15.  Is there a valid trademark on 'NLP' or 'Neuro-linguistic Programming'?


To the best of my knowledge there are no such trademarks.
That is to say, the only trademarks I know of were issued in the UK in late 1997, only to be withdrawn in the summer of 1998; and in Spain, also now withdrawn (as far as I know).
The Spanish trademark was almost certainly invalid on the grounds that it was generic.  The organisation that obtained that trademark no longer has a web site and I haven't been able to discover whether it still exists.

If anyone knows different please let me know and I'll be glad to edit these details accordingly.

I have asked several people whose sites feature the NLP label with the trademark suffix - including the NLP Webring - where (geographically) it applies.  Few of the people questioned have even replied.  No-one has been willing, thus far, to tell me where the trademark(s) is/are registered.
You'll have to draw your own conclusions as to why no answers are forthcoming.

By the same token, Richard Bandler's own website has (at one time or another) listed a string of titles with a trademark suffix, including both 'NLP' and 'Neuro-linguistic Programming', at the bottom of the home page.  The final part of the paragraph stated that all of the trademarks and servicemarks were owned by Richard Bandler "and may be registered in your jurisdiction"
Unfortunately there was never any indication of just where "your jurisdiction" might be, so there is no way to tell where whoever wrote these statements believes the trademarks on 'NLP' and 'Neuro-linguistic Programming' may apply/have applied.

!!! WARNING !!!

  1. 'NLP' and 'Neuro-Linguistic Programming' are only generic when used in isolation.  When included as part of a larger label, such as the 'Society of NLP™', which identifies a specific organisation or product, the trademark and/or servicemark registration does not violate the 'no generic titles' rule, and the safest course of action is to assume that it is entirely valid and treat it as such.
  2. Whatever the situation in regard to a particular trademark, all of the material created by Richard Bandler, John Grinder (or anyone else, for that matter) is automatically copyright as soon as it is 'written down' (in whatever form).
    Copyright is a completely separate matter from trademarks, and the copyright nature of all written material - books, articles, training materials, audio and video tapes, etc. should always be respected.