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I had a project head tell me I had to leave the registered trademark symbol ® in standard, unbolded, non-italicized Myriad Pro.

Is this a requirement or just a style choice? Curious to get feedback before I engage further in the discussion with him.

Thanks!

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Thanks for the great feedback. No hard, set rules but best to leave it plain for the registered mark. –  Rick Pickett Mar 9 '13 at 14:41

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

My proofreader always had us un-format any register marks, trademarks, service marks, etc. It had to be in the same font as the copy, and superscripted.

I think this was because italicized, bolded ™s and ®s were harder to read, and the superscript made them smaller still. So you want a balance of emphasis (visible, but not dominant) and you want to retain readability, since they are legally important.

I wouldn't change the font, but I would strip formatting.

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As far as I know, there is no hard rule governing the styling of the trademark symbol aside from having it be recognizable.

However your colleague is probably "correct" in that setting the trademark symbol in the same typeface and styling as the Trademark itself visually implies that the symbol is part of the mark. It now falls upon someone to decide if the Trademark includes the symbol or not. If it your company, then this is important.

This is virtually the same argument people have about the inclusion of punctuation within a quotation which is not actually part of the quotation but rather part of the normal grammar and style of the language. Unless one has a very specific use e.g. string literals in computer science, one is probably going to have to give weight to the majority opinion.

Another similar issue is where a work of art is a portrait painting and the title line contains a date. If the date is italicized, it is part of the title, but it might not be the date of execution. If it is not italicized it is the date of execution of the painting and cannot be part of the title.

  • Bob Smith, 1973 (ambiguous)
  • Bob Smith, 1973 (title)
  • Bob Smith, 1973 (not title)
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There's no specific rule for this...including no rule that you actually have to display the registered trademark symbol. The only rule that would really apply is that the trademark actually needs to be registered to be able to honestly use the registered trademark symbol.

Now, your legal department may have come up with their own rules, in which case, that's between you and them.

The USPTO does offer some basic guidelines, but they are just guidelines:

https://ribbs.usps.gov/forms/documents/tech_guides/GUIDELINES_TO_TRADEMARK_USE.PDF

Since you are being told to use a specific font for the symbol, my hunch is that this is an internal corporate style guide decision.

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