Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Trademarks/Archive 12

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Archive 11 Archive 12 Archive 13

All caps guideline redundant

What about orphan initialisms? IKEA, CNET and NARAL are known exclusively by their trademarks. Cnet and Naral hurt my eyes. Common name is better. Marcus Qwertyus 01:46, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Forcing capitalisation of Trademarks is nonsense.

Example "Craigslist". URLs are case sensitive and without a redirect from the incorrect trademark and website spelling would return an "Error 404" = "Not Found". The redirect is to the correct URL "craigslist.?", all lowercase. The capital is never used anywhere except in typos. The given example and the simple logic to change spelling of any trademark, website URL, and common usage to something different is incorrect in so many ways, including grammatically, legally, functionally (in many cases), and logically. Many websites utilize the mispelling for spamming purposes of unsuspecting web browsing people making typos, through ignorance or keyboard laziness. Most larger domain name owners purchase the rights to multiple domain spellings and redirect to their correct URL spelled website.

Additionally this is contrary to the "iPod" rule example. We are not to use "Ipod". Obviously this article is the victim of multiple small edits and needs an overhaul to be consistent. (talk) 03:40, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Your reasoning by usage of URLs is flawed. URLs follow the basic guideline of using all lowercase, but that is only because people have no way of making URLs case-sensitive (there are very few exceptions such as domain names, certain servers, etc), so all lowercase reduces errors plainly for convenience's sake. Heavenwargod (talk) 18:54, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree 100%. Forcing capitalisation of trademarks is nonsense. For example, the Beatles. If Lennon was one of The Beatles, then that would imply that there were four The Beatles, versus four Beatles. If Lennon was one of "the" Beatles, then this grammar issue does not arise. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 22:43, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
That's not the same thing. I'm sure the Beatles' trademark protection extends to both versions of article, and what the trademark provision actually says is that lowercase marks need to be made into normal proper nouns, which is sensible. We don't put marks in all caps just because their owners' do so for marketing purposes. If we followed IP's advice, we could have a sentence like "Marty sat eating a HERSEY'S bar while purchasing a pair of adidas running shoes on craigslist." It would also put us in the annoying position of having to sweep through and change capitalization every time a company changed the way it chose present its mark. The idea is stupid on a number of levels. -Rrius (talk) 03:51, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Right, okay, I see what you mean. As far as eBay and iPod, isn't the second letter the cap, and therefore we actually would be fine to begin sentences with it? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 04:18, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
I see nothing wrong in such a sentence if those are the way they identify themselves. If having articles reflect the way things are is so much unacceptable, why bother create four million of them in the very first place? Delete them all and problem solved. Of course, seriously, I fully understand why some people love to invent stuff to their liking here. Wikipedia has developed this hypocrisy of liberally invoking WP:IAR on WP:OR/WP:V whenever it wants to violate the latter. Kxx (talk | contribs) 22:06, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Why can't capitalization be dictated by common usage? Craigslist, Hershey's and Adidas are already capitalized as such in common usage in the media. Please excuse any misunderstanding I made. The night is growing late. Marcus Qwertyus 04:30, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Amsterdam Arena, but GelreDome?

OK, the article Amsterdam Arena has been at its current title for ages, despite the stylised title of the stadium being "Amsterdam ArenA" (with a capital A at the end). On the other hand, GelreDome was actually moved to its current location from Gelredome in 2010 and no one has challenged it. We need some consistency here, so either Amsterdam Arena should be moved to Amsterdam ArenA or GelreDome should be moved to Gelredome, the latter being my preferred option. – PeeJay 12:50, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

MOS:TM says to "choose among styles already in use (not invent new ones) and choose the style that most closely resembles standard English." CamelCase is not that unusual in English publications, but Gelredome is also something found in sources, so perhaps such a move coud be supported. Dicklyon (talk) 23:38, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Recent trademark on older terms

The RM at Talk:Bollinger Bands seems to hinge on whether we always capitalize trademarks. In this case, the term is lowercase (Bollinger bands) in a majority of books (in 55 of the 92 relevant books in the first 10 pages of Google books hits with previews), but its creator John Bollinger (User:Bbands) filed for trademark protection on it for "Financial analysis and research services" in 2011, claiming first use in 1989 and first use in commerce in 1997. He is insisting that we capitalize it. What should our position be? Dicklyon (talk) 04:29, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

