Every issue of NR is packed with great stuff. The current issue, however, has one item that soars above everything else: a letter from Richard F. Zamboni. Yes, he is one of those Zambonis, and he’s on our team:
On Thin Ice
I have been a subscriber to National Review since at least 1971. Your publication not only was the first, but continues to be what I consider the finest, source of conservative thoughts and ideals.
That said, it concerned me — as I eagerly leafed through the March 8 issue to read one of my favorite columns, Mark Steyn’s “Happy Warrior” — to discover that with a flick of his deft pen Mr. Steyn had seemed to relieve our family company, which makes ice-resurfacing machines, of a long-held trademark by declaring its name, “Zamboni,” a generic noun.
For more than 60 years, the Zamboni brand name has been a valuable trademark, and we diligently protect it. Like “Coke,” “Kleenex,” and “Jeep,” “Zamboni” has a close identity in the public mind with a particular type of commodity — but please remember: A trademark is always an adjective, never a generic noun. “Zamboni” is the brand, and “ice-resurfacing machine” is the generic product name.
Richard F. Zamboni
President, Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc.
“I Wanna Drive the Zamboni” is one of the most-played songs on my iPod, thanks to those early-morning drives to hockey practice.
I hope Steyn has sent a groveling letter of apology.