Trademarks must be protected or they otherwise can be lost. Protected means threatening to sue when someone else uses your name without the appropriate ™ or ® marking. However, how is everyone supposed to know what is a trademark violation and what is not? The Texas A&M University trademarked Continuous Commissioning®, which is a program about guess what? Building commissioning. To stay out of trouble, others have begun to refer to it as “ongoing commissioning.”

What will happen when a company decides to trademark Ongoing Commissioning?

I guess then we will be forced to call it something really boring such as Building Commissioning. But, that would certainly take all the fun out of naming things with generic words and later attempting to put a marketing spin on the rights to use the words themselves.

It was so much easier with unique generic words like band-aid and xerox. Oh, was I supposed to capitalize and place trademarks on those words? Sue me.