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WTFery: Trademark on the word "Cocky" in romance

Well, here we go.

Authors, publishers, cover designers, and really, anyone in the…world should care about this.

The Story:

Many of you already know this, but a romance author has trademarked the word “cocky,” both as its specialized font, but also the word itself (i.e. a wordmark).

Please don't tell me she can't: she has. It's a done deal, was approved May 1.

Although titles cannot usually be trademarked (or copyrighted), one author who contacted the USPTO was told that a “likelihood of confusion clause” would probably apply, allowing them to not only apply the trademark to a SERIES titles, but BOOK titles too. 

This is an incredibly unsettling precedent, that someone can be granted the exclusive right to a COMMON USE word. Additionally, a word already used on a plethora existing book titles in the genre. 

This is insane. If other authors begin trademarking common use words–oh, say, “warrior” or “duke”–we will be left with nothing but prepositions in our titles. 

Equally important: this does not seem like a move designed to protect her own brand. 

It feels like a move to suppress competition.

That's not what trademarks are for.

She is in the process of issuing cease & desist letters to other romance authors, claiming they must change their titles, or they will be sued and they will owe her all their earnings.

She has indicated that this is “no big deal,” and should only take the authors “one day” to do.

Um…no.

We'll see what happens.

 

For your continued reading pleasure: 

http://www.pajiba.com/think_pieces/cocky-writer-romance-author-faleena-hopkins-trademarks-cocky-and-tries-to-shut-down-others-using-the-word.php

http://legalinspiration.com/?p=503

And/or, you can follow #cockygate, #freecocky, and similar threads on Twitter.

 

Intro The Hero: Defiant

I was updating the ebook file of DEFIANT, and was reminded of what a bad man Jamie Lost is.  Really, not nice at all.  Eva is convinced he's a menace cast up from Hell to plague her, thwart her, endanger her…tempt her.

True on all counts.

If you haven't read DEFIANT yet and are in the mood for a big (110K words big!) adventure-strewn, road romance set in the time of King John and his not-so-chivalrous knights, go indulge yourself today!

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Here's Eva's first impression of the devil:

…The rogue’s thick fingertips touched the middle of her back and pushed her the rest of the way inside the tavern.  Then he stepped in too and pointed to a table by the far wall.

“Over there. Sit.”

Again with the commands.

She wanted to growl at him.

He tromped over the bulging plank floors toward the back counter that ran the length of the room, moving through flickering shadows of torchlight.

His hair-roughened square jaw could denote either a dull blade or a rough nature, but his hair, barely tethered by a leather strip, long and dark, bespoke only outlawry.

His cape was nondescript, calf-length. Beneath he wore a black, quilted surcoat, sleeveless, covering what she supposed was a mail shirt, although he wore a longer-sleeved tunic over it, as if to conceal what lay beneath. Both surcoat and tunic hung to mid-thigh, slit up the sides. Mucky knee-high boots completed the ensemble, but it was the dark hose, molded tight over his thighs, that kept Eva’s attention riveted far longer than was necessary.

He wore no insignia on his dark surcoat, bore no identifying colors, yet everyone either had a lord or was a lord. Even the most feared, ruthless mercenary, a Brabançon, identified himself with someone. Here in England, that usually meant the English king.

By the look in this one’s eye, ’twas a simple matter to place him there, among the terrible, ruthless sorts.

But somehow, she couldn’t believe something so…beautiful could be so awful.

And he was beautiful, to a hard line, masculine magnificence, all long, lean contours of hard heat and piercing eyes. A beast in his prime.

Her dark-eyed proteus looked over his shoulder, scowling when he saw she had not ‘come,’ was not ‘over there.’

“Sit,” he growled. “And stay.”

A fissure of anger opened up inside her. She narrowed her eyes and, very softly, barked.

***

For the record, Jamie didn't like being barked at.

And so the adventure begins….

HAVE FUN IN THERE!

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Good Enough To Eat

“Books have to be read (worse luck it takes so long a time).  It is the only way of discovering what they contain.  A few savage tribes eat them, but reading is the only method of assimilation revealed to the West.”  ~E.M. Forster

Oh, E.M., how I love you. Your insights, your storytelling, your love of characters, your wit. 

 

And yet, we've all read those books that are good enough to eat, right??  The ones we feel like we're sinking down into, as if the story is silk-water. The one when we see its cover, we smile.

 

What's one of your Good-Enough-To-Eat books?

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