Selling products on Amazon, I've had a listing pulled over "trademark violation" for mentioning that an HVAC sets come with acme fittings and/or acme adapters.

Is there any way that this trademark hit is actually valid given that acme/Acme/ACME fittings are a 127 year old product from a defunct company (Acme Screw Machine Co. of Hartford, Connecticut) that has been a national ANSI/ASME standard for nearly 9 decades and are used generically across the entire field of mechanical engineering?

Absolutely nothing else on Google or even Amazon seems to support that, Bourn & Koch (ASMC's ultimate descendent company) seem to have let their National Acme trademarks expire, everyone else seems to be using it with impunity, and there's not even any other good term anyone would recognize for these parts. Any idea what's going on here? or do Wikipedia's page and the OED need to be updated that there's somehow still an active trademark involved here?

  • Crossposted a similar question to the Engineering stack to see if my Googling was insufficient and if this isn't the generic standard in the industry that it seems to be. I thought y'all might be better judges of the legalities of the situation, though.
    – lly
    Dec 24, 2021 at 3:34
  • What does your contract with Amazon say about this? There are plenty of people who think of Amazon as a sort of 'global commons,' but they are a company which offers marketplaces where some customers (i.e. you) can connect with a third party.
    – o.m.
    Dec 26, 2021 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


Even if "acme" were a currently active company with active trademarks, mentioning compatibility with another product is a classic example of nominative use and is not infringement unless a reasonable person would infer endorsement, support or approval. This does not sound like a valid reason to me.

On the other hand, amazon can probably decide to pull listings for any reason or none, valid or not.

  • Obviously better to get something more authoritative with some sourcing but since you're the only one to take pity on me and post and answer, I guess you deserve the checkmark. xD
    – lly
    Jan 24, 2022 at 6:33

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