I see three distinctions here:
  1. Someone trademarks a long-standing generic term using some unusual capitalization or punctuation (the guideline offers "skate." and "[ yellow tail ]" as examples).
  2. Someone trademarks a generic term that already existed prior to that person's involvement or contribution to the relevant field that uses the term. I've seen examples of this, where a company trademarks a common term specific to its industry, but I can't think of one offhand at the moment.
  3. Someone trademarks a generic term that he himself originated, and that term did not exist prior to the trademark holder originating it.
In the first case, the guideline recommends treating the term as a proper noun when used in the context of the trademark, and I agree with that.
In the second case, I'd say the term should be capitalized only in the context of a specific product sharing the same name, but otherwise common usage should prevail.
In the third case, the guideline says to treat trademarks as proper nouns. Regardless of the guideline, my position would still be to treat the term as a proper noun for two reasons:
  • A trademark should supersede any prior usage of the term if the trademark holder invented the term. The fact that some sources may not treat it as a proper noun prior to trademarking only means those sources are out of date, and new sources would be expected to respect the trademark, as should Wikipedia.
  • The rationale of first two instances I mentioned apply here as well: the term would be treated as a proper noun because usage of the term will almost always be in the context of the trademark, invention, or product.
The only exception that comes to my mind be if the term can be proven to have become a generic trademark (we have a Wikipedia article on it), but a slim majority of preference in the sources would not achieve that threshold of proof. ~Amatulić (talk) 00:00, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Registering a trademark does not affirm legal right to that trademark. The trademark can be challenged in court if it is a term that was in common use before the trademark filing or if another entity has a trademark on a similar phrase; the only thing that the trademark office checks is to make sure the same term in the same field of use has not already been taken (I can't go trademarking "McDonalds" as a restaurant, for example). Thus, if the term has been used prior to trademarking and more commonly give without the trademark capitalization, and there has been no court challenge to affirm that the trademark is valid, I would stick with the non-capitalized use. --MASEM (t) 00:08, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
We are not discussing legal rights to a trademark. We are discussing whether a previously non-trademarked term that later got trademarked should be treated as a proper noun. My position is that it should, depending on the context. In the case of Bollinger Bands mentioned by Dicklyon, When there is no clear-cut case for common usage of a trademarked term one way or the other, my position is that Wikipedia should respect the trademark, particularly if the trademark owner invented the term in the first place. ~Amatulić (talk) 00:12, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
It's not a question of treating it as a proper noun, but rather of whether we should capitalized it. The issue of whether to treat it as a proper noun is settled in the negative by the criteria of MOS:CAPS, which says that "Wikipedia relies on sources to determine what is a proper name; words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in sources are treated as proper names and capitalized in Wikipedia." Amatulic, you have been an ardent supporter of capitalizing other technical indicators as well, for example Average directional movement index and True strength index, citing MOS:CT, which is even more of a stretch, and other arguments. I came here to seek opinions on the relevance of TM, since your opinion is already well represented in the RM. Dicklyon (talk) 00:28, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Your first sentence makes no sense. Treating it as a proper noun means we capitalize it as a proper noun. I don't want to drag the Bollinger Bands debate over here because we're discussing a more general guideline, but for the class of technical analysis indicators, you are misreading MOS:CAPS. The key word in the sentence you quoted above is "consistently". Where TA indicators are concerned, the sources as a whole are not consistent (as demonstrated by the gross instability in ngram using different smoothing constants), the sources don't exhibit an overwhelming preference to suggest anything consistent, while sources considered most authoritative as well as sources in the finance world do capitalize the terms fairly consistently. MOS:CT also requires that we capitalize TA indicators, as I have pointed out repeatedly with no valid counter argument from you except for casual dismissal based on faulty analysis of sources.
But this discussion of TA indicators doesn't belong here; we should have it over on the MOS:CAPS talk page. Here we are discussing trademarks. A TA term that is tFrademarked has an even stronger case for treating it as a proper noun. ~Amatulić (talk) 14:02, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Also note the trademark, as listed at uspto.govF, is for "Financial analysis and research services", not for the indicator itself. A trademark has to be for trade; the bands themselves are essentially in the public domain (subject to any copyrights, patents, and trade secrets, of course). Dicklyon (talk) 00:33, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
The indicator is a product of the inventor's financial analysis and research services. No brainer. Just because it's in the public domain doesn't invalidate the trademark. ~Amatulić (talk) 14:02, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I think what Dicklyon is says is that we have Bollinger bands - a metric used for financal analysis, and Bollinger Bands - a firm/service that provides data using that metric. Bollinger Bands may be the only firm that provides said metric, but the trademark only covers that service, the metric itself remains untrademarked. Now, it could be the case that others, when saying "Bollinger Bands" are saying, in essence, "the Bollinger band data from Bollinger Band", but we have to be clear how to distinguish between the metric/product and the service. If the article is talking about the product (as it sounds like), that is not trademarked, and thus should follow the non-capped version that seems to be associated with the product/metric. --MASEM (t)
As an analogy, we have DevStop, a metric used for financial analysis developed and trademarked by Cynthia Kase, and Ms. Kase's consulting firm that provides data using that metric. There is no question that, if we were to have an article on it, DevStop would be capitalized the way the creator trademarked it, even though some sources may call it dev-stop or devstop or whatever. The only difference is, she trademarked the term when she created it, not after she released it into the public domain. My position is that it should make no difference when it was trademarked, and we should respect that, and consider sources prior to the trademark as out of date. ~Amatulić (talk) 14:25, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

