mblart

Author Topic: Trademark, series, titles, and...yeah...lawsuits (Cockygate & ordinary-word TMs)  (Read 74869 times)  

Offline catlife

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 174
  • Gender: Female
  • Devon, England :)
    • View Profile

Offline Acheknia

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 711
  • Gender: Female
  • UK
    • View Profile
Not sure if this has been mentioned, there's a petition on Move On. 

https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/cancel-faleena-hopkins?source=s.fb&r_hash=vIfi2dpj

Offline ibizwiz

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 119
    • View Profile
It seems clear that Ms. Hopkins will be thwarted in her attempt to thwart her targets. I'm much more concerned now for the authors who've been penalized in any way by unthinking (or cowardly) Amazon due to her shenanigans. Is someone making a list of these victims so that we can petition the 'Zon to make things right? Surely a separate Move-On petition signed by ten thousand readers and authors would force Amazon to make this a priority?

Online Atlantisatheart

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
    • View Profile
Not sure if this has been mentioned, there's a petition on Move On. 

https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/cancel-faleena-hopkins?source=s.fb&r_hash=vIfi2dpj

It's so good to see the indie community standing together to back their own once more. We need to stamp out bad practice wherever we find it for the sake of ourselves and those that come after us.

Offline Acheknia

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 711
  • Gender: Female
  • UK
    • View Profile
It's so good to see the indie community standing together to back their own once more. We need to stamp out bad practice wherever we find it for the sake of ourselves and those that come after us.

I agree, I've no idea how many people have been/will be affected by this.

I really feel for anyone that's changed their titles already (new or updated covers etc) those that feel as though they have to, but can't afford it or people that will get the letters, some may not even know about it yet.


Offline Hoop

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
the claims that Jasper's book was the driving force behind this catastrophic choice boggles my mind.
I saw that claim, and she must be psychic, or a time-traveler.
She filed for the trademark in the fall of last year. Jasper didn't publish her book until this year.

Offline Concerned writer

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
I'm not sure if this has already been mentioned, but her Cocky Quarterback book uses the Atlanta Falcons and the Super Bowl.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the NFL pretty serious about protecting their own trademarks and brand?

Offline Shelley K

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2001
  • Does things wrong.
    • View Profile
Quote from: Elizabeth Barone
To be fair, I haven't seen her mock, belittle, or call anyone names. That's all been hearsay. She might not seem to understand exactly what a trademark is, but most of the people talking about this don't appear to, either. On the flip side, I've seen a lot of "professionals" publicly calling her some pretty nasty names.
Check her Facebook author page, where she puts up a photo of Jamila Jasper's cover and then refers to Jamila as "hacks like these".

Hearsay is something you hear from others that you cannot substantiate, so this isn't that. All you have to do is look and her bad behavior is out there, easy enough to spot. I'm horrified by some of the particularly vicious things people are saying to her and about her, I don't think it reflects very well on them as professionals and maybe people, but that in no way excuses her.

I'm in awe that she's done this, but at the same time I feel kind of bad for her, because I don't think she's mentally grasping the uproar she's caused. She seems to be riding high on a wave of overblown self-importance and grandeur with no real sense of the consequences of her statements and actions. Those are rarely good signs in the big scheme of things. And I think she's set herself up for a heck of a fall from which I'd much rather her find a softer landing than not so she can recover and move on rather than end up destroyed as so many people seem to wish for her. I don't think she understands the enormity of the mistake she's made, and there can be a lot of reasons for that.

Maybe my compassion is misplaced. I've been wrong before. But I still cringe when I see people, under their professional names, saying things in the heat of the moment that, man, maybe they shouldn't be putting out there into the unforgiving, never forgetting interwebz. 



