The Trademark Reporter®
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The Trademark Reporter
Submission Guidelines

The Trademark Reporter
Submission Guidelines

The Trademark Reporter (TMR) invites all submissions on trademarks and related topics under U.S. and international law. 

The TMR cannot guarantee publication. As a matter of policy, the TMR does not provide the reasons for its publication decisions.

A link to a pdf file of The Trademark Reporter Submission Guidelines can be found here.


Article Length

Article length is flexible, depending on what is necessary to cover the subject adequately. The TMR strongly prefers articles under 25,000 words in length—the equivalent of fifty pages—including text and footnotes. Length in excess of 25,000 words will weigh significantly against selection.

Author Information

To facilitate our blind peer review process, all author information (such as title, organization, affiliations, acknowledgements, etc.) should be placed in a separate Word file accompanying the

submission. NEVER put author information in a footnote.

Article Abstract

An abstract of the article of no more than three paragraphs should also be submitted no later than the proof stage. This proposed abstract will be edited and will appear on the article landing page. Ideally, the abstract should be no more than 100 to 150 words. For examples of abstracts, see a TMR article landing page.


A commentary is an opinion piece with a clear viewpoint. A commentary may be provocative or amusing, may offer practical advice, or may be a poetic musing on some aspect of trademark law, theory, or practice. Such a piece may be more “freewheeling” than a typical scholarly law journal article. It need not, and generally will not, be written in an objective style. Most commentaries are between approximately 2,000 words—the equivalent of four pages—and 5,000 words—the equivalent of ten pages. Length in excess of 5,000 words will weigh significantly against selection.


Books for review by the TMR are routed through Willard Knox, Staff Editor-in-Chief of the TMR. Those wishing to recommend a book for review in the TMR and/or those who would like to write a book review should contact Willard Knox at wknox [at] inta [dot] org. An author may suggest his or her own book for review. In this case, if the Staff Editor-in-Chief agrees that the book should be reviewed, he will ask for a volunteer on

the TMR Committee (other than the book’s author) to review the book.


Although submissions selected for publication are edited by TMR Committee members and/or INTA staff, authors are solely responsible for ensuring the accuracy of their citations. Failure to properly cite authorities may delay or prevent publication.


General Matters of Style

In preparing text and footnotes, authors should generally follow The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, twentieth edition (Bluebook), except as noted below under “Citation Style Specific to the TMR.”

For those matters of style (punctuation, capitalization, etc.) not covered by the Bluebook, consult The Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition. (For example, both Chicago and TMR recommend use of the serial comma—the comma before the conjunction in a list of items, as per rule 6.18 of Chicago.)

Per Bluebook, case names in full citations should not be italicized.

Also per Bluebook, case names should be italicized in the following instances: in textual sentences, unless the case name appears in a sentence in an italicized title (e.g., “The author made this point in her commentary The Switch Thrown Wrong—How Railrunner Sent Intent-to-Use Down the Wrong Tracks.”); in a footnote when referred to in a complete sentence (“The judge held that the plaintiff in Winners v.

Losers, 121 F.3d 555, 55 U.S.P.Q.2d 1030 (1999), did not act in bad faith.”); or in a short citation (“Winners, 121 F.3d at 558”).

The following should also be italicized: explanatory phrases (“In re Winners, 111 F.3d 234

(1997)”), supra and infra, foreign words that have not been assimilated into the English language, quoted words that were italicized in the originally quoted text, emphasized words, and titles of publications when referred to in textual sentences.

Authors should refrain from citation to their own work, except where other authorities do not exist or do not adequately support the author’s argument.

Citation Style Specific to the TMR

Never use small caps (i.e., Bluebook small and large caps). Where Bluebook indicates use of small and large caps (e.g., in reference to a book title), TMR uses regular Roman type [Francis A. Carey, Organic Chemistry 310 (Kent Peterson ed., 6th ed. 2006)].

As per Bluebook, “supra” and “infra” should not be used to refer to cases. In other words, do not use “supra” or “infra” and a footnote number to refer to a case that appears in an earlier or later footnote. Instead, repeat the citation of the case in full or use the proper short citation of the case, along with the pincite (the exact page number of the material referenced).

Citation to McCarthy on Trademarks and Unfair Competition is as follows:

Example of first instance:

J. Thomas McCarthy, McCarthy on Trademarks and Unfair Competition, § 29:27, at 29-96 (4th ed. 2010). [Author], [Title] § [sec. no.], at [page no(s).] ([edition number] ed. [publication date]).

Example of second instance:

McCarthy, supra note 4, § 19:25, at 19-61, 62.

It is acceptable to use “supra” to refer back to the first mention of McCarthy even if the subsequent mention is a reference to a different volume of McCarthy. In any case, this is now irrelevant, as TMR no longer cites volume numbers for the McCarthy treatise.

