Any of these sound familiar? They are all TMed.
There are many factors involved to give an answer (IE- the acronym, the TMs, the usage of the domain, your intent, your right to use the TM (if in fact the acronym is TMed by companies)).
Unfortunately, this sounds like a unique type of question that a broad answer cannot cover...
Hi DNQuest I can understand America Online being tm'd but where can I find out if the acronym AOL has been tm'd?.
Www.uspto.gov ... do a trademark search (at least in the USA)..
Let's put it this way: nothing's going to prevent that other party from coming.
After you for trademark infringement once you grab that name. It's your ball.
Whether you'll defend your rights to the name.
How you'll use the name, especially if it has anything similar or related to what.
The trademark holder is known for, can make a big difference...
The question is in need of some untangling.... Let's look at two acronyms...
BYOB - Used by cheap party hosts everywhere to signify "bring your own beer".
IBM - Used by International Business Machines on their goods and services as an indicator of source or origin.
The answer to can [fill in blank] be a trademark is the same.
The red triangle on Bass Ale is a trademark - it is a symbol recognized by consumers when placed on certain goods to identify them as originating with a particular source in such a way as to permit consumers to distinguish them from competing goods in the market.
The shape of a Coca-Cola bottle is a trademark.
Whether [insert thing] can be a trademark is entirely a question of whether it functions as one...
That is a helpful clarification. This acronym is being used by different companies to represent a different aspect of the same technology - what always differs is the word used in the middle letter and sometimes the first letter chances. e.g.
Company 1 - WiSFi = Wireless Secure Fidelity.
Comapny 2 - WiSFi = Wireless Service Fidelity.
Company 3 - WiSFi = Wired Secure Fidelity.
The acronym is not currently functioning as a trademark because it means different things to different companies.
In the uk Caompany 1 has trademarked Wireless Secure Fidelity and there is a tm next to WiSFi.
In the US Company 2 has sumitted a tm application for Wireless Service Fidelity.
Back in the uk www.WiSFi.co.uk has been purchased by another uk company offering Wireless Service Fidelity.
Sorry if this is all a bit confusing. It appears that the acronym hasn't yet got a single, global, understanding for what it means; this may shake down over time, as this is an emerging technology. Right now, it cannot be said that the acronym functions as a symbol with a single meaning, or a symbol used to convey a single meaning.
I guess I might find out in time....
Thanks for your views...