Trademarks

  1. Danny Creasy

    Danny Creasy Active Member

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    I just completed registration of two trademarks. It was a tedious process, I hope the expense and effort prove worthwhile in the future.
     
  2. Cathbad

    Cathbad Male with Ugly (white) Beard

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    What did you register?
     
  3. Danny Creasy

    Danny Creasy Active Member

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    The image of a logo that I've used on each of the covers in my series. My IP attorney also recommended I trademark the part of the title that occurs on each cover ( a word and a number). I didn't think one can trademark a book title, but she corrected me, saying that one can if the combination of letters/numbers recur in a series.
     
  4. E.Maree

    E.Maree Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure your IP attorney has your best interests at heart, and do they have experience in the publishing industry? This is the first I've heard of an author trademarking a cover logo, and I must admit, I'm dubious of its value as a financial investment.

    If someone infringes on your trademark, you still need to take them to court over it, right? And that's a whole other added expense that most authors can't afford. And hunting down trademark infringements is a BIG job, requiring a lot of your time or someone else's hired time. Hunting down and reporting actual pirated copies of books isn't worth the time it takes, and provides no real financial gain for writers, so trademark enforcement feels like a similar issue.

    Please forgive my scepticism. I'm not convinced this provides are real financial return to the author, or value, but I'd be more than happy to be proven wrong here.
     
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  5. Danny Creasy

    Danny Creasy Active Member

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    Good points. I considered all of them up front. I decided to proceed. I went to her after two of my attorney friends recommended her because of her expertise in intellectual properties, she did not initiate contact or twist my arm in any manner, and she made full disclosures about costs, risks, and rewards.

    Once again, the burden is on me, the self-published author, to become successful enough to even worry about infringements. I believe in preparation for success and failure.

    Consider this, several of my readers like the series. They have suggested I have T-shirts, hats, etc. (sporting the logo) at my promotional events. If I go to that expense ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  6. E.Maree

    E.Maree Well-Known Member

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    Thought number one:

    Consider print-on-demand to gauge interest and popular products before committing to a bulk print. You don't need a cost outlay to have promotional clothing, print-on-demand quality stands equal with bulk printing these days.

    I have a closet full of t-shirts as a testament to why bulk printing author merch is unwise. Lots of people like the idea of a t-shirt, but the reality is that very few people wear them regularly. The t-shirt market is flooded with really excellent designs and shirt quality, and most bulk or PoD t-shirts struggle to keep up with the low cost and high quality of your average Primark/Target t-shirt.

    (And if your friends do wear your shirts regularly? Treasure them, they're golddust.)

    Thought number two:

    Be aware that the minute you start selling promo items, there's a likelihood that knock-offs will start appearing at places like Redbubble. A trademark filed in Alabama will be of absolutely zero use to you when you're chasing down counterfeits made by some guy with Photoshop in the Phillipines or China.

    Make sure you put a price on your time. Hours spent chasing up trademark infringements can usually be better spent writing more books.

    I'm gonna butt out now, because really this is none of my business. But I will wish you all the best, because it sounds like you're doing great, have a fab book, and have some absolutely fantastic friends around you. It sounds like you're really making waves!
     
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  7. tinkerdan

    tinkerdan candycane shrimp

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    fyi: from a previous posting here Trademarks
    I said::
    It would seem registering a trademark is similar to copyrights ; except there is a definite rule about using the register mark only after you have registered.
    Two more threads on this.

    Trademarks - How Important are they?

    Copyrights/Trademarks

    also::
    Be sure to research whatever you trademark for someone already using the terms or term or combination of terms.
    My present employer is currently chasing around one of his trademarks that may well have been in use years before he registered. I'm waiting to see how that plays out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  8. DelActivisto

    DelActivisto Purple Prose award winner

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    Not to derail the thread further, but do I have to explicitly trademark novel species or characters in my novel, or are they auto protected though author copywriter that occurs as I write?
     
  9. Gonk the Insane

    Gonk the Insane A.J. Grimmelhaus

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    Trademarks and copyright are two distinct things. Although US legislation is different to UK in some areas, the following applies in your case:
    1. Copyright is automatic and protects your work (your novel) as an entity. It's a broad subject, but in particular this means that people can't just copy your book and sell it as their own.
    2. You cannot trademark a species in fiction - imagine if Tolkein had trademarked elves and nobody could write about pointy-eared creatures without his permission. If you couldn't use the word elf without his permission...
    3. Characters - and character names - are also something you can safely forget about for the moment. Names can't be protected in the way you mean (generally speaking) in the same way that ideas cannot be copyrighted - if I write a book about blue-skinned aliens that see Donald Trump's news stories and think it's an invitation to start a war with Earth, there's nothing preventing you from writing a book where blue-skinned aliens see...etc.
    Basically, you don't need to worry about trademark/copyright with what you're doing. Significant characters - e.g. Iron Man, Superman - have been subject to trademark protection in the past, to protect a brand identity and typically this ties in with logos and other merchandise. For a typical author, this isn't necessary for your main characters.

    Don't worry about it, and just enjoy the writing:)
     
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  10. Phyrebrat

    Phyrebrat ba-Ba-ba-brat

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    Simple answer IMO : if it was necessary, every successful author would be doing in.

    They’re not.

    Save your money (and concerns) and use it to send me chocolate instead. ;)

    pH
     
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