A trademark indicates that a good or service offered in trade was made or performed by, or under the authority of, the trademark holder. If an article mentions a calculation value that was calculated by or under the authority of the trademark holder, it would be appropriate to use the trademark to describe it, including whatever capitalization conventions might be contained in the trademark. If the calculation is performed in the same way as the trademarked calculation, but by an entity other than the trademark holder and not under the authority of the trademark holder, the calculation value should be described with a generic term. In come cases the generic term might contain the same words as the trademark, but with different capitalization, especially if the generic term predated the trademark. Beware, however, that a trademark does not come to exist when it is registered, it may come to exist by its use in the marketplace by the trademark holder. Jc3s5h (talk) 15:56, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

A question in light of this: when did the fully capitalized version of the term start appearing? Was it before 2011, or only with the onset of the 2011 trademark filing?
If the term as applied to the calculation and not the service never appeared capitalized before 2011, its probably fair to say that the name of the calculation is already a generic term (given its use since 1989), and thus as long as one is talking about that calculation, it should remain lowercase. If the capitalization did appear before then, then the capitalized version makes sense. --MASEM (t) 16:18, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
The term has been capitalized 'Bollinger Bands' since named in the early 1980s. Name first aired in a Financial News Network 'Tech Talk' broadcast circa 1984. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 17:40, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Huh? "The term has been capitalized 'Bollinger Bands' since named in the early 1980s"? It is difficult to assume good faith when the question is answered that way, without qualification. These published print sources from before 2011 are among the very many that do not capitalise: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22]. Several of those are from major publishers, and several are highly technical and academic treatments of the topic.
But Masem's commentary on his question is also wayward:

If the capitalization did appear before then, then the capitalized version makes sense.

This appears to assume that such early capitalisation, however sporadic, would settle the matter. Plainly not true. The whole point of Wikipedia having a high-quality manual of style is that publishers treat matters of style differently – among themselves, but often also inconsistently in a single publisher's offerings. That variation is intrinsic to the word style itself.
The principal reason for discussions like this dragging on unsatisfactorily is that the wording in the lead at WP:MOSCAPS is woeful. Linguistically and pragmatically inept, and in no way reflecting the result of consensual discussion. One of the secondary reasons, touched on above, is uncertainty on the present MOS page (WP:TM) about the precise scope of its provisions. I have attempted to sort both of these matters out before. I will be ready to assist with the necessary subtle, patient, and informed analysis, and wide consultation, when others show a commitment to that process also.
NoeticaTea? 23:51, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Noetica, on the RM discussion, I have offered to provide the complete list of 55 books of the 92 relevant hits in the first 10 pages of google books hits to show that the majority of books do not capitalized it. Your 22 make a good preview. I can easily post the list if anyone wants to see it.
Mr. Bollinger has stated that he's just here to defend his intellectual property, so I wouldn't pay too much attention to his biased statements. In his paper Using Bollinger Bands he describes other trading bands, such as those invented by Marc Chaikin of Bomar Securities, which he calls "Bomar bands" without the caps. If he doesn't see a reason to capitalize their version, why his? And in this book, both John Bollinger and the book editor use lowercase in "Bollinger bands". It's clearly an editorial style choice, and WP style is to avoid unnecessary caps. This 1994 book says "They are contained in nearly every technical analysis software package." Sounds pretty generic as normally referred to in books. Dicklyon (talk) 01:42, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Oddly enough, Bollinger Bands are capitalized in the first source you cite here. The second source is a generic compilation that I had no editorial control over. And again, oddly enough, Bollinger Bands are capitalized in the third source. If you are actually interested, I can fill you in the the history of Bob and Mark bands. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 21:50, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I never tried to hide the fact that many books, including some by you and some promoting your work, use capitalization. That's not the criterion, though. MOS:CAPS says "Wikipedia relies on sources to determine what is a proper name; words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in sources are treated as proper names and capitalized in Wikipedia." I think that caps in only 40% of books (only 37 of 92 with previews in Google books' first 10 pages of hits) leaves it far from that threshold. Dicklyon (talk) 22:07, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Again, you're missing the key word: consistently. A slight preference of caps versus non-caps in the sources hardly qualifies as "consistently", therefore that sentence you keep quoting from the guideline has no applicability here. Where the sources are not consistent, we cannot use that sentence as a guideline. We must therefore defer to other guidelines like MOS:CT and WP:MOSTM. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:06, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

I think we need to look at treatment in sources. If sources aren't capitalizing it, then I think it's pretty safe to say that almost 100% of those sources are not thinking of it as a trademark. If something is mainly known as not a trademark, then we shouldn't treat it as such as this guideline doesn't really apply. Follow the sources. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 17:51, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Then you need to look at only those sources that came out after the term was trademark. It also sounds like you're a preference of one guideline over another MOS:CAPS over WP:MOSTM, without community consensus. As I have pointed out repeatedly, MOS:CAPS itself is inconsistent, with the MOS:CT part of it recommending that we treat creative works as proper nouns. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:06, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Technically this isn't a creative work; you can't copyright or patent analyzes like this; the only IP directly involved is the name that was trademarked in 2011. Furthermore, it is not that the term "band" itself is new as it has had statistical means prior to Bollinger's use.
That said, with the literature as split as it is, but with assurance that Bollinger himself came up with the idea in the first place and that he is credited by others with it, the simplest solution is to use the cap name "Bollinger Bands", noting in the first sentences that they have previously been referred to as "Bollinger bands", and with the name trademarked to Bollinger. Now that the term is trademarked, one can only expect that the majority of sources that reference that term in the future will be using the capped version. The arguments could go all day long with this, but at somepoint, we need to IAR and just decide on something. --MASEM (t) 20:05, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Amatulic—Then you need to look at only those sources that came out after the term was trademark.—I don't see why we need to do this? I suppose if sources consistently capitalize the phrase after the trademark, then per MOS:CAPS we would too. I think some amount of time would have to pass before the recent trend would "outweigh" the historical one, though. preference of one guideline over another MOS:CAPS over WP:MOSTM—Well, no, as I tried to say, I don't think MOSTM applies much in these kinds of cases if sources don't treat the term as a TM. Again: follow the sources. MOS:CT only applies for creative works—that isn't at issue here, since we're talking about things that were recently trademarked and previously not consistently capitalized by sources. Presumably sources would have previously capitalized a creative work regardless of whether it had been a trademark yet or not. So MOS:CT is not at all relevant to this discussion here. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 20:42, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't subscribe to Pmanderson's discredited concept of "follow the sources", but I do agree that we need to survey and analyze sources to inform our interpretations, so that we can do the right thing by our WP:MOS. In this case books n-grams shows no significant deviation from 50/50 in occurrence counts with caps. This suggests most sources use lowercase, since those sources will often also have one or uppercase occurrences in headings, titles, or figure legends. That's consistent with my finding of 60% of books using the lower case. Per MOS:CAPS, then, we use lower case. If there were evidence that it was being used as a trademark, that would be a different story. But since it was only registered at the end of 2011, we can't even see if sources are likely to react to that claim; seems unlikely. Anyway, since we're not offering financial analysis services, we're unlikely to cause confusion with Bbands's customers about what we're referring to. Dicklyon (talk) 22:51, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
And as I keep having to point out (yet another reason for my not wasting time at RM discussions), more sensitive ngrams are even more compelling. It is important to avoid contaminating the sample with occurrences in headings, which typically are in title case and therefore capitalise "Bands" for an irrelevant reason.
But ever mind. Carry on.
NoeticaTea? 03:12, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, true, but when one of the terms you're comparing in the n-grams falls below the threshold for being included in the database, its line goes to zero, and you get no info as to whether it was 10% below, 50% below, or 100% below the other. You just know it's below. Here's another like that. Dicklyon (talk) 18:21, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

