Getting Cocky:Trademarking Romance Titles:

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Marissa D

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Courtney Milan's thread had already appeared in my twitter feed and I came here to see what the folks on this board made of it.

Hopkins appears to have made an almighty cock-up in trademarking a copyrighted font. Apparently she's whining at all the blowback that she's been getting. I was particularly amused at Milan wondering whether the owner of that font would approach Amazon for them to take down her titles because of copyright infringement. Hopkins' behaviour is so reprehensible I wish he would.

I haven't looked myself, but it also seems that one of her books has a hero who is the quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. From what I understand, the NFL takes a dim view of trademark infringement themselves...

She's so toast.
 

ElaineA

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Please, would someone talking about this on social media call it the 'Cocky Cock-Up'?

C) 'Cocky' jokes are not 'Romance'. Erotica, maybe, but not Romance.

Wut? Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point (and sorry if I am), but pretty much every romance I read of heat levels from, IDK, Tessa Dare up to red-hot use the word cock. It's pretty de rigueur in romance these days.

Anyhoo, give the Romance community a few days and we're pretty much up to the armpits of the sweater unraveling. The improper trademarking of the font, the infringement on the Atlanta Falcons mark, and now...Several people speculated early that Hopkins likely has other pen names, I guess on the supposition that this is a pretty advanced move to attempt? IDK, but now at least one other pen name is circulating. I'm not going to post it until there's better confirmation, but don't be surprised to find there are several.
 

JulesJones

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I know there was some speculation on Twitter that some of the parody books that have already popped up on Amazon could be her under a pseudonym, looking to capitalise on people buying them for a laugh.
 

bearilou

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I know there was some speculation on Twitter that some of the parody books that have already popped up on Amazon could be her under a pseudonym, looking to capitalise on people buying them for a laugh.

I know for a fact a couple that have screamed up the charts are not hers.
 

ElaineA

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I know for a fact a couple that have screamed up the charts are not hers.

Me, too. Hopkins is behaving like a classic narcissist. They're not known for getting in on making fun of themselves. Anything's possible, of course, and she's nothing if not predatory.

By the way, Jamila Jasper, who writes BWWM, was one of her targets and the one to post the letter that opened the floodgates. Today she announced she has, indeed, re-titled her book. From The Cocky Cowboy, to The Cockiest Cowboy To Have Ever Cocked. :Clap: She's also discounting it, if anyone wants to support her. It's not live yet, so I don't have a link, but I'll come back and edit this post when it's available.
 
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Cindyt

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I lurked a bit on her facebook page.

(Paraphrased)

Some dear writer: "Read my lips. You can't own titles."
Hopkins: "I am aiming high."

And she is going to fall hard.
 

SepiaAndDust

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I lurked a bit on her facebook page.

(Paraphrased)

Some dear writer: "Read my lips. You can't own titles."
Hopkins: "I am aiming high."

And she is going to fall hard.

Sounds like Harper Sloan. Harper is just ripping on her, all with a quiet Georgia charm.
 

frimble3

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Wut? Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point (and sorry if I am), but pretty much every romance I read of heat levels from, IDK, Tessa Dare up to red-hot use the word cock. It's pretty de rigueur in romance these days.

I defer to your superior knowledge. It just seemed a little... off. Particularly her making such a big deal about it. I see by your Post 30, however, that it does seem to be common enough, and I am an old fuddy-duddy, who is way out of her genre.
 
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ElaineA

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Me, too. Hopkins is behaving like a classic narcissist. They're not known for getting in on making fun of themselves. Anything's possible, of course, and she's nothing if not predatory.

By the way, Jamila Jasper, who writes BWWM, was one of her targets and the one to post the letter that opened the floodgates. Today she announced she has, indeed, re-titled her book. From The Cocky Cowboy, to The Cockiest Cowboy To Have Ever Cocked. :Clap: She's also discounting it, if anyone wants to support her. It's not live yet, so I don't have a link, but I'll come back and edit this post when it's available.

I thought I'd better just make a new post. Link-->https://www.amazon.com/Cocky-Cowboy-BWWM-Romance-Novel-ebook/dp/B07B9MCHW7
 

Polenth

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I see she replied to some low-star reviews on Goodreads before all this. Which she'd got away with because people weren't paying attention to her. But once you do one thing, people start to notice the other things.
 

