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Yahoo Drops ® From Trademark

New Yahoo! CEO Marisa Mayer has attracted a good deal of attention since her appointment as the youngest chief executive of a Fortune 500 company. Not all of her new decisions however have been especially momentous. For example, one recent announcement involved the physical logo of the company which was created when the site launched back in 1995.

As reported by the Huffington Post, the new CEO decided to abolish the ® symbol after ‘Yahoo!’. She gave credit for the idea to a new employee, someone named “Andrew,” who thought the registered trademark symbol was unnecessary and annoying. Ms. Mayer posted a picture of one of the removed “R’s” with a note saying:

“One of our new Yahoo!s Andrew was really bugged by the registered trademark symbol at the end of our logo; he’s gone on a mission removing all the R’s from our site and our campus. This is one on the random R’s we pulled off a wall :).”

In a subsequent post, Mayer wrote that “Legal assures us that our trademark is implied and quite secure :).”

Interestingly, there is value in the ® symbol. The symbol exists as a means of giving notice to others that a mark has been registered with the Patent Office. This can become important in cases involving claims of innocent infringement, where the alleged infringer claims not to have known that a trademark existed. If the person holding the mark failed to give notice of his mark, then damages can be reduced or eliminated in a subsequent infringement suit as the defendant must have actual notice of the registration. Mayer likely rightfully believes that Yahoo’s brand is so well established that no potential defender could plausibly claim not to have known that the trademark was in use.

One of the other ideas that has been floated is dropping the exclamation mark from the end of the company’s name, possibly in an attempt to simply and streamline the logo to match Mayer’s vision for the firm. The exclamation mark was not created just for fun, but instead served a useful purpose. Apparently the co-founders were unable to register the name “Yahoo” because there were already “Yahoo” trademarks registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. As a result, they decided to tack on the exclamation mark to secure a name capable of trademarking.

Source:Yahoo Removes Trademark ‘R’ From Logo – Is The Exclamation Mark Next?,” by, published at

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