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ElyseC
03-22-2005, 06:28 AM
This is beyond stupid, but I'm dealing with people (Lions Club International) who don't know diddly squat about what's a trademark and what isn't. My sister is an incoming district governor and each governor gets to design their own lapel pin for everyone to wear that year. Sis is a pharmacist, so asked me to design her pin with a pharmacy theme and I did. One of the elements is, naturally, the Rx symbol, which I drew from reference (didn't have time to search out which font/s I know I would find it in). Now the idjits at Lions Club are shouting (to the pin manufacturer) that "Rx" is a trademark and cannot be used. What a load of BS.

What they're requiring is that I fax them chapter and verse proving that the Rx symbol is not trademarked. I fired off a rather grumpy email to the pin vendor already explaining that, if the symbol -- an ancient one from Greek and Roman times -- is someone's trademark, then why are there commercial (and free and shareware) fonts with that character? If it's trademarked, then every doctor and pharmacy is in BIG trouble, because it appears on every prescription blank and in advertising. The whole flippin' US Postal Service also needs to be hauled away to the hoosegow, because of the commemorative pharmacy stamp they did some years back!

Soooooo, anyone got chapter and verse (on the web, ideally) I can reference in this letter I have to make up and fax to these idjits? I've been Googling, but apparently not using the best search words and phrases. I know we've discussed things like this over the years, that individual symbols cannot be trademarked, only a particular rendering of them, but I don't remember enough detail to search up official info on the Web that I can cite.

Gerry Kowarsky
03-22-2005, 07:20 AM
Not exactly what you wanted, but here is a link to the documentation of the Unicode range that includes the Rx symbol: http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U2100.pdf

Maybe there is something on the Unicode site about ownership of symbols.

So who does the trademark belong to according to objectors?

ElyseC
03-22-2005, 07:57 AM
Not exactly what you wanted, but here is a link to the documentation of the Unicode range that includes the Rx symbol: http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U2100.pdf

Maybe there is something on the Unicode site about ownership of symbols.Thanks very much. That's at least a decent start.

So who does the trademark belong to according to objectors?That's exactly what I want to know.

ktinkel
03-22-2005, 08:20 AM
… that "Rx" is a trademark and cannot be used.Maybe they are confusing Rx with the Red Cross, which is protected by trademark (or something like that). I know that Johnson & Johnson had to license it for use in their Bandaid logo.

But Rx is ancient, and quite certainly not trademarked.

Michael Rowley
03-22-2005, 08:35 AM
KT:

'But Rx is ancient'

It's the abbreviation for the Latin 'Recipe' (rendered in English by 'Take'), and although the 'R' seems to tail off in a typical fashion for doctors' writing, it's as standard as the 'et-sign' and many of the other abbreviated words used by scribes.

Hugh Wyn Griffith
03-22-2005, 09:29 AM
Just did a Google on [Rx symbol trademark]

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/sol/foia/ttab/2eissues/2003/75932300.pdf

might be helpful if only for what it does not claim or say.

<< The crux of applicant’s argument that its mark PetRx.com is not merely descriptive is best summarized at page 6 of applicant’s brief as follows:

A prescription is not, however, the same as the drugs or medications themselves. Applicant’s website offers medications but it does not offer prescriptions. Applicant might be characterized as an online pharmacy but it is not an online prescription and it is not an online source for prescriptions.

Applicant readily concedes that Rx “is the conventional symbol for a written prescription.”

Applicant’s brief page 5). Applicant then argues that Rx is not the equivalent of or alternative term for medications or pharmaceutical products that are the subject prescriptions.” (Applicant’s brief page 5).

However, the symbol Rx has more than one meaning. In this regard, reference is made to applicant’s response dated December 18, 2002 to which it attached a dictionary definition of Rx from an unnamed dictionary. This dictionary makes clear that Rx stands not only as the symbol for prescription,” but also as “a remedy, cure, or the like.” In other words, applicant’s own chosen dictionary definition for Rx indicates that this symbol means not only a written prescription, but also the medications themselves. >>

Michael Rowley
03-22-2005, 01:45 PM
Hugh:

In Unicode the recipe symbol is called 'Prescription take'. It's U+211E. The argument was about whether PetRx.com could be the applicant's trademark, not about whether Rx is a recognized symbol (which of course it is).

ElyseC
03-22-2005, 08:46 PM
Maybe they are confusing Rx with the Red Cross, which is protected by trademark (or something like that). I know that Johnson & Johnson had to license it for use in their Bandaid logo.I have no idea what they're thinking of, but you'd think that Lions Club International would be smart enough to recognize that...
Rx is ancient, and quite certainly not trademarked.but I guess not.

Like the Red Cross, they work across borders in health care (vision and hearing).

As of tonight I haven't heard anything more, so either I enlightened them or they (whoever 'they' may be) have not yet read what I've sent them.

ElyseC
03-22-2005, 08:49 PM
It's the abbreviation for the Latin 'Recipe' (rendered in English by 'Take'), and although the 'R' seems to tail off in a typical fashion for doctors' writing, it's as standard as the 'et-sign' and many of the other abbreviated words used by scribes.Or 'take thou' as I've always heard my family state it.

You're right about it being kin to the 'et' sign and I'll throw that info at them if need be. Thanks for that.

