AHRQ Publishing and Communications Guidelines

Appendix 1-B. Trademarks

Table of Contents


A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols, or designs that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services of one party from those of others. They are protected by law as the intellectual property of their originators.

A variety of identifiers can be trademark-protected, including the names of companies or institutions, company logos with their associated design elements, brand names of products, titles of programs and initiatives, and software products. Familiar examples include Coca-Cola® and Coke®, Disneyland®, Oracle®, and Java®. Trademarks are used extensively in health care; for example, Kaiser Permanente®, AARP®, and the American Hospital Association’s program Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence.™

Trademarks must be aggressively protected by the owner to keep them from falling into the public domain with the result that the owner loses the protection of the mark. This means that if the owner fails to protect the mark and allows it to be used in unauthorized ways or in ways that may cause it to cease being identified in the mind of the public solely with the goods and services of the owner, the protection may be lost. This is because the trademark is based upon identification of the mark with a particular source. When it comes to intellectual property law in general and trademark law in particular, you are advised to observe the trademark protection when using a name or mark that is registered or claimed by another party.

Trademarks registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are noted with an ®. Trademarks that have not been registered are noted with the symbol ™.

Note: In AHRQ publications, please use the trademark symbols on first mention in each chapter and in major headings.

AHRQ and AHRQ-Partner Trademarks

CERTs (only the logo gets ™)
National Guideline Clearinghouse™
National Quality Measures Clearinghouse™
Systematic Review Data Repository™
Quality Indicators™
Patient Safety Organizations™

Return to Section Contents
Return to Guidelines Contents
Proceed to Next Section

Page last reviewed June 2018
Page originally created April 2009
Internet Citation: Appendix 1-B. Trademarks. Content last reviewed June 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/publications/pubcomguide/pcguide1apb.html