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Discussion Starter #1
Can you use trademark words like company names in your book title if you put the R trademark symbol on the word? Like how many companies like for dummies and idiots guides do?
They publish facebook for dummies, Disneyland for dummies, as well many other non fiction publishers but I notice they also include the trademark symbol. Plus in their copyright page, they mention all trademark terms are respect to the trademark owners.

Does anyone know if using trademarked terms are allowed on book titles? I'm pretty sure for dummies does not contact every single company about it as they publish for so many company names and trademarked terms.
 

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No. You need permission from the trademark holders. Using the symbol would be required, but in itself does not make the use of a trademark allowed. The For Dummies books indeed had to get every single company to agree to the use of the name, and they have in fact trademarked the "For Dummies" phrase.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
how do you "The For Dummies books indeed had to get every single company to agree to the use of the name"? (is this simply a guess or have you seen any proof of this?) for dummies has published what i believer over 1000+ titles...you think they actually got approval for all the titles? i highly doubt it as many companies would not agree to it. not to mention all the tons of books out there talkinga bout other companies (not in the best way) and they have the company's name on the book titles as well.

... as well as many other publishers have published a lot of book with trademarked terms into their book titles.
 

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blueman3 said:
how do you "The For Dummies books indeed had to get every single company to agree to the use of the name"? (is this simply a guess or have you seen any proof of this?) for dummies has published what i believer over 1000+ titles...you think they actually got approval for all the titles? i highly doubt it as many companies would not agree to it. not to mention all the tons of books out there talkinga bout other companies (not in the best way) and they have the company's name on the book titles as well.

... as well as many other publishers have published a lot of book with trademarked terms into their book titles.
Yes, I actually believe they got permission to use all those trademarks. I think the For Dummies people are not dummies. And given the popularity of the Dummies books, I think a trademark holder would have no qualms suing for damages.

Why wouldn't the companies agree? Again, the For Dummies empire is quite vast. And the exposure wouldn't hurt.

But you seem determined to use trademarks you have no permission to use. Maybe you won't be noticed, or maybe you will.
 

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Have you researched the trademark in question?

For example, Apache states on its website:

MAY I USE APACHE MARKS IN THE TITLE OR COVER OF PUBLISHED BOOKS?
In general, yes, as long as you comply with the rest of Apache trademark policies, in particular in regard to not claiming association or endorsement of/for/by the ASF. For more details or for explicit permissions, please contact us.


Either get explicit permission or talk to a lawyer. The First Amendment protects some use of a trademark in a title, but that area of the law quickly gets murky once you leave strict news reporting/criticism/parody.
 

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I wouldn't do it, approval or no approval, trademark symbol or no trademark symbol.

You're just asking for problems.

 

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You can read about a case called Rogers v. Grimaldi, which will give you an idea of what courts might look at to decide whether use of a trademark in the book title is protected by the First Amendment.  I am an attorney, but this does not constitute legal advice - just something you might look into.
 

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Well, you can take the advice you asked for, from people with experience in publishing, or you can do what you want. You should actually ask a qualified attorney, to CYA, but I'm guessing you just want to be told you can do and say what you want, under some notion of "free speech", or "fair use".

Whatever.
 

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unkownwriter said:
Well, you can take the advice you asked for, from people with experience in publishing, or you can do what you want. You should actually ask a qualified attorney, to CYA, but I'm guessing you just want to be told you can do and say what you want, under some notion of "free speech", or "fair use".

Whatever.
^Yep!!

Why on earth do you think people have taken the time and trouble to trademark their company names and/or products?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
no one seemed to answer this situation -  tons of books out there talking about other companies (not in the best way) and they have the company's name on the book titles as well. why would these books be published?
 

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The key will be "would your use confuse people about whether this is an official produce of the company or not?"

In general, for a title, the answer is don't use it, not worth taking the chance.
 

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unkownwriter said:
Well, you can take the advice you asked for, from people with experience in publishing, or you can do what you want. You should actually ask a qualified attorney, to CYA, but I'm guessing you just want to be told you can do and say what you want, under some notion of "free speech", or "fair use".

Whatever.
I'm a trademark and copyright attorney, and if any indie writer wants to hire me to analyze their particular situation, I'm happy to do that. My guess is that most won't want to pay for an attorney to advise on something that they can look into on their own. The fact of the matter is that, generally speaking, the use of a word or name as the title of a literary work is not trademark use, and thus often does not give rise to a claim of trademark infringement provided that the test used by courts (the Rogers v. Grimaldi test) is met. I understand the instinct to advise writers to steer clear, but that's actually not based on an understanding of the law. If there's a particular reason you want to use that mark, the fact of the matter is that it might be defensible, and it might not. It depends on the circumstances. But there is an actual legal test that you can look into and make an informed decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So what if you want to make a non fiction how to guide on how to use pinterest....can I publish with a title called pinterest for rookies? (If I put the R symbol)? Plus in the copyright/disclaimer section I would say I am not endorsed by pinterest and I am not representing them. Just giving how to tips from my own point of view. This is mainly a question for how to books.
 
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