In case you haven’t heard, there’s an indie author who filed for and received a trademark for the word “cocky.” If you aren’t a romance writer, this probably wouldn’t affect you, but it’s caused an outcry in a community with over 700 titles using that word.
I wrote a long piece for Our Write Side about “Cocky Gate” and what writers need to know about trademarks and how to use copyrighted or trademarked material legally in their own work. Here’s the intro and a link to the full article:
If you are an active member of Facebook writing groups or keep up to date on publishing news, you’ve probably heard Faleena Hopkins over the past few weeks. Things got even hotter on May 26 when Hopkins began legal proceedings against people seeking to challenge her claim to the word “cocky.”
This month on Our Write Side, we already planned to cover a number of legal issues, including trademarks. In light of “Cocky Gate,” it seemed like a great way to kick off the month. In this article, we’ll look at:
- What is a trademark, its limitations, and when they are appropriate
- The major players so far in the debate of the trademark of the word “cocky”
- The legality of the claim and how it has affected writers
- Tips for authors about how and when to protect their work