When a company’s product so thoroughly corners a market that it becomes well-known even by those who have never used it, the company faces a problem: generic use of that product’s name. You’re likely to hear the term “dumpster” used generically, for example, as it is now a genericized trademark due to its common usage. Other trademarks have suffered the same fate — yo-yo, for example, and aspirin. Adobe doesn’t want its popular photo-editing software Photoshop to suffer the same fate, but it may be too late to stop it.
Adobe spells out all the ways you should and shouldn’t use its trademarks on its website, but it has dedicated a special section exclusively to how you should and shouldn’t use the term “Photoshop”.
“Trademarks are not verbs … are not nouns,” says Adobe. How so? You can say “This was enhanced using Adobe Photoshop software,” says the company, but it doesn’t want to see the phrase, “The image was photoshopped.”
Similarly, Adobe says terms like “The photoshop”, “photoshopped,” “Photoshopped” with a capital “P”, and “Adobe Photoshopped” are all things you shan’t say. In addition, the company says you shouldn’t use its trademark as a slang term — “A photoshopper” — nor in possessive form: “Photoshop’s new features are impressive,” is the example it gives in that case.
It doesn’t want to see you abbreviating “Photoshop” as PS, either.
How can you use it?
Correct: The image was manipulated using Adobe® Photoshop® software.
Incorrect: The image was manipulated using Photoshop.
All of which is to say, Adobe’s Photoshop trademark is likely doomed.