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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.