I received an email last night with a question that asked about HTML entities and how they are treated by search engines. For what are HTML entities are, please see html-help, they look like © ® ™.
Anyway, the person asked me if it was true that having trademark or copyright symbol on a page can hurt ones rankings. Of course my response was, no way! I made sure to ask the question, "where did you hear this from?"
She responded that she heard it from some person who attended the SES Toronto show. It is amazing how messages get distorted as they go through a chain of communication. Person A hears from original source that using a company name or trademark name in the title of your pages is key problem that people do, (i.e. no one searches on a company name, unless your rustybrick ;)). Person A tells Person B that he heard that having trademarks in the title is bad for search engine purposes. Well, its fine for SEO purposes if you want to rank well for your trademark. Person B tells Person C that having trademark or other HTML entities in the body of your content can hurt your rankings. See where this is going? :)