Remember a couple of weeks ago when we wrote about the author who trademarked the word “cocky” and demanded that all books that included it in the title be removed from the country’s bookshelves. Here’s the latest on the situation and the furor it caused:
Judge Denies Author Attempt to Trademark ‘Cocky’
by Jim Milliot
In a decision handed down late last week, Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York denied a motion by an author requesting that a preliminary injunction be issued to prevent publication a number of books that include the word “cocky” in the title.
This spring, author Faleena Hopkins obtained a trademark registration of the word “cocky” in connection with her series of self-published romance novels, each featuring one of her Cocker Brothers characters. Before filing suit, Hopkins sought to block the sale of other romance books that included “cocky” in their title, and sent letters to authors telling them to change the title of their books. Hopkins also asked Amazon to pull other books featuring “cocky” in their titles from sale.
Although Hopkins had obtained her trademark, the law only allows trademarks in limited cases. The law prevents individual titles from being trademarked, only series titles, and allows that common words cannot be trademarked at all, unless they develop an association in the minds of the public with a particular source.
Following Hopkins’ letter-writing campaign and contact with Amazon, the Authors Guild and the Romance Writers Association separately requested that Amazon place the removed books back on sale….
LB’s NOTE: Modern culture is saved! I feel so much more secure now. Whew.