Dow Chemical writes to 7 News complaining that one of its trademarks has been misused. 7 News editor Ulli Diemer responds on behalf of 7 News.
We noticed in the edition of Saturday, October 22, 1977 of your publication Seven News, an article written by Howard Huggett entitled "Hang on to your coffee" in which is stated “...in a Styrofoam cup...”. We feel this is a misuse of our Trademark STYROFOAM* (trademark of the Dow Chemical Co.)
We would like to point out to you that STYROFOAM* is a registered trademark for our Dow brand of polystyrene foam which is a unique product, and as such a valuable trademark of the Dow Chemical Company which identifies certain products made by the Dow organization. It should not be used when referring to anyone else’s product.
It is essential for the Dow organization to protect this trademark by assuring that it is used properly. If the trademark is improperly used, we stand the risk of losing it as a trademark to identify certain of our products. It is for this reason that we have brought the misuse of the trademark STYROFOAM* to your attention, for you are, we feel sure, as concerned as we are to assure that your publications are correct.
Furthermore, please permit us to refer you to the UPI Stylebook published by United Press International to page 177 defining the word “trademarks” and to page 168 where the word Styrofoam is defined as a trademark for a plastic foam.
We are also enclosing a brochure entitled “All you need to know about trademarks ... and Styrofoam” for your future reference.
We would appreciate your acknowledging this letter.
We regret any error on our part. 7 News certainly had no intention of depriving the Dow Chemical Company of any recognition due to it.
Dow Chemical, as our readers may know, has been responsible for the production of a whole range of products which have helped to shape its well-deserved public reputation.
The most well-known of these was perhaps napalm, which was used extensively by the U.S. forces in Vietnam. Napalm, the production and use of which was condemned by the Stockholm War Crimes Tribunal, is a form of jellied gasoline used in aerial bombing. When it hits and ignites, the burning napalm splatters over a wide area, consuming everything burnable, including human flesh, which it strikes. An added feature of this pleasant invention is that flesh ignited by napalm is extremely difficult to extinguish. People hit by it keep on burning. Napalm is particularly indiscriminate because the fire it causes continues to spread, destroying everything in a large area. Finally, it is also effective against people hiding in bomb shelters or tunnels because it suddenly pulls all the oxygen out of the tunnel by its enormous gulp of combustion, thus suffocating anyone inside. Thanks to napalm many Vietnamese survivors who might otherwise never have heard of the Dow Chemical Company and its trademarked products will never forget Dow. Undoubtedly this is pleasing to Dow executives, who, as they indicate in their letter, consider it important that Dow receive credit for its products.
Published in Seven News, Volume 8, Number 20, 11 March, 1978.