In editorial copy a reasonable effort should be made to respect
trademarks of other organizations just as we expect them to respect
ours. Use a generic description when you are not certain of the brand or
if using a trademark is not crucial to the sense.
To determine if a word is a trademark or not, follow entries in this manual, Webster’s, and trademark directories in the NGS Library or online, including the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Use an initial capital and roman type for registered or trademarked products:
Band-Aid, Jet Ski, Styrofoam, Visa, Yellow Border
A written description of a logo may be written with initial caps to distinguish it:
Yellow Border, Golden Arches, Swoosh.
It is not necessary to follow stylistic treatment of a trademark, although internal capital letters are usually retained:
Visa, not VISA Ikea, not IKEA
Lego, not LEGO Aibo, not AIBO
Adidas not adidas
but WordPerfect, CompuServe
Trademark associations advise that trademarks should be used only as
adjectives (Levi’s jeans), but popular usage makes them into nouns and
verbs and sometimes uses trademarks figuratively:
A billion Coca-Colas
ago was yesterday morning [from 1996 Coca-Cola Company annual report]
he jet skied across the lake
the koala seemed velcroed to the tree
An ® after the name of an item or product, such as Macintosh® computer, denotes a registered trademark.
A TM designation indicates that application has been made to register a mark (e.g., NGS PictureShowTM).
The trademark symbols ® or TM are not usually used in
editorial text. For use of the marks in other cases, consult our legal
office and any licensing agreement that may apply.