In 2015, J. Thomas McCarthy requested that the TMR not use volume numbers in cites to his treatise. As per J.T. McCarthy: “The Blue Book style is based on an antiquated style of a multi-volume treatise of

hard-bound volumes. But many treatises now (like mine) are loose-leaf, and now and then over the years, chapters are moved from one volume to another in order to even out the size of pages in a volume. So a cite to a section now in volume 3 might two years later be moved to volume 4, defeating the whole purpose of the Blue Book style.”

Parallel citations (such as U.S.P.Q. citations) are NOT REQUIRED. If they are used, however, any point pages (pincites) should be listed in each citation:

Winners v. Losers, 121 F.3d 555, 561, 55 U.S.P.Q.2d 1030, 1036 (1999).

For internal references to footnotes, spell out “note” (e.g., note 5).

Citations to cases in jurisdictions outside the United States should be consistent within a submitted piece. For a list of citation conventions by country, consult the Bluebook, at table T.2. See also INTA’s International Citation Styles guide, provided on request. For basic case citations from the European Union and its Member States, see the TMR EU Citation Guide, provided on request.

For more detailed information on Bluebook style and citation style specific to the TMR, see the TMR Guide to Bluebook Rules, provided on request.

Section Levels

All articles should contain an introduction as the opening section and should be enumerated with a centered, boldface, and all capital-letter heading as follows:


Sections should be demarcated as follows:


A. Subsection Level 1 (italic)

  1. 1. Subsection Level 2

  2. a. Subsection Level 3 (italic)

 (1)Subsection Level 4

Proper Reference to Trademarks

Except when uppercase or lowercase letters are part of the design, generally distinguish trademarks by referring to them in ALL CAPS.

The Kellogg Company recently launched a new KELLOGG’S EGGO waffle.

But see ToroHead, Inc. applied to register the trademark ToroMR.

A trademark should be used as a modifier, not a noun, and should be followed by the noun it modifies. a HERSHEY’S KISSES candy [not a HERSHEY’S KISS]

two GILLETTE razors [not two GILLETTES] Trademarks should not be used as verbs:

Please XEROX the report. [incorrect]

Please use the XEROX copier to make six copies. [correct]

Trademarks should not be used in the possessive form unless the trademark itself is possessive (e.g., JACK DANIEL’S whiskey).

FEBREZE’s fresh scent [incorrect]

the FEBREZE spray’s fresh scent [correct]

Chicago Manual of Style, Rule 8.152 states:

“Although the symbols ® and ™ (for registered and unregistered trademarks, respectively) often accompany trademark names on product packaging and in promotional material, there is no legal requirement to use these symbols, and they should be omitted whenever possible. (If one of these symbols must be used at the end of a product name, it should appear before any period, comma, or other mark of punctuation.)”


See the Welcome Packet for a detailed description of the editorial review process.

  • Pre-Review. Submissions considered for publication may be sent to one or more of our Senior Editors for a pre-review to assess topic choice and quality of coverage. The author will be notified if the article is accepted for the next stage of review (below). If further research or writing is recommended for a resubmission, the author will be notified at this time.
  • Review and Comment. Articles are sent to three members of our Editorial Board for peer review. Commentaries are generally sent to one to three members of our Editorial Board. Book reviews are generally sent to one member of our editorial board or a Senior Editor for review and comment. The author's name is removed from the submission to ensure an objective review.
  • Written Feedback to Author. The reviewers' comments are sent to the Senior Editor, who synthesizes their comments and sends detailed feedback to the author in a summary letter accompanied by suggested revisions and edits made directly to the submitted piece.
  • Review and Editorial Process Time. The review process generally requires a minimum of 90 days; the timing can vary based upon the length and complexity of the submission. The TMR cannot guarantee the timing of the review and editorial process. We ask that contributors whose submissions are selected for publication make a commitment to the TMR and not publish those submissions elsewhere. Our reviewers are practitioners and other trademark professionals who contribute their time on a voluntary basis. The TMR counts on their expertise to ensure the quality of submissions published, and we ask that contributors respect the time commitment they make. If you decide to withdraw your submission from consideration, please notify us immediately.


The TMR cannot guarantee publication or timing of publication. Regarding those submissions that are selected for publication, the TMR retains sole discretion in determining in which issue a piece will be published.


Contact us with any questions about your submission, but please recognize that we prefer to address your concerns after your submission has been received and pre-reviewed (as is detailed above in the OVERVIEW OF EDITORIAL REVIEW OF SUBMISSIONS section). After the completion of the pre- review, we shall notify you of whether your submission will advance to the next level of editorial review.


For authors who are interested in submitting an article, commentary, or book review, please contact Staff Editor-in-Chief Willard Knox at wknox [at] inta [dot] org. 


January–February, 2019 Issue (Vol. 109 No. 1): United States Annual Review—closed to original submissions.

March–April, 2019 Issue (Vol. 109 No. 2): Annual Review of EU Trademark Law—closed to original submissions.

May–June, 2019 Issue (Vol. 109 No. 3)—published.
July–August, 2019 Issue (Vol. 109 No. 4)—closed to new submissions.
September–October, 2019 Issue (Vol. 109 No. 5)—open to new submissions.
November–December, 2019 Issue (Vol. 109 No. 6)—open to new submissions.