Re: Trademark Entity and Entity Problems in General

Rob (
Sat, 9 Aug 1997 21:53:12 -0500

Message-Id: <>
From: "Rob" <>
To: "E. Stephen Mack" <>
Date: Sat, 9 Aug 1997 21:53:12 -0500
Subject: Re: Trademark Entity and Entity Problems in General

One of the problems with (new) entities in general is the
mishandling of fonts in a each browser on each platform. (Even if
the Foo browser works fine on Windows, Mac users may not be able to 
see it: look up some pages on Old and Middle English texts and you'll 
see a note for Mac users to install an Iclandic font because they 
have trouble dealing with &eth and &thorn)

So indicating the font or character set in the document consistently
(using meta tags and CSS) is only half a solution; the other half
will require browsers and operating systems to support it.

(Ironic how 'interoperability' which is supposed to be one of the 
great benefits of the web turns out to be one of the most aggravating 
for authors.)

Specific ramblings on &trade:

On Sat, 09 Aug 1997 "E. Stephen Mack" <> wrote:

> [..]
> Benjamin Franz <> suggested
> three ways of presenting a trademark symbol:
> > <sup><small>(tm)</small></sup>
> This method is the best (as Arnoud also suggested recently),
> since it works in all browsers.  (Capitalize the "tm" into
> "TM" though.)

Hey, why 'not go all the way' and use

  <sup><small><acronym title="trademark">TM</acronym>

Perhaps one could give up on acronym until that issue has resolved
(and right now I can think of a few more monkey wrenches to throw in
the fray regarding that...),  and put the title in the <small> or
<sup> elements...)

> > <img src="tm.gif" alt="&trade;">
> This doesn't work in Navigator 4 or 3 when images are not
> autoloaded.  These two versions will display the literal

It's also a bad idea if one is using incompatible font sizes. Forget 

> [..]
> True, but as "Rob" pointed out, with the legal implications of
> trademark, one should go to great lengths to make sure that a
> trademark symbol is being displayed correctly for *all* browsers.
> <SUP><SMALL>(TM)</SMALL></SUP> works best if you really need
> the letters "TM" to appear as a trademark.
> I agree with Rob's advice: Consider adding a paragraph of legalalese
> to the bottom of a page: "Foo is a trademark and Bar is a registered
> trademark of Vaporware, Inc.  Copyright 1997.  All Rights Reserved."
> I am not a lawyer, but I do know that these types of legalese
> paragraphs or pages are easier for translation software to
> translate than a symbol, and can carry more information.

Neither am I a lawyer, but in most cases I think mentioning 
trademarks is not necessary unless the reader may be confused and 
think that a trademark isn't one or that it may not belong to who it 
really does.  Some products are ubiquitous and don't need a trademark 
mention ("Windows95" for instance).

My copy of the MLA Handbook 4th edition doesn't make any 
recommendations on using or not using TM. I'm not sure what other 
usage references would say.

Robert Rothenburg Walking-Owl (
(Se habla PGP.)