David Galbraith galbraith at arizona.edu
Thu Aug 6 18:44:04 EST 1998

I sighed when I saw the original post, since I fully expected hundreds of
emails on this topic in my Eudora mailbox. Now I find myself prodded to
fill my own mailbox. 

Although I don't pretend to be an expert in this area, I think that the
widespread unpoliced use of FACS as various "sorts" of flow acronym
(including but not restricted to fluorescence-activated cell sorter) makes
BD's trademark position untenable, much as is found for xeroxing, and as
will be found for "FeDexing" and other useful and used new words. In any
case, if you use FACS to mean "fluorescence-activated cell sortING" (which
is an entirely correct acronym as far as acronyms go), does BD claim to own
that? Would they insist you change it to "..cell sortER" and then that you
add their trademark to it?  

David Galbraith (aka FACS-GAL)

>Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 10:29:58 -0700
>From: Tony_Ward at BDIS.Com (Tony Ward)
>To: Cytometry Mailing List <cytometry at flowcyt.cyto.purdue.edu>
>Subject: Re[2]: "FACS"
>     You're right.  "FACS" is a registered trademark of Becton Dickinson, 
>     and is the acronym described earlier in the thread by Bob Lief.  The 
>     circle R mark should be associated with the term FACS.
>     Tony Ward
>     BDIS
>______________________________ Reply Separator
>Subject: Re: "FACS"
>Author:  Howard Shapiro <hms at shapirolab.com> at INTERNET
>Date:    8/5/98 9:54 AM
>>I am reviewing a paper which uses the term "FACS" to describe 
>>general flow cytometry protocols.  It is my impression that "FACS" is a 
>>copyrighted term, describing the sorting of cells, but much like "Xeroxed", 
>>etc., has become a generic term for flow cytometry protocols.  Am I right? 
>> Should this person be allowed to use this term, or should it be changed? 
>You are right.  FACS is Becton-Dickinson's brand name, and a reference to 
>something like "FACS analysis" in a manuscript should be changed to "flow 
>cytometry", even if a B-D machine was used.
>     Received: from dossj.BDIS.COM ( by cc.bdis.com with SMTP
>  (IMA Internet Exchange 2.11 Enterprise) id 000573C1; Wed, 5 Aug 98 10:42:07
>Received: from flowcyt.cyto.purdue.edu ([]) by dossj.BDIS.COM
>          via smtpd (for INTERGATE []) with SMTP; 5 Aug 1998
>17:13:09 UT
>Received: (from root at localhost)
>	by flowcyt.cyto.purdue.edu (8.9.1/8.8.7) id LAA12899
>	for cyto-sendout; Wed, 5 Aug 1998 11:47:34 -0500
>Received: (from bin at localhost)
>	by flowcyt.cyto.purdue.edu (8.9.1/8.8.7) id IAA12223
>	for kelley; Wed, 5 Aug 1998 08:53:12 -0500
>Received: from chmls05.mediaone.net (ne.mediaone.net [])
>	by flowcyt.cyto.purdue.edu (8.9.1/8.8.7) with ESMTP id IAA12219
>	for <cytometry at flowcyt.cyto.purdue.edu>; Wed, 5 Aug 1998 08:53:10 -0500
>Received: from NewMicronPC.ne.mediaone.net (hms.ne.mediaone.net
>	by chmls05.mediaone.net (8.8.7/8.8.7) with SMTP id JAA00545;
>	Wed, 5 Aug 1998 09:54:23 -0400 (EDT)
>Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 09:54:23 -0400 (EDT)
>Message-Id: <199808051354.JAA00545 at chmls05.mediaone.net>
>X-Sender: hmsmdpc at shell1.shore.net
>X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Light Version 1.5.2
>Mime-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>To: cyto-inbox
>From: Howard Shapiro <hms at shapirolab.com>
>Subject: Re: "FACS"
>Cc: Cytometry Mailing List <cytometry at flowcyt.cyto.purdue.edu>

David W. Galbraith
Professor of Plant Sciences
Department of Plant Sciences
University of Arizona
303 Forbes Building
Tucson Arizona 85721 USA.
Tel: (520) 621-9153
Fax: (520) 621-7186
Email: galbraith at arizona.edu
Plant-Insect Interaction program:  http://ag.arizona.edu/pii-rtg

More information about the Cytometry mailing list