[LINK] 'Yellow Pages' as a Trademark

David Lochrin dlochrin at d2.net.au
Sat Jan 19 14:31:05 EST 2008

   "The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary" fourth edition (2004) includes the following under the entry for "yellow".  QUOTE - Yellow Pages propr. (a section of) a telephone directory on yellow paper and listing business subscribers according to the goods and services they offer. - UNQUOTE

   The flag "propr." indicates "proprietary status" but a note at the beginning of the dictionary states this does not carry any judgement as to legal status.

   However that modern oracle Wikipedia has an entry which includes the following.

The name and concept of "Yellow Pages" came about in 1883, when a printer in Cheyenne, Wyoming working on a regular telephone directory ran out of white paper and used yellow paper instead. Reuben H. Donnelly later expanded on this concept in 1886 to recreate the very first official yellow pages directory. [1][2]

Today, the expression "Yellow Pages" is used globally, in both English and non-English speaking countries; in the U.S. it refers to the category, while in some other countries it is a registered name and therefore a proper noun.

   Note the final paragraph.

   I suppose the key question is whether Sensis have registered the term in Australia.  In any event, I like the idea of publishing their demands for all to see so they can form their own opinion.


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