For example, you might want to talk about Java, but Java and its mother company Oracle are trademark names. Or you want to mention the Spring framework which is a registered trademark. Or mentioning Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Facebook as technology companies.

How do trademark laws apply when one wants to write a programming book and needs to use these names of languages, frameworks, or companies inside the book, all trademarks.

2 Answers 2


This is a case of nominative use. In general, it is fine to use trademarks to refer to the products trademarked, provided that a reasonable person would not be confused about who creates or provides the product, and would not think that the trademark holder has endorsed, authorized, or sponsored the book or other product that refers to the trademark.

It is common to include a disclaimer stating that trademarks are owned by specific parities, and the author or publisher is not claiming them, nor claiming any endorsement or affiliation. Such a disclaimer makes the nominative function of the trade mark use clearer, and would make it harder for the trademark owner to prevail in an infringement suit.

See This law.se question and answer for more info.


A trademark identifies goods and services belonging to the trademark’s owner.

Using them to do that is what they are for.

  • Ok, I agree with this statement. But there are a lot of gray areas in the law regarding TM (from what I could read and understand since I don't have the proper education). Does this statement hold no matter what?
    – Pips
    Jun 21, 2019 at 18:32

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