You will notice that all of ACS’s logos have a TM (Trademark, definition below) symbol imbedded, which means there are rules you *must* follow in order to use it.
1. Logo needs to remain intact. It cannot, by law, be chopped up, re-colored or modified in any way. Please don’t stretch or squish the logo without keeping the original proportions. On the example prim, the correct logo proportions are found in the top left corner.
2. Logo must hold clear margins and be clear of all encroachment (peripheral design). This means keep some white space around the logo itself. Don’t place it right next to another graphic or border.
3. It cannot be placed next to any profanity or anything that detracts for the ACS mission. Please – this brand is precious to all of us and we want to keep it held with the best possible regard and reputation.
4. Please do not alter the design by removing the American Cancer Society logo. This is event is supported by American Cancer Society resources and trademarked (see below).
5. The use of all American Cancer Society Making Strides and Relay For Life logos is for Making Strides an Relay For Life purposes only! We cannot sell items with the any of these logos on them. If you see an item FOR SALE displaying any of the TM logos, please contact Leala Spire or Sandie Loxingly.
Noun 1.any name, symbol, figure, letter, word, or mark adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant in order to designate his or her goods and to distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others. A trademark is a proprietary term that is usually registered with the Patent and Trademark Office to assure its exclusive use by its owner.
The purpose of trademark law is to prevent this confusion in the minds of the consuming public as to the source of the particular goods or services. The American Cancer Society has spent money and effort marketing their TM and the goods and services that are identified by it.
The purpose of all that money and marketing has been to make their TM identifiable with only those goods and services, ensuring that their TM is identified with only the American Cancer Society’s goods and services. Basically, if the manner in which you intend to use the trademark is likely to cause confusion, you may be infringing upon that mark and may be liable as a result.
However, you may use the name if it is not likely to confuse the public as to either the source of the goods or services you are providing and you are not implying any endorsement from the American Cancer Society. For example, mentioning the name “Coca Cola” in the context of this explanation is not likely to be a trademark violation for it is explanatory only and no one would believe that I was intending any confusion about the trademark “Coca Cola” or that somehow the company endorsed such use. The courts refer to this kind of permissible use as “nominative” because the use is not likely to cause any confusion as to source.
But as in all areas of the law, not everything is as simple at it appears. Again using “Coca Cola,” the owner of the TM may have the right to prevent it from being “diluted.” This means that even though no one would be confused by the use of a TM in a way that does indicate it’s primary branding, the TM may still be protected against if such use “dilutes” the value of the branding in other ways. This right is limited to “famous” marks and in those instances, extends the doctrine of trademark protection that is otherwise restricted to uses that may result in confusion.