An author submitted a text that mentioned
L.L. Bean
(an outdoors-themed clothing company). Editing for print, I first changed it to the standard American form:
L. L. Bean
but then checked the company's homepage and saw, all over the place,

L.L.Bean
(periods, no spaces), with the assertion that "L.L.Bean(R) is a registered trademark of L.L.Bean, Inc." The homepage title as seen on the homepage itself reads
Welcome to L.L.Bean
(periods, no spaces), but Google reports that as
Welcome to LL.Bean
(dropping a period, unless my screen is acting funny). Many websites spell the company's name Google's way, or as
LL Bean
(no periods, one space). The urge to separate the initials from the "Bean," or to link the initials by cutting one period (but not the other), seems strong.

Will most readers, seeing the trademark spelled in its registered and therefore presumably correct form, as "L.L.Bean" (periods, no spaces), think an error has been made? What's an editor to do?
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An author submitted a text that mentioned L.L. Bean (an outdoors-themed clothing company). Editing for print, I first changed it ... all over the place, L.L.Bean (periods, no spaces), with the assertion that "L.L.Bean(R) is a registered trademark of L.L.Bean, Inc."

Looking at the USPTO site, I see several trademarks (for different classes of goods) for "L.L. BEAN", whose owner is listed as "L. L. Bean, Inc." There is also a trademark for "L. L. BEAN" covering, I kid you not, "automobiles", whose owner is listed as "L.L. Bean, Inc". For the "stylized form" marks, most of them appear closer to "L.L.Bean" and several of them are indexed as such (including one indexed as "L.L Bean" even though it clearly has the second period).
Make of this what you will. I make of it that such distinctions are seen as legally irrelevent.

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >"You can't prove it isn't so!" is
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >as good as Q.E.D. in folk logic asPalo Alto, CA 94304 >though it were necessary to submit
An author submitted a text that mentioned L.L. Bean (an outdoors-themed clothing company). Editing for print, I first changed it ... therefore presumably correct form, as "L.L.Bean" (periods, no spaces), think an error has been made? What's an editor to do?

Try the editor's editor, Bill Walsh, on wrangling with the worst excesses of CorporateTypography at
http://www.theslot.com/webnames.html
and
http://www.theslot.com/caps.html
He doesn't address spaces specifically, but I think it's safe to assume he'd restore L.L. Bean's without a second thought.

Ross Howard
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
} Will most readers, seeing the trademark spelled in its registered and } therefore presumably correct form, as "L.L.Bean" (periods, no spaces), } think an error has been made? What's an editor to do?

Sic 'im.

R. J. Valentine
...about all the possible variations on L.L. Bean.

To any newcomers out there: welcome to alt.usage.english.
Charles Riggs
Email address: chriggs¦at¦eircom¦dot¦net
He doesn't address spaces specifically, but I think it's safe to assume he'd restore L.L. Bean's without a second thought.

But house style requires "L. L. Bean" (two spaces). Despite the variety we've found, I'm still worried about altering a registered trademark. Would it be OK to call an iPalm an Ipalm or an I-Palm? How about Coca-Cola? may we cut the hyphen? How about TelePrompTer? copyreaders are urged to preserve those capital letters. If popular history is right, we have escalators instead of Escalators because the company didn't prosecute rigorously enough the publishers who lowercased its registered name.
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He doesn't address spaces specifically, but I think it's safe to assume he'd restore L.L. Bean's without a second thought.

But house style requires "L. L. Bean" (two spaces).

As I said in another message, the USPTO doesn't seem to have any problem writing it that way, so I wouldn't worry.
Despite the variety we've found, I'm still worried about altering a registered trademark. Would it be OK to call an iPalm an Ipalm or an I-Palm? How about Coca-Cola? may we cut the hyphen? How about TelePrompTer?

Okay, were into IANAL territory here, but my understanding is that the name of a company is not a trademark. It may resemble or be indentical to a trademark they own, but the trademark is on the use of the word or phrase with respect to a particular good or service. So referring to the company itself in the style they like is pretty much just courtesy. (And courtesy that's often not followed. I work for a company called "Hewlett-Packard" and abbreviated "HP". Financial people routinely refer to it as "Hewlett", as if one of them had been the senior partner rather than having the order determined by a coin flip, and many newspapers insist on abbreviating it as "H-P". Both of these grate, but I don't know of any official complaints.)

It's a little trickier when you're talking about products, like "iPalm", because there you're referring specifically to the product covered by the trademark. I suspect that your house style is to respect the preferred styling, although I doubt that anybody has ever had problems with, say "COCA-COLA" in a headline.
copyreaders are urged to preserve those capital letters. If popular history is right, we have escalators instead of Escalators because the company didn't prosecute rigorously enough the publishers who lowercased its registered name.

Sort of, but not necessarily to say that they had any actual claim against the publishers. You have to prevent the word from "(becoming) the generic name for the goods or services ... for which it is registered" (15 USC 1064). In the case of something like "escalator", it wasn't "rigorously enough" not because they didn't meet some legal standard for rigorousness but rather because it manifestly did become the generic and ceased to be identified with their particular product.

There's another reason, though, from the same section, that they might have to complain. You also can lose the mark
if the registered mark is being used ... with the permission of the registrant so as to misrepresent the source of the goods or services on or in connection with which the mark is used.

It wouldn't surprise me that if they didn't have a pattern of complaining whenever they saw somebody use the word "escalator" to refer to a moving stairway that wasn't one of theirs it would be construed as "giving permission" for the use.

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >Its like grasping the difference
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >between what one usually considersPalo Alto, CA 94304 >a 'difficult' problem, and what
...about all the possible variations on L.L. Bean. To any newcomers out there: welcome to alt.usage.english.

I'm surprised at your response. This would seem to be an entirely on-topic question about (written) English usage.

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >English grammar is not taught in
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >primary or secondary schools in thePalo Alto, CA 94304 >United States. Sometimes some
So referring to the company itself in the style they like is pretty much just courtesy.

Thanks for that, with the accompanying details. I feel better now.
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