A valuable asset
IDEXX’s trademarks are among the company’s most valuable assets. They represent the quality, expertise, goodwill, and reputation of our company and should be treated with care.
A trademark has two basic functions:
- To distinguish the product from other products
- To serve as a symbol of consistent quality
Trademarks must be protected by the owner or they will be lost. Unlike patents and copyrights, which have limited lives, a trademark can be owned indefinitely if properly registered and used. If improperly used, trademarks can be lost forever. Exclusive rights to trademarks can be lost through careless or improper use by the public or the trademark owner.
Famous former brands or trademarks, such as aspirin, formica, cellophane, gramophone, and thermos, became common or generic words in part because their owners did not use the trademarks in a way that distinguished them from the products or they permitted others to use them improperly.
A trademark must always be identified as a trademark. It must be distinguished from the mere generic name of the product.
- Make the trademark stand out from its surroundings.
- Use initial caps for trademarks in running texts.
- When using the full formal name of a product, IDEXX conventions require capitalization of the descriptor—for example, ProCyte Dx® Hematology Analyzer. Do not capitalize the generic product name—for example, ProCyte Dx® analyzer.
There are specially designed logotypes that are trademarked (for example, Strengthen the bonds.™) and use bold or italic typefaces or color. However, this special formatting only applies to the logotypes and should not be used to format the trademark in text (for example, in text, Strengthen the bonds™ would be used).
- Use the trademark with the full formal name or the generic name for the product it identifies.
A trademark is an adjective and, as such, it should be followed by the common descriptive name of the product. Always do this the first time the trademark appears in printed material and also in foremost mentions in the material (see below). It is a good rule of thumb to use a descriptor with a trademark at least 50% of the time in printed material. Do not use the trademark with any term other than its common descriptive name. Examples include the SNAP Pro® Mobile Device, the Catalyst One™ Chemistry Analyzer, the Quanti-Tray® Sealer PLUS, the SNAP® 4Dx® Plus Test, and the Cardiopet® proBNP Test.
- Always use correct grammar.
Never use a trademark in the plural or possessive form.
If the trademark has been registered, the symbol ® is preferred and should be superscripted. Do not use the ® if the trademark has not been registered. The letters TM may be used after trademarks that have not yet been registered.
The ® and TM symbols are defined as follows:
- ® indicates a trademark that has been registered in one or more countries.
- ™ indicates a trademark.
The appropriate notice, either ® or TM, should be used at least once in each piece of printed matter or electronic publication, preferably with the first and foremost appearance of the trademark in a document. On a website, because users can jump around, a “document” means each separate page of the website.
"First and foremost" means that you should use trademark indicia on the most prominent or attention-grabbing instance as well as on the first time the mark appears in text.
Website exception: It is acceptable to not use trademark indicia on the IDEXX website.
When a family of tests and then specific test brand names are mentioned within that family, the symbol must appear on first mentions of each to protect each brand name. For example:
Ask about our SNAP® family of ELISA tests:
- SNAP® Giardia Test
- SNAP® 4Dx® Plus Test
- SNAP® Parvo Test
When a trademark can apply to different classes of products: If you refer to the VetTest® Chemistry Analyzer, for example, and you later refer to VetTest® slides, you would use the trademark indicia in both because the mark covers different classes of goods. This is generally the case with all our instruments and consumables.
Contact IDEXX Brand Communications if you have questions about appropriate trademark usage.