ULTRAGOTHA

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ReadWriteRachel

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This was posted today by someone who gave her a one-star review on Goodreads:

Note: I deleted a comment that the author left on this review a month ago. She called me and others who had agreed with my review out, mocking us and saying we ‘missed the point’ and should write our own books...the usual defensive nonsense. Looking into it further, it came to my attention that she had left passive aggressive comments on other low reviews as well. I found this unprofessional and childish so it wasn’t a huge surprise to see her embroiled in this ridiculous #cockygate scandal

She sounds like a real gem.
 

Fallen

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I see she replied to some low-star reviews on Goodreads before all this. Which she'd got away with because people weren't paying attention to her. But once you do one thing, people start to notice the other things.

Ughh. Bad form. You don't go messing with reviews and reviewers.


That's a good article. Might not be as clear cut.

Passive Voice has an article too: Trademark Cock up

I also heard that the RWA is only dealing with authors who have RWA membership when it comes to this. Is that correct? Faleena looks to have targetted less-known authors, and if they're not in the RWA because being lesser known... *winces*
 

CLEasterwood

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Set Sail Studios is the owner of the font in question and specifically said he did NOT give permission to anyone to trademark his font creation. He is currently on vacation & has said as soon as he returns home, he will be getting involved. Imagine waking up & finding out that you & your font is in the middle of a battle of romance writers... Poor guy.

Hopkins has word marked the word COCKY, meaning you can NOT use it in your title at all! You can't use it as a series, you can't use it in your title. Apple tried this once, yes, but they rescinded the TM because of major blow back. You should not be allowed to word mark a single word and ban anyone from using in a title of a novel. From what I can tell it has to be a unique and distinct logo & design. I'm sharing vehemently on my Twitter posts from those involved & ongoing progress, including a link to a petition to rescind her TM.
 

mrsmig

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Since Ms. Hopkins also claims to be an actress, I looked up her bio on IMDB, and thought this was interesting:

Faleena is self-published, and has never submitted a book to a publisher.

Her indie skills will be explored more with her first feature film based on an original screenplay Faleena wrote, and will direct and act in. Filming begins Summer 2018.


Since she seems to be bent on becoming "famous" by whatever means necessary, I wonder if this trademark fiasco was intended to increase her "brand" visibility in advance of the film. I don't think it's going to work out for her. In the world of commercial film/TV, she's not even a blip on the radar.
 

lizmonster

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I used to work in software, and I was often shocked by what the USPTO would allow to be patented. Nice to see they're equally short-sighted about trademarks.

This is silly enough that I have to believe it'll be overturned, but in the meantime she's going to screw up a lot of people's livelihoods.
 

Bufty

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Why didn't someone reply to her Cease and Desist with a Get Lost.

Is she banking on folk being baffled by her legalese lingo?
 

ElaineA

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Why didn't someone reply to her Cease and Desist with a Get Lost.

Is she banking on folk being baffled by her legalese lingo?

No, she's banking on folk being terrified of it costing them 5-6 figures. Most people aren't so familiar with receiving legal threats that they willingly shrug them off.

That said, I continue to be really, really curious about the fact that she's sending the C&D's. I think it's pretty clear from that blog UG linked that she did have a good IP lawyer help her with this, and I know for a fact that $700/hr for an IP attorney is Seattle dollar-level. NY and SF/Silicon Valley IP attorneys would charge double that. She's either got a lawyer who did this for a deep discount or she'd got a lot of money invested already.

RE: RWA. They are taking information from both members and non-members (per their tweet). It is 100% in the interest of RWA's members to try to overturn this trademark, even if no RWA member received a C&D. If Hopkins shared her trademark with Amazon--and I'm certain she must have--THEY will flag any book with "cocky" in the title and not put it up. If they've been notified of a trademark, they can't knowingly sell a product in violation.

Even bigger from RWA's perspective is that if Hopkins wins this, a precedent is set and you can bet other unscrupulous people will go after even more critical words. Imagine Duke, Billionaire, Secret Baby getting trademarked and it becomes clear why they have to fight no matter who is directly affected right now.
 

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