Quick Guide: Citations – APA – Page 7

APA Style: Trademarks

In the following example, the author used a trademarked name directly within their manuscript. As long as the use of a trademarked name or phrase is not defamatory and does not imply a connection between the trademark and you or Cognella, you may use it. Be sure to capitalize the trademarked name; APA does not require use of the trademark symbol or of quotation marks around the name.


In chapter 2, we will begin looking at IBM SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences).

Best Practices for Using a Trademark Properly

Always distinguish a trademark from surrounding text by:

  • Using it in all capital letters (or initial capitalization) (example – CANON cameras or Canon cameras);
  • Using it in a bold, italic, or underlined font (example – Canon cameras, Canon cameras, Canon cameras);
  • Placing it within quotation marks (example – “Canon cameras”);
  • Or using a stylized, graphic form (example – Canon cameras).

Be sure to use spacing, hyphenation, capitalization, etc. consistently throughout your manuscript (example – NESCAFÉ coffee, not NES CAFÉ coffee).

Use a trademark as an adjective to modify a noun, rather than using a trademark as a noun or verb.

Correct: You skate while using ROLLERBLADE in-line skates.

Incorrect: You are rollerblading.

Additionally, the generic noun that identifies the product or service should be used immediately after the trademark (example – Scotch brand transparent tape).

Be careful not to modify a trademark by making it plural (example – OREO cookies rather than OREOs).

Do not use a trademark in the possessive form unless the trademark is inherently possessive (example – JACK DANIEL’S whiskey rather than JACK DANIELS whiskey).