In my job, I get a lot of press releases® and PR from telecoms® and media® firms. As these verbose® statements, filled with useless® fluff and usually® just one sentence® of any use also mention® the company brand name®, they often carry a copyright® or trademark symbol.

That the use of the little® letter in a circle® in no way at all affects® the legal protections afforded to a trademark® is totally overlooked® by the zealous legal official® who demands every i be dotted, every t be crossed and every brandname be despoiled® by the use of an OFFICIAL NOTICE that it is in fact® a brandname.

A simple paragraph® of text can start to look® like it has suffered an outbreak of zits as the pustule tipped circles® are scattered around® the place.

Almost as bad are the trademarks for obscure technical terms that are sent out as a plain TM attached to the end of the word. Is the product called TYPETEYETM or TYPETEYE?

Anyway, please dear writers, stop scattering® the R and C symbols throughout your text – it looks bloody awful® and has absolutely no effect on whether someone® is going to “infringe” your copyright anyway.

Thank you.

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3 comments
  1. TGP says:

    Seconded. Can I also request the PRs of stories neither time-specific or earth shattering to refrain from habitually putting ‘EMBARGOED until…’ signs all over press releases as a matter of course?

  2. Linda says:

    You’re totally wrong about use of copyright and trademark notices not effecting the protection of an intellectual property. The copyright or trademark owner is required to actively protect that property under the potential penalty of losing their rights to it, and this is one of the ways one does so.

    Is it a pain in the ass? God, yes.

    • IanVisits says:

      A brandname has to be protected to prevent it becoming a generic term (hoover, google etc), but that does not specifically require you to then state “this is protected” every time a brand name is mentioned – any more than I have to explicitly state that my blog content is copyrighted on every blog post.

      The protection only can be argued to have lapsed if, and only if, you do not clamp down on infringements, not because you missed an R or C off the end of a paragraph.

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