L-Soft is the only company that develops and sells LISTSERV® email list management software. Eric Thomas, L-Soft Founder and CEO, developed the software in 1986 and registered LISTSERV as a trademark in 1996.
As a trademark, LISTSERV is a piece of property. However, through misuse, our trademark can lose value and, in an extreme case, it can become a mere generic description of a product, with no commercial value at all.
The aim of these usage guidelines is to discuss the importance and value of the LISTSERV trademark to our business, customers and the community as a whole in order to protect and maintain the distinctiveness of our trademark.
The proper use of the LISTSERV trademark is important to us, so please help us preserve the value and integrity of our trademark.
2. What is a trademark?
Trademarks are words, symbols, designs and logos that inform consumers that they are purchasing a product or service originating in one way or another from a particular company or other source. For instance, anytime you see the LISTSERV® trademark, you will know that it is describing the software product developed by L-Soft.
It is also important to realize that trademarks are property, just like buildings and machinery. They should, therefore, be treated with the same respect as these, more obvious, tangible forms of property. The type of property that includes trademarks is known as intellectual property.
3. Why are trademarks important?
Trademarks are important because they:
Identify and distinguish a product or service
Serve as an assurance of consistency or the quality of a product
Assist in advertising and promoting a service or product
Educate users, trade and public, while avoiding confusion
4. Proper use of trademarks
Proper use of trademarks involves a handful of basic and easy-to-apply rules. In order to protect and preserve the value of our trademark, the general rules set forth below should be followed whenever LISTSERV® is used:
A. Trademarks should not be used without an associated generic product name
Because trademarks are adjectives that identify the source or origin of the product, they should always be used with the correct generic product name for the product item.
Let's post a message to the listserv.
Let's post a message to the LISTSERV® mailing list.
B. Trademarks should not be used in the possessive form
Nouns are sometimes used in the possessive form. Because trademarks are adjectives, not nouns, they should not be made possessive. Instead, the generic product name should be made possessive.
LISTSERV's double opt-in function is available on all operating systems.
The LISTSERV® email list manager's double opt-in function is available on all operating systems.
C. Trademarks should not be used as verbs
Because trademarks are adjectives, they must never be used as verbs to describe an activity.
The university listservs a variety of student services.
The university provides a variety of student services through its LISTSERV® email lists.
D. Trademarks should not be used in plural form to describe more than one trademarked product
When you are referring to more than a single product item, do not pluralize the trademark. Instead, describe a plural reference to trademarked products by using the plural form of the generic product name.
I am subscribed to several listservs.
I know many organizations that have their own listservs.
I am subscribed to several LISTSERV® email lists.
I know many organizations that have their own LISTSERV® mailing lists.
E. Trademarks should never be spelled differently to form a new word or be combined with other words, or hyphenated, or abbreviated: