1. Use ™ or ® on Meredith trademarked names but no others. (The ™ notation means we are seeking or plan to seek trademark protection for that title. The ® notation means trademark protection has been granted.)
2. Use generic terms instead of trademarked names when possible.
3. Use trademarked names
• for products whose generic names are not easily interpreted or sufficiently informative.
• when needed for the reader’s understanding of what the product is, what it does, or how it’s used.
• for products that are unique (no other product can be substituted to achieve the same result).
Super Bowl is a good example of a unique product that is trademarked (by the National Football League, which vigorously defends its mark). Editorial use of Super Bowl is OK; commercial use of Super Bowl is not OK. (added 11/20/14)
correct: “At your Super Bowl party, enjoy mango mousse and play Advertising Bingo. Download our bingo PDF here.”
incorrect: “At your Super Bowl party, enjoy mango mousse and play Super Bowl Bingo. Download our bingo PDF here.”
We could get into trouble if our PDF was labeled Super Bowl Bingo because the bingo PDF is a product, which makes it a commerical use, not an editorial mention. A better option would be to label our PDF Big Game Bingo, Football Bingo, or Advertising Bingo instead.
4. When using trademarked names, capitalize them. Do not use trademarked names in boldface, italics, or all caps (unless they appear in a copy block of such).
5. If possible, include the generic term with the trademarked name on first use. Call the product by its generic term in the rest of the article.
6. Italicize Better Homes & Gardens when referring to the magazine but not when referring to the brand.
Sources for information on trademarks and corresponding generic terms:
1. Meredith Corporation Trademark Manual and Legal Department—for Meredith Corporation trademarks.
2. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (unabridged)—for correct spelling of long-standing trademarks and descriptions of products they represent.
3. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database—for recent trademarks, their correct spellings, and their accurate generic terms.