A trademark is a word (or several words), a name, a symbol (such as one or more letters, or numbers, or a design), or any combination of these, used to identify the goods of our company. (See List of TiVo trademarks, page 13.)

Copy Trademark Guidelines

1. Distinguish the trademark from the rest of the text with a trademark notice. As a minimum requirement, it should appear at least once in each piece of printed matter—preferably the first time the trademark appears. Example:Trademark - Generic Name*TiVo® - serviceSeason PassTM - feature*Do not capitalize the generic name.

2. Trademarks are never possessive.Example:Correct: The TiVo® remote control...Incorrect: TiVo's remote control...

3. Trademarks are singular. Since a trademark is not a noun, it should never be used in the plural form. Instead, when necessary, the generic noun can be used as a plural. Example:Correct: I want two TiVo® DVRs. (I get the idea, but there is no chance that people are going to actually speak this way)
Incorrect: I want two TiVos.

4. Trademarks are always proper adjectives. They should never be used as a verb.Example:Correct: I want to record "Sex & the City" on the TiVo® DVR.Incorrect: I want to TiVo "Sex & the City." (First I'll Google it to find episode summaries, and then I'll TiVo it - that should irritate both Google as well as TiVo)

5. Trademarks are proud of the companies that own them! If it is not readily apparent who owns the trademark, a notice of ownership should be given. This can be accomplished with a footnote legal line stating that the trademark is the brand name for a product which is made by our company. Example: © 2004 TiVo Inc. All rights reserved. TiVo and the TiVo logo are registered trademarks of TiVo Inc.

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