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Trademarked "cocky"

Switch Blayde

There is an interesting discussion on wattpad. A romance novelist has a series of novels with the word "cocky" in the title. You know, "The Cocky Bastard," "The Cocky Apprentice." I made up those titles, but that's the gist. So what does she do? She trademarks and watermarks the word cocky. And then has the gaul to go after authors that use the word in their titles (I guess it's popular in romance novels).

This is the link that was posted for the kboards discussion: https://www.kboards.com/index.php?topic=263084.0

Why she was allowed to trademark a common word like "cocky" I have no idea. But it was legit to watermark it. Watermarking is using the word in a certain style. The problem is, the font she chose to use doesn't allow her to do that and now she's in trouble with the font owner.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Why she was allowed to trademark a common word like "cocky" I have no idea. But it was legit to watermark it.


You can thank Microsoft and Windows for that.

Replies:   Tw0Cr0ws
REP

@Switch Blayde

I went to the patent office and looked up cocky as a trademark. There are 2 listings owned by Hip Hop Productions for books in the field of romance.
http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=searchss&state=4810:13z311.1.1

You could tell everyone to spell it as 'cocki' that doesn't appear to be trademarked.

Tw0Cr0ws

@Dominions Son

Also the pharmaceutical companies that patent people's DNA so that no one else can sell a way to diagnose genetic illnesses caused by that gene.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Tw0Cr0ws

No, patents are a completely different legal issue from trademarks. There is zero relationship between the two.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

It's extremely depressing that a writer, having achieved a modicum of success, would then stab their struggling colleagues in the back.

Many espousers of pithy writing-related aphorisms claim that creative writers are not in competition. This is just one example that some are.

AJ

robberhands

I'm pretty sure, even in the land of the unlimited opportunities, the 'cocky' trademark owner will be laughed out of court would she ever attempt to sue someone for a trademark violation.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Michael Loucks

@awnlee jawking

It's extremely depressing that a writer, having achieved a modicum of success, would then stab their struggling colleagues in the back.


And make watching the Kentucky Derby extremely annoying because nobody will say '...and down the stretch they come' because it's trademarked. Sigh.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/06/sports/and-down-the-stretch-they-come-all-rights-reserved.html

REP
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


owner will be laughed out of court would she ever attempt to sue someone for a trademark violation.


Robberhand stated the above. Personally, I tend to agree with him. My understanding is trademarks are a graphic or text symbol placed on a product to associate the specific product with a company or persons product line. Others cannot place the trademark on their product.

For a book, the artwork, title, descriptions, and text making up the story are all part of the book. I suspect a lawyer could make a case in court by pointing out that the word 'cocky' used as part of a book's title, description, or story text is different from the trademark 'cocky' which identifies a book as part of her romance series.

Do you know if the woman going after people for trademark violation has been to court yet? if so, what was the ruling?

ETA: If the court rules in her favor, then authors could not legally use the word cocky in any romance novel.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Many espousers of pithy writing-related aphorisms claim that creative writers are not in competition. This is just one example that some are.

The general rule of thumb is: good writers really don't care what anyone else writes. However, non-creative authors are quick to stab each other in the back (most often by posting fake reviews attacking 'competing' author's books), because they don't trust their work to stand on it's own.

I'm hardly a tremendous success as an author, although I AM prolific. Although my books don't sell well, I trust that the writing speaks for itself, and I don't need to cheat to get anyone to consider my books. They'll either enjoy my style of writing, or they won't. Nothing I do will change that. Stabbing others in the back will never make me a better author.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@REP


ETA: If the court rules in her favor, then authors could not legally use the word cocky in any romance novel.


I think it was only in the title.

Do you know "And down the stretch they come!" is trademarked? From an article titled "Why you won't hear 'And down the stretch they come!' on the Kentucky Derby 2018 broadcast" at https://www.courier-journal.com/story/entertainment/events/kentucky-derby/2018/04/26/and-down-stretch-they-come-kentucky-derby-trademark/551564002/

Johnson doesn't work in TV anymore, but his iconic line was trademarked several years ago.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

I'm pretty sure, even in the land of the unlimited opportunities, the 'cocky' trademark owner will be laughed out of court would she ever attempt to sue someone for a trademark violation.

You're undoubtedly right, but it costs virtually nothing to send a 'cease and desist' letter, while taking someone to court will expose the person bringing the suit to a world of bad publicity. Imagine every late night comedian, making fun of this author's gall and openly questioning her qualifications.

It would never get to court, regardless of her baseless claims.

REP

@Switch Blayde

I think it was only in the title.


I agree that use of cocky as an adjective is different from using it to identify a book as part of a trademarked product line.

To play devils advocate, titles are like names. Some trademark owners use their trademark as part of their product's name. Thus using cocky as part of a book's title might be viewed as a similar usage.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I presume the guilty party is Faleena Hopkins, who seems to have churned out quite a number of books in a series with 'cocky' in the title.

Another author named Tara Crescent also has a series containing the word 'cocky' but I could only see two books in it.

AJ

Ernest Bywater

There was a major court case in the US I read about a few years back based on the name of a particular mountain- I forget which it was. A t-shirt company used it on t-shirts and a beverage company used the same for their beverage. One took the other to court for trademark violation. I remember it because the decision was there was no trademark violation because the court felt the name was in the public domain and they used different fonts to display the name. The judge went on to say if the font was the same and in the same colours to the extent anyone looking at one would identify it with the other, then it would be a trademark violation. If I remember right that decision was at the highest court within that state. However, the same would likely be true at the US Supreme Court level.

Based on that sort of info having the word 'cocky' in the title would not be a violation unless done in exactly the same font, but if she trademarked something like 'The Cocky Series' then using the same wording to promote a story would be a violation. The 'Space Marine' case has made it clear certain words and phrases may be trademarked but they won't be upheld in court.

Tw0Cr0ws

Copyright is granted for original creative works.

Word Origin and History for cocky
adj.

"arrogantly pert," 1768; originally "lecherous" (1540s); from cock (n.1) + -y (2). Related: Cockiness.

Unless she is well over 250 years old there is no way she created the word cocky.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Tw0Cr0ws

Copyright is granted for original creative works.


Not copyright — trademark

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