Legal and Trademark

What is a trademark?

Our brands are part of the most important business assets for our company. And by registering our trademarks we are in a position to defend our brands. This is why it is also important to use the trademarks properly according to our guidelines in all our communication materials.

According to the OHIM (European Union agency responsible for registering trademarks):

“Legally speaking, a trade mark is a sign which serves to distinguish the goods and services of one organization from those of another.”

“Trademarks are words, logos, devices or other distinctive features which can be represented graphically. They can consist of, for example, the shape of goods, their packaging, sounds and smells.” 1)

Trade marks influence consumer decisions every day. A strong trade mark creates an identity, builds trust, distinguishes you from the competition, and makes communication between seller and buyer simpler. Because so much money and time is often invested in a trade mark, it is worth paying something to protect it from misuse. 1)

The symbols

Two main symbols are used that identify a level of protection or a status in which a mark is.

TM – the trademark symbol, these are the letters used when a company claims rights to a mark; it notifies that an application for registration is filed. Legally it is not necessary to register to use the symbol, even when the authority rejects the filing; the company can still continue to use the symbol, but using it does not give any rights.

® – the registered trademark symbol, this symbol can only be used legally by the registered owner of the mark once the filed registration is approved by the authorities (e.g. USPTO, UKIPO, OHIM, WIPO …) and while it is still alive (not expired). The company does own the rights to the registered words or logo.

There are three important restrictions on use of the “®” symbol:

  1. It may only be used after the mark is registered (you may not use it during the application process);
  2. It may only be used on or in connection with the goods and services listed in the federal registration;
  3. It may only be used while the registration is still alive (you may not continue to use it if you don’t maintain the registration or it expires). 2)

There is no obligation for a company to identify a registered trademark.

How do we use the symbols?

Our logos:

When the Xylem corporate brand or a product brand appears by itself on communication materials (e.g. collateral, consumer packaging, product, nameplate, etc.), the logo should carry a registered trademark (®) when registration is approved every time it is used.

No symbols (® or TM) should be used when a product logo is locked up with the Xylem endorsement tagline. However, the following line of copy must be included on the piece of collateral that uses the lockup:

“[Brand Name] is a trademark of Xylem Inc. or one of its subsidiaries.”

In our copy:

In copy used on marketing collateral or Public Relations material, place the symbol in the title or right near the first use of the mark in the body copy and add a footnote that describes the trademark.

“[Brand Name] is a trademark of Xylem Inc. or one of its subsidiaries.”

Only do this at the first use of the word, it is not necessary to attach the symbol at every instance.

Copyright notice

Collateral materials should carry the following copyright notice (where XX is replaced by the year of copyright):

“© 20XX Xylem Inc.

Sources:

  1. OHIM https://oami.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/
  2. USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark office) www.uspto.gov/faq/trademarks.jsp

Rev: 12-01-2014