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19 December 2008 @ 11:21 am
Okay, it probably only means other package delivery services, but WTF?  
"© 2008 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. UPS, the UPS brandmark, and the color brown are trademarks of United Parcel Service of America, Inc. All rights reserved." [emphasis added]
Adrian Turtleadrian_turtle on December 19th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
Trademarks are extremely specific. The insanity over copyright gets people all flinchy, but trademarking the color brown only means UPS is allowed to sue anybody who wears brown clothes (or uses a brown truck) *to deliver packages*.

Trademarks are only defensible so long as there is a strong association between the trademark (the name, the color, the emblem) and the company or product. If a lot of UPS workers are seen delivering packages in cold weather, wearing coats that are not brown over their uniforms, it weakens the association between UPS and the color brown...and thus makes the trademark less defensible in court. (A company I used to work for had a legal department that sent out frantic memos along these lines. Always capitalize "Z" in the company name! Never capitalize "z" for the powder! Always capitalize the printer names! Never verb the printer names, always write, "print with [printer name]." Lab notebooks are legal documents! We could lose our trademarks!)
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on December 19th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
I knew about the importance of capitalizing trade names and not verbing nouns, but I didn't know that something as simple as too many workers wearing the wrong color jacket could weaken a trademark. Thank you!