TITLE: Lawyers Read My Blog AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: August 22, 2008 4:00 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Not really. But they do protect their marks. A couple of years ago, I received a polite request from the lawyers of a well-known retired cartoonist, asking that I not use one of his cartoons. Today, I received a polite request from the lawyers of a well-known business author and speaker, asking:
Please make sure to include [a statement acknowledging our registered trademark] on each page that our trademarked term appears. Additionally, we respectfully request that every time you use our mark in the body of your work of commentary that you capitalize the first letter of each word in the mark and directly follow the mark with the ® symbol so that it reads as "... ®"
Google does change the landscape for many, many things. This is a good thing; it reduces friction in the market and the law. One result for me is that I now know that the ® symbol is denoted by entity number 174 or entity name reg. I've used © occasionally, but rarely ®. That said, I'm not too keen on having to capitalize two common words every time I use them in an article. I think I either need to write those articles without using the code phrase, or simply stop quoting books that are likely to trademark simple phrases. The latter rules out most thin business trade books, especially on management and marketing. That's not much of a loss, I suppose. -----