Edited.  PM me if you have any questions.  --Betsy/KB Mod
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 10:29:53 AM by Betsy the Quilter »

Offline J.J. Fitch

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Gender: Female
  • US
  • Follow me on twitter @JJ_Fitch
    • View Profile
Hearsay is something you hear from others that you cannot substantiate, so this isn't that. All you have to do is look and her bad behavior is out there, easy enough to spot. I'm horrified by some of the particularly vicious things people are saying to her and about her, I don't think it reflects very well on them as professionals and maybe people, but that in no way excuses her.

I'm in awe that she's done this, but at the same time I feel kind of bad for her, because I don't think she's mentally grasping the uproar she's caused.

Agreed. I'm inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt and just hope that she realizes what exactly is so wrong about this. I hate seeing so much hatred flung around.

Does anyone know if trademarks can be enforced retroactively? I've seen a few people mention that they can't and it seems that Miss Jasper's novel was published prior to the trademark being granted.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 10:25:46 AM by J.J. Fitch »

Offline David VanDyke

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1783
    • View Profile

 She seems to be riding high on a wave of overblown self-importance and grandeur with no real sense of the consequences of her statements and actions. ... And I think she's set herself up for a heck of a fall ... I don't think she understands the enormity of the mistake she's made, and there can be a lot of reasons for that.

A story as old as mankind.

"Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad." - ancient proverb, apocryphal provenance

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." - Proverbs 16:18




Futuristic Thrillers, Mysteries and Science Fiction
David VanDyke | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter[/

Offline Evelyn Alexie

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 176
    • View Profile
Merriam Webster tweeted their Word of the Day yesterday: Cockalorum.

Definition of cockalorum

plural cockalorums
1 : a boastful and self-important person
2 : leapfrog
3 : boastful talk
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

Online Betsy the Quilter

  • To paraphrase Bill Murray in Groundhog Day: "I'm a goddess; not THE Goddess. I don't think."
  • Administrator
  • Status: Shakespeare
  • *****
  • Posts: 63153
  • Gender: Female
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Love all, moderate all, to quote my friend Harvey
    • View Profile
    • Betsy True Designs
Let's not make personal comments; discuss the issues and how this impacts the indie community.  Aim high, folks.  We're reviewing...posts may be edited or removed.  If your post disappears, feel free to PM me.

Betsy
KB Mod
Goodreads Goal -- 75 books


Joined 10/27/2008  | Miss you, Harvey, Jeff & Dona!
Harvey Chute (1962-2015), KB Founder

Proud Owner: Oasis/Voyage/Touch/Basic/K1/Fire HDX
Betsy True Designs Facebook | My Store

Offline J.J. Fitch

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Gender: Female
  • US
  • Follow me on twitter @JJ_Fitch
    • View Profile
I've been searching e-book trademarks to see exactly what is the standard. Most of them are unique titles and if it's a single word, it's an unusual work or made up one.

By the way, I stumbled upon a trademark made at the same time as "Cocky." It's for: THE KURTHERIAN GAMBIT           Register # 5445957

So, it seems that this is going to be happening a lot more now. It's definitely time that we understand the implications. Obviously, something like The Kurtherian Gambit wouldn't cause an uproar. It's so unique. But many more authors will be rushing to get their trademarks as well.

ETA:
Also found this trademark:    20 BOOKS TO 50K     Serial # 87342653
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 10:51:58 AM by J.J. Fitch »

Offline David VanDyke

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1783
    • View Profile
Merriam Webster tweeted their Word of the Day yesterday: Cockalorum.

Definition of cockalorum

plural cockalorums
1 : a boastful and self-important person
2 : leapfrog
3 : boastful talk

They must have done a last-minute insert? Here's their standard WOD site:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/calendar

No cockalorum. :(  But it's real:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cockalorum



Futuristic Thrillers, Mysteries and Science Fiction
David VanDyke | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter[/

Offline ShayneRutherford

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3647
  • Toronto, Ontario
    • View Profile
    • My Website

Maybe my compassion is misplaced. I've been wrong before. But I still cringe when I see people, under their professional names, saying things in the heat of the moment that, man, maybe they shouldn't be putting out there into the unforgiving, never forgetting interwebz. 



