The ‘NEC’® trademark refers to the trusted family of contracts, embodying a unique, collaborative and co-operative approach to project management, from Thomas Telford Ltd, the commercial arm of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
This Trademark Policy is designed to facilitate and encourage the correct use of the ‘NEC’® trademark across the broad eco-system of engineers, consultants, publishers, training organisations etc. that wish to reference the NEC contract suite when describing the products or services they provide.
In brief, it should be crystal clear that whenever the NEC® trademark is used, it is being used to refer to the NEC contract suite published by Thomas Telford Ltd; there should be no suggestion or ambiguity that the product or service originates from Thomas Telford Ltd if it does not.
The ® mark should be used in the first or most prominent occurrence of the NEC name for any given use.
This policy covers the following trademarks:
- ‘NEC’ word trademark
- ‘NEC3’ word trademark
- NEC logo trademark:
We will refer to these as the ‘NEC Trademarks’.
Your use of the NEC Trademarks
- Your use of the NEC Trademarks is subject to:
- Your acceptance of this Trademark Policy;
- Your acknowledgement that the NEC Trademarks are the exclusive property of Thomas Telford Ltd and can only be used with Thomas Telford Ltd’s permission, which can be revoked at any time; and
- You taking all reasonable steps to ensure that the NEC Trademarks are only ever used by you as permitted by this Policy document and in a manner that does not affect either the validity of any NEC Trademark or Thomas Telford Ltd’s ownership of any NEC Trademark in any way, and your agreement that you will transfer any goodwill you derive from your use of any NEC Trademark to Thomas Telford Ltd, if requested by Thomas Telford Ltd.
- You may use the NEC word trademarks, i.e. NEC and NEC3, but not the NEC logo trademark, when referring to the NEC contract from Thomas Telford Ltd, so long as you:
- Follow the guidelines in Appendix A below;
- Avoid any implication of association with or endorsement by Thomas Telford Ltd;
- Avoid any attempt to unfairly capitalise on the goodwill of Thomas Telford Ltd in relation to the NEC word trademark;
- Disclaim any association with Thomas Telford Ltd in a manner that is deemed, in the reasonable view of Thomas Telford, to be sufficiently prominent.
- You will need Thomas Telford Ltd’s prior written permission to use:
- Any domain name or URL including the letters NEC, where the website relates to contracts, project management or dispute resolution;
- Any mark, word or sign that is confusingly similar to any NEC Trademark;
- Any company name including the letters NEC, if the company’s activities relate to contracts, project management or dispute resolution;
- Any mark, word or sign including the letters NEC if used in a manner that, in Thomas Telford Ltd’s reasonable view, may lead to a likelihood of association with or confusion with any NEC Trademark; and
- Any mark, word or sign including the letters NEC if used in a title or metatag of a web page, whose primary intention or result is to influence search engine rankings or result listings.
- We may make changes to this IP Rights Policy from time to time. Please check this Trademark Policy from time to time to ensure that you are in compliance.
Please contact us:
- If you have any questions or would like further information on our Trademark Policy;
- To report a breach of our Trademark Policy.
You may send any enquiry to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, marking your query ‘Trademark Policy’ in the email subject line.
Appendix A - Trademark Usage Guidelines
Use the NEC Trademarks solely to refer to the NEC contract suite; imply no relationship with Thomas Telford Ltd.
It should be crystal clear that whenever a NEC® word Trademark is used, it is being used to refer to the NEC contract suite published by Thomas Telford Ltd; there should be no suggestion or ambiguity that your product or service or company originates from, or is associated with, or is endorsed by, Thomas Telford Ltd.
Do not use any NEC Trademarks in any manner that expresses or implies that Thomas Telford Ltd has any affiliation with or provided any sponsorship, endorsement, certification, or approval of your product, service or company.
Use the NEC Trademarks as trademark and not in any generic or descriptive way
- Always use the correct trademark symbol with the first or most prominent appearance of the NEC Trademark in the body of text.
Example: We provide training for the NEC® contract suite
- Always use the NEC Trademarks as adjectives, accompanied by an appropriate noun.
Example: The NEC3 contracts
- Never use a NEC Trademark as a noun, a verb, or in the possessive or plural form. Your use will probably be incorrect if the sentence does not make grammatical sense without the Trademark included in it.
- We do understand however that slavish adherence to these rules can be difficult in practice – the guideline is that, taken overall, it should be crystal clear to someone reading your text (a) that the terms NEC and NEC3 are being used to refer to the NEC contract suite from Thomas Telford Ltd and are not the generic name for a type of contract or type of project management approach and (b) that your product or service is not associated with or endorsed by Thomas Telford Ltd.
Some More Examples
The following examples are NOT permissible because they do NOT make it clear that there is no association with Thomas Telford Ltd: there is a real risk that people will erroneously assume there is some endorsement or approval by Thomas Telford Ltd. Also, they do not make it clear that the term NEC refers to the contract suite from Thomas Telford Ltd: there is a risk that the term NEC will become generic and then the entire eco-system that is based on the NEC contract suite will lose out.
- NEC Training
- NEC Awards
- BIM and NEC
- The NEC Guide to Project Management
- NEC and BIM – the future
- 2014 NEC Conference
- NEC3 and You
- NEC3 Consultancy
- Any unauthorised use of the NEC Logo Trademark
The following are acceptable because they make it clear that the source is ACME company, not Thomas Telford Ltd and because they make it clear that the term NEC refers to the contract suite.
- ACME guide to NEC contract Use
- NEC3 Contract Suite Training from ACME
- ACME NEC3 Contract Training
- ACME NEC3 Project Management Conference
- NEC Contract Consultancy delivered by ACME
Always include a trademark notice to clearly state Thomas Telford Ltd's ownership of its Trademarks in all materials:
Example: NEC and NEC3, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Thomas Telford Ltd.
Never alter any NEC Trademarks in any way:
Do not alter the spelling or form of any NEC Trademark by abbreviating them, creating acronyms, translating them, joining them to other words, symbols or numbers (either as one word or with a hyphen), or using improper capitalization, or coining phrases including the word NEC.
Prohibited use of any NEC Trademark
- Do not use any NEC Trademark logo without prior written authorization from Thomas Telford Ltd.
- Do not use inaccurate or misleading nouns after any NEC Trademark. The NEC Trademark must be followed by an appropriate noun or phrase, such as ‘contract’, ‘dispute resolution approach’, ‘project management methodology’ etc.
- Do not use any NEC Trademark, slogan or logo (or any part of any NEC trademark, slogan or logo) as part of another trademark, slogan, logo or other name. This includes but is not limited to a company name, trade name, product name, service name, technology name, standard, domain name, social media name or handle.
- Do not register any NEC Trademark, slogan or logo (or any part of a NEC Trademark, slogan or logo) either alone or as part of another trademark or other name. This includes, but is not limited to a company name, trade name, product name, service name, technology name, standard, domain name, social media name or handle.
- Do not use any NEC Trademark more prominently than your own trademarks, company name, trade name, product name, service name or other name. You should distinguish such names visually from any NEC trademark or other name.
- Do not use any NEC Trademarks to portray Thomas Telford Ltd in a negative way.
- Do not use any NEC Trademark in false or misleading advertising.
- Do not use any NEC Trademark in connection with any defamatory, scandalous, or other objectionable materials.
- Do not refer to the NEC contract as the New Engineering Contract.
Thomas Telford Ltd takes the need to maintain the trust and integrity of the NEC Trademarks seriously; it reserves all of its rights to pursue actions for trademark infringement where necessary.