RfC covering trademark capitalization: THE BEATLES

You are invited to participate in an RfC on the issue of capitalising the definite article when mentioning the band "THE BEATLES" in running prose. This is a long-standing dispute that includes arguments based on trademark issues, and is the subject of an open mediation case. We are requesting your help with determining the current community consensus. Thank you for your time. Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 00:00, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

I'll note that the proposal is not for or against "THE BEATLES" – it's about "The Beatles" vs. "the Beatles" in mid-sentence. I'm not sure why "THE BEATLES" is used here, or in one place in the proposal – it just confuses the issue. —[AlanM1(talk)]— 05:25, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Also note that this discussion is not "open" to IP editors as the page was semiprotected. Also note that 44.8% of edits made in favour of non-lowercase usgae have been removed while no pro-lowercase arguments have. Various excuses have been offered, including, IPs were disrupting the process, they were all sockpuppets of some sockmaster, trolls or other derrogatory names applied and banned, restricted or deleted from the discussion. The mediators have become involved in arguing sides, demonstrating extreme bias, and most mediation rules have been violated in a railroading fashion. Several attempts at ANI to expose this have been thwarted by removing edit histories or just ridiculed and closed. (talk) 13:06, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Register a username if you are so intent on getting involved. The semi-protection is a very good idea, in my opinion, to keep the mediation page from getting attacked by sockpuppets (multiple votes by the same person). Binksternet (talk) 20:03, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Block evasion. The IP is the same user as this and should have no voice here. DNFTT.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 20:08, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Beatles RfC

You are invited to participate in an RfC at Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/The Beatles on the issue of capitalising the definite article when mentioning that band's name in running prose. This long-standing dispute is the subject of an open mediation case and we are requesting your help with determining the current community consensus. Thank you for your time. For the mediators. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 03:47, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

this MOS needs extension

This MOS seems difficult because it only tells you what to avoid and do instead. But not if is counterable or not or how to handle a situation. Names that have periods in their name or articles avoiding the most common name because its common name is a rrademarked name. For example: many put "stylized as" to show that the usage of said punctuation on said title isnt ealy the title. Others do it to avoid confusion. It would be great to find aqay to explain that we couldnt use those names due to policy not because they werent the common name. A section should be made to help handle that situation.

In case on one understands me im srruggling with this one title. Most commonly this band is by its officoal name "fun." I can understamd keeping it with a capitalized F as it doesnt alter the name so much but removing the period i have difficulty because the article would suggest that the period is an optional part of the name. But still i attempt to level with. But the part that gets me the most is where it would say "stylized as "fun."" For situations like this should we double check what the trademark name is and put "trademarked as" instead? Or add "stylized as" and suggest that it isnt a valid name? It would be great if we added a section or so because there aee many more articles like this.

So what if: not using the trademarked name means adding disambiguation? In what scenario would WP:PRECISION trump WP:TRADEMARK?

And if it doesnt, what would we put in the article to say the trademarked name is X?Lucia Black (talk) 21:56, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

I'm having a little trouble following precisely what you want the guideline to do that it isn't doing already. You don't need to use the phrase "stylized as" if you prefer a different phrasing.
I have to take issue with something in your first paragraph, though: this is a guideline for choosing a way to format names and not so much a guideline for choosing the names themselves. Personally, I think that the threshold for including an end-punctuation mark like a period in the middle of a sentence should be pretty high. It's really, really jarring. Here's an article from the New York Times ( that talked about the period a bunch of times, and only once stuck it in the middle of a sentence. They actually, seemingly, went out of their way to write each sentence so that it avoided jarring the reader with a period in the middle. For what it's worth, though, they did use it, and they seemed to arrive at much the same conclusion that you did, that the lowercase F should be capitalized but that the period should stay. If editors at the Fun (band) article reach a consensus to use the period, I think they should be very vigilant to avoid having a ton of periods stuck by themselves in the middle of sentences, since it would make the article very, very hard to read. Croctotheface (talk) 00:27, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
the issue is however, how to handle it when the decision is already made. WHen the name is most commonly referred to as "fun." however, due to sentence structure issues, we have to say "Fun".
the last questions should make things clear. But i'll ask them again:
So what if: not using the trademarked name means adding disambiguation? In what scenario would WP:PRECISION trump WP:TRADEMARK?
And if it doesnt, what would we put in the article to say the trademarked name is X?Lucia Black (talk) 18:18, 25 September 2012 (UTC)