ElyseC
03-22-2005, 08:56 PM
Hugh:

In Unicode the recipe symbol is called 'Prescription take'. It's U+211E. The argument was about whether PetRx.com could be the applicant's trademark, not about whether Rx is a recognized symbol (which of course it is).
Thanks, Hugh and Michael. I did run across that and at first thought I might have my chapter and verse, but found it to be some kind of tussle in Kansas over who can legally put the symbol in their logo, signage and advertising. I decided it skated too close to saying no one but licensed pharmacists can use the symbol. My sister is definitely a licensed pharmacist ('chemist' to folks across the various ponds), but I thought that since Lions Club Int'l. is the source of these pins, that particular trademark wrangle might make them think they're right.

I dunno, I'm just erring on the side of caution, because my sis doesn't need any more hassle over this pin.

Hugh Wyn Griffith
03-23-2005, 07:48 AM
I did read the article <g>

What I said was that it was relevent what was not said -- there was no reference to Rx being a trademark in its own right. As Fr Brown said -- it was that the dog did not bark ....

ElyseC
03-23-2005, 08:27 AM
I did read the article <g>

What I said was that it was relevent what was not said -- there was no reference to Rx being a trademark in its own right. As Fr Brown said -- it was that the dog did not bark ....Yep. That's why I thought I'd hit gold, but the other parts of the discussion might be what these people would happen to read, probably out of context, and decide that they don't dare allow the use of the symbol, because they're not selling pharmaceuticals. IIRC, the whole thing came up in the state of Kansas only, but, seeing as LCI is also in that state, they might err way way too far on the side of caution. No matter that this pin only applies to the district governorship of the 9th of the nine LCI regions in the state of Iowa.

Still no word asking for more documentation as of this morning, so maybe it's all settled.

Diane
03-25-2005, 08:17 AM
They want you to prove a negative, huh? Ninnies.

Okay, I've done a bit of trademark searching in my day. Here is how I'd proceed:

First, go here (http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/trademark.html) and direct them to the part that says: "The owner of a trademark has exclusive right to use it on the product it was intended to identify and often on related products." (my italics).

Then you take a trip to the US Patent and Trademark Office. (http://www.uspto.gov/)

Begin by searching on Rx, choosing Singular and Live. You'll get more than a thousand hits, which should be indicative. Without restrictions you get even more.

Page one should include an entry that is just plain "Rx" with nothing else. Click on it and you'll see that the product is defined strictly as "MAGNETICALLY ENCODED PREPAID HMO COPAY CARDS" and there is a disclaimer that says: "NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE 'RX' ... APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN". So you see how specific the trademarks/wordmarks are.

Then go back to the search page and choose Advanced Search for the specific item you are concerned with.

First Search Term: Rx
Field: Description of Mark

Operator: AND

Second Search Term: Jewelry
Field: Goods and Services

You'll find a single trademark, for Sunglass Hut. It shows an image of the R crossed by a pair of glasses. And again, the disclaimer: "NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE the representation of the prescription symbol Rx APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN."

And if that doesn't convince them that there is no restriction on what you are doing, they are just too stupid to live and you have my permission to stuff them all in a sack and drown them.

Diane

ktinkel
03-25-2005, 08:28 AM
Okay, I've done a bit of trademark searching in my day …Thank you for posting that logical and useful message! It is a gem.

ElyseC
03-25-2005, 11:09 AM
Wow! Excellent! Just what I needed! Thank you very much!

I'm saving all that as guidelines of where and how to craft a decent search.

Diane
03-26-2005, 12:05 PM
Elyse,
You're very welcome. I hope it all works out for you.
Diane

ElyseC
03-26-2005, 12:30 PM
You're very welcome. I hope it all works out for you.Since I've not heard 'boo' from them in days and it was supposedly an urgent issue, I guess the matter is settled. Yay!

donmcc
03-26-2005, 03:12 PM
= it was supposedly an urgent issue...

Didn't you know? It is only an urgent issue when you are to do something. The response to said urgent issue can be provided by leisure by the customer.

<G>

Don McCahill

ElyseC
03-27-2005, 04:00 PM
Didn't you know? It is only an urgent issue when you are to do something. The response to said urgent issue can be provided by leisure by the customer.<g> Yes, and today I finally got some kind of response -- a JPEG'd marked-up proof of the pin sent for final approval before the dies are made. I guess this confirms they no longer have a problem with the "Rx" bit. <g>

For what this is, it's going to be nice looking and with a tiny bit more style than some of the examples I was shown from previous district governors.

Richard Hunt
03-28-2005, 01:12 AM
Maybe they are confusing Rx with the Red Cross, which is protected by trademark (or something like that).

Bit stronger than that. See http://www.nellis.af.mil/Redcross/emblem.htm

Richard

ktinkel
03-28-2005, 06:39 AM
Bit stronger than that.I’ll say. Thanks for the interesting link.

—Kathleen

Richard Hunt
03-28-2005, 07:18 AM
I’ll say. Thanks for the interesting link.

I've never seen a non-military ambulance with a red cross emblem only, come to think of it. http://www.tenyas.org.uk/pictures.htm shows what civilian ambulance vehicles look like round here - no red cross anywhere.

Richard