Getting that trademark didnt happen in the heat of the moment. It took a while.
     

Offline RBN

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 597
    • View Profile
I'm not sure if this has already been mentioned, but her Cocky Quarterback book uses the Atlanta Falcons and the Super Bowl.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the NFL pretty serious about protecting their own trademarks and brand?

They sure are. Hence the proliferation of made-up leagues and teams in all sports in Romancelandia. Publishers like Harlequin sometimes acquire licensing deals, but this dear doesn't bother to read font and stock art licenses, so it seems unlikely she requested permission to use the NFL as a major aspect in her fiction.

Offline Evelyn Alexie

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 176
    • View Profile
There are two issues: how to react when faced with a Twitter storm and whether or not an individual can claim a word as "theirs." Or anything, really.

There was a To Do some years ago because a couple of Indian-American scientists tried to patent turmeric, or at least the properties in it that helped people heal.

https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/science-and-technology/story/19970908-patents-india-wins-a-victory-over-turmeric-but-the-war-is-on-832438-1997-09-08

They were granted the patent, but then Indians fought back saying it had been a known ingredient in medical compounds for a very long time. The patent was overturned.
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

Offline Evelyn Alexie

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 176
    • View Profile
They must have done a last-minute insert? Here's their standard WOD site:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/calendar

No cockalorum. :(  But it's real:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cockalorum

Mea maxima culpa! (i.e. "my bad")
That was the Word of the Day on May 4th, but a previous year. It was retreated on May 4th of this year.
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

Online Rick Gualtieri

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4830
  • Gender: Male
  • NJ
  • Renaissance Geek
    • View Profile
    • RickGualtieri.com
I've been searching e-book trademarks to see exactly what is the standard. Most of them are unique titles and if it's a single word, it's an unusual work or made up one.

By the way, I stumbled upon a trademark made at the same time as "Cocky." It's for: THE KURTHERIAN GAMBIT           Register # 5445957

So, it seems that this is going to be happening a lot more now. It's definitely time that we understand the implications. Obviously, something like The Kurtherian Gambit wouldn't cause an uproar. It's so unique. But many more authors will be rushing to get their trademarks as well.

ETA:
Also found this trademark:    20 BOOKS TO 50K     Serial # 87342653

People trademarking series name or made up words isn't now and will probably never be the issue (unless someone maybe tries to be cute  and simply calls their series "Reverse Harem", "Vampire", or "The").  The issue here is the overreaching and going for a single common word, and claiming it defines their books and theirs alone.

That's the real issue to worry about here. Someone trademarking "The love muffins series", isn't damaging, but someone attempting to trademark just "love" is.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 11:11:26 AM by Rick Gualtieri »


Making fantasy fun again, one corpse at a time
Rick Gualtieri | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Bill The Vampire on Facebook | YouTube[/u

Offline J.J. Fitch

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Gender: Female
  • US
  • Follow me on twitter @JJ_Fitch
    • View Profile
People trademarking series name or made up words isn't now and will probably never be the issue (unless someone maybe tries to be cute  and simply calls their series "Reverse Harem", "Vampire", or "The").  The issue here is the overreaching and going for a single common word, and claiming it defines their books and theirs alone.

That's the real issue to worry about here. Someone trademarking "The love muffins series", isn't damaging, but someone attempting to trademark just "love" is.

Obviously, which is why I said it wouldn't cause an uproar. But we'll definitely see more people rushing to trademark. And the precedent of "cocky" could make things complicated.

Offline dgcasey

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 385
  • Gender: Male
  • Las Vegas
    • View Profile
It appears that an author has trademarked the mark "cocky" for "A series of books in the field of romance" and "A series of downloadable e-books in the field of romance."

