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Re: Minutes - Action item (2.1) trademark registration

Perhaps in single-crystal crystallography, CIF(tm)* and mmCIF(tm)* have
become so ubiquitous that attaching a trademark or service mark
annotation will not scare off potential users. I am afraid that in
powder diffraction, where the community needs pdCIF(tm)*-aware software,
it will just create more unease with the standard and scare off
developers. 

I fully want to see the IUCr protect CIF(tm)* from adulteration and
appropriation, but we need to think about promotion of the standard as
well. I think it daunting to potential developers to have to sort
through the legal documents already and seeing constant reference to
trademarks will serve to reinforce that apprehension. On the other hand,
if the IUCr fails to identify them as trademarks in its documents or
fails to enforce that others identify them as trademarks, I believe that
this can be used as grounds remove a trademark into the public domain.
If these terms are registered, what needs to be done to protect them? It
certainly triggers changes for me.

Brian T.

* CIF, mmCIF(tm) and pdCIF are trademarks of the International Union of
Crystallography. Brand names cited here are used for identification
purposes and do not constitute an endorsement by NIST. 

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Brian H. Toby, Ph.D.                    Leader, Crystallography Team
Brian.Toby@NIST.gov      NIST Center for Neutron Research, Stop 8562
voice: 301-975-4297     National Institute of Standards & Technology
FAX: 301-921-9847                        Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8562
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