You often see websites or documents (user manuals, in particular) stating something similar to:

This program is compatible with the Windows(R) operating system.
Windows is a registered trade mark of Microsoft.


Intel(R) Core(TM) i7(TM) processors which feature the BLAH instruction...

Alright, so someone has a trade mark on some more or less interesting thing, sometimes registered and sometimes not registered, whatever.

Someone else writes something which is not related to the product directly or influences the product or its marketing, nor is it competitive or uses the name for advertising, and in my understanding no rights or imagined rights are infringed in any way. In other words, I'd say: "who cares!".

Among this class of statements are also some that say e.g. "belong to their respective owners". Well yes, things usually belong to their owner. What about it?

Apparently, the vast majority of people seems, for some reason, to have a different opinion. Apparently, it is necessary to state the obvious.

What is the point (or legal reason?) for such in my opinion silly disclaimers? Even moreso, as the notices often include "and others", which implies that you admit you didn't list them all, and you are aware that you didn't (which in my opinion makes the problem, if there is one, worse).

1 Answer 1


Such notices are to make it clear that the writer of the document is not claiming ownership of the trademarks of others, nor that those owners have endorsed the product or service being described. Such a disclaimer makes it much harder for someone to sue the writer (or the company that the writer works for) for trademark infringement. Since it is an infringement to falsely claim or imply an endorsement or affiliation, such that the quality and good will associated with the trademark or its owner is attributed to the product being described, such a disclaimer makes it clear that no such claim is being made. Some companies in the past have tried to sue anyone who mentions their products by trademark without permission, claiming an attempted infringement. Such disclaimers are defenses in advance against such suits. Most readers have no reason to care, as you said, and many disclaimers are probably not needed, but the cost of inserting them is low, and the cost of even an unsuccessful suit is comparatively high.

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