This sounds like something I ran into a few years ago when I was designing t-shirts and posters at Cafepress. Some jack*** was litigating against anyone that created a design with the word CAUTION in it. I don't know if it's still the case, but it seems to me that this kind of thing should not be allowed and should be tossed out of court, sight unseen.
The Wrath - The Chronicles of Wyndweir Book #2: 100%

City of Time: 29%

Brownies & Bullets: 20%
War is coming. They think he can be their leader. He's not so sure.
D Glenn Casey | My author\\\\\\\'s blog | My artist\\\\\\\'s blog

Offline My Dog's Servant

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 979
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile

So, it seems that this is going to be happening a lot more now. It's definitely time that we understand the implications.


This definitely should be the point of the conversation.

Anderle is certainly not the first to trademark elements that are clearly unique to him and to his published work. In his case, they are easily distinguishable and 100% unique to him--at least as phrases and used in the specific circumstances of his publishing efforts. The question is, where does a reasonable line get drawn?

Anybody know how this has been handled in the Amazon Worlds world? If any series/world title was trademarked, who did the trademarking and on whose behalf? How is this covered in the contracts between Amazon, the world's original creator, and the writers who want to write in that world?


Offline JulesWright

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 111
    • View Profile
In general, trademarking seems to be getting out of hand.  I'm in the Amazon Merch program for the t-shirts and people are trademarking the most common of words and phrases to the point that it's ridiculous.  I'm not really active in it, but in order to put up a t-shirt on Amazon you have to do trademark searches and if there is a trademark for a word or phrase you can't use it on your t-shirt and it also cannot appear anywhere in your product description.  That sounds reasonable that you shouldn't be able to use someone else's established brand, but if you look at what has and is being trademarked it is to the point of absurdity.  Looks like it could be headed that way with books too.  I'm not sure how unique a series name would have to be to get a trademark granted, but it doesn't seem that stringent - based on what I have seen for t-shirts and this recent one of "cocky".   Whether it would hold up or not to a legal challenge is a different story.  Either way, not a good trend in my opinion.

Online Rick Gualtieri

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4830
  • Gender: Male
  • NJ
  • Renaissance Geek
    • View Profile
    • RickGualtieri.com
Obviously, which is why I said it wouldn't cause an uproar. But we'll definitely see more people rushing to trademark. And the precedent of "cocky" could make things complicated.

Oh no doubt, which is why I personally think this big blowup that's been going on all weekend is important.  There are plenty out there hoping to sweep this under the rug (some using the guise that the author in question is being "bullied") and I can't help but think there's the ulterior motive that at least some of them hope her gambit succeeds and opens the door to their own machinations.


Making fantasy fun again, one corpse at a time
Rick Gualtieri | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Bill The Vampire on Facebook | YouTube[/u

Offline C. Gockel

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4529
  • Chicago, IL
    • View Profile
By the way, I stumbled upon a trademark made at the same time as "Cocky." It's for: THE KURTHERIAN GAMBIT           Register # 5445957

So, it seems that this is going to be happening a lot more now. It's definitely time that we understand the implications. Obviously, something like The Kurtherian Gambit wouldn't cause an uproar. It's so unique. But many more authors will be rushing to get their trademarks as well.

ETA: Also found this trademark:    20 BOOKS TO 50K     Serial # 87342653

No one should even pretend that a trademark for a SERIES is the same as trademarking a single word. Craig and Michael are not going after people with 20 in their titles or Gambit.

And both are too business savvy to do so. Here is an interesting article on a similar case of a woman trademarking the word "Hon." She nearly destroyed her business--and has become an example in business schools of how not to handle trademark. http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/cafe-hon-gordon-ramsay-fight-liberate-word-revisited/2014/04/16

« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 11:36:00 AM by C. Gockel »


I write books about Change, Chaos, and Loki
C. Gockel | facebook | tumblr | website

Buy Scrivener for Windows or Mac