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First Use, Later Use Option


First-use, later-use trademark usage is dependant on the continuous visual surface where information appears. A “visual surface” varies from medium to medium. It may be a single-page or two-page spread, what is currently visible on a computer screen or mobile device, a printed electronic presentation screen, a trade show booth panel, or the side of a package. Use your best judgment to determine the amount of continuous surface that can be seen at any one time by your audience.


Every time a new visual surface is presented to a reader or viewer, you will need to apply the first-use rules to a trademark. You may want to apply the later-use rules to subsequent cases of the same trademark on the same visual surface to make content more reader-friendly. Applying the later-use guidelines is optional.

 


 

First-use guidelines

Use the full product name [consisting of trademark(s), trademark symbol(s), generic descriptor and model number, if the product bears a model number and the business has selected it as part of the full product name] the first time the trademark(s) appears. Product names should be used in full on each new visual surface as outlined in the general guidelines on each new visual surface. First-use rules apply to every photo or illustration caption. This rule applies even if the full product name has been used elsewhere on the surface.

Correct first-use examples:

3M™ Steri-Strip™ Adhesive Skin Closures make closure of most low-tension wounds quick, simple and more comfortable.

3M™ Carpet Tape is widely used by homeowners.

Incorrect first-use example:

Steri-Strip Adhesive Skin Closures by 3M make closure of most low-tension wounds quick, simple and more comfortable.

 


 

OPTIONAL Later-use guidelines

After the full product name has been used once on a surface, you may capitalize trademarks and use lowercase for generic descriptors. The generic descriptor may also be shortened. You may drop using the 3M™ trademark preceding the product trademark, unless it is the only trademark that the product carries.

Correct later-use examples:

Titralac tablets can be found in most drugstores.

3M carpet tape is widely used by homeowners.

Incorrect later-use example:

3M Titralac Tablets can be found in most drugstores.

 


 

Exception

Capitalize the first letter of each word comprising the generic descriptor following every use of the Post-it® brand and Scotch® brand. 3M has decided not to employ the later-use guidelines for these two brands.

Correct example:

Post-it® Medical Flags can help you tab important patient records. Post-it® Medical Flags come in a wide choice of colors and printed messages to make the tabs meaningful.

 


 

Distinguish trademarks from each other

If two trademarks appear together, always use ™ symbols every time the trademarks are shown.

Correct example:

3M offers products for home use, including O-Cel-O™ StayFresh™ Sponges.

Incorrect example:

3M offers products for home use, including O-Cel-O StayFresh™ Sponges.

 


 

Avoid repetition of trademarks in product listings

To avoid repetition of trademarks in product listings or in a table of contents, the first occurrence of trademarked product names should be used in full as outlined in the general guidelines. Each subsequent mention in lists or tables can follow later-use guidelines. Then the next time a trademark is used in text outside of listing or table of contents, follow first-use guidelines.

 

3M™ Compressed Air Regulating Valves

Vortemp™ Heating Assembly 4
Vortex Cooling Assembly 5
Air Regulating Valve 6

Post-it® Notes

Custom-Printed Notes 63
Memo Cube 32

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Products

Reflective Material Fabric 102
Reflective Material Transfer Film 104