In Reply:-The communication to which Dr. Baum refers was not a response to a letter to the editor; instead, it was a de novo submission. Dr. Baum also seems confused about the purpose and nature of the Outcomes Research [trademark sign] Group.
The group was founded in 1990 and now includes 65 members in 10 countries. Our primary interest is large outcome studies; however, we continue to conduct smaller studies. Fewer than half are thermoregulatory, and a fair number are unrelated to anesthesia. We have more than 60 studies in progress, and the group typically publishes more than 20 full articles each year. Most of our funding is derived from peer-reviewed sources, including the National Institutes of Health. However, we are neither a corporation nor a foundation; consequently, all funds are administered by host universities.
Additional information about the group, including a list of members, is available from our web site: outcomes-research.org. This site includes a searchable bibliography of more than 2,500 references related to thermoregulation and other group interests. The entire database can be downloaded in EndNote [registered sign] format. The web site similarly includes various slide presentations; these PowerPoint [registered sign] files also can be downloaded for teaching purposes.
Dr. Baum wonders how we can trademark a relatively common term, and what the implication might be. There is no particular difficulty obtaining trademark protection for common terms. Consider, for example, "Palm" of the Palm III organizer. We registered "Outcomes Research" rather than "Outcomes Research Group" for the same reason that the Apple Computer, Inc. registered the term "Apple" rather than "Apple Computer Company": So we can refer to the group using the shorter and more convenient term. A trademark on Outcomes Research does not preclude casual or descriptive use of the words outcomes research. However, it would be inappropriate to use the proper noun Outcomes Research to solicit grants or corporate contracts, especially if doing so engendered any confusion with our group.
We appreciate Dr. Baum's interest in supporting our efforts. Checks can be made payable to the Regents of the University of California and mailed to my attention. Small unmarked bills will also be accepted.
Daniel I. Sessler, M.D.
Professor; Department of Anesthesia; University of California, San Francisco; Professor; Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Clinical Anesthesia and Intensive Care; Director; Outcomes Research [trademark sign]; Professor and Vice-Chair; Department of Anesthesia and General Intensive Care; University of Vienna; Vienna, Austria;email@example.com
(Accepted for publication March 23, 1999.)