Confusion arises when a company uses a trademark name as a cultivar name. For example, a particular holly is often designated in the trade as Ilex x 'China Girl'. Many of you will recognize this name. If, however, you were to come upon Ilex x 'Mesog', would you expect to know this holly? Probably not. In fact, the cultivar name for this holly is 'Mesog' and the trademark is China Girl™.This naming practice violates both trademark specifications and nomenclatural rules, but it is becoming increasingly common. The reason is profit. If a breeder patents a new plant, he restricts others from propagating it without paying royalties. The patent is in effect for 17 years. A trademark may be renewed indefinitely. So when the patent expires, anyone may propagate the plant, but they must call it 'Mesog' which does not have any commercial recognition factor. The name China Girl™ is still the property of the original producer.
Users of computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system can enter the ™ and ® characters into text by holding down the Alt key and typing 0153 and 0174 respectively into the numeric keypad.