Getting Cocky:Trademarking Romance Titles:

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Polenth

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Have a cite for that? I'd like to see exactly what she's doing.

You can't see what's happening because reviews are handled differently to books. A reported review will simply vanish. That means nobody really knows if someone is reporting the reviews or if Amazon decided to search and remove them based on the trademark. So people will notice that the reviews are disappearing, but they won't have things like legal letters to show how that happened.
 

Jan74

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I think it's pretty clear she's a Trump-level narcissist. Those kinds of people don't think they need a community. They think a community needs THEM.
Sad....I think she's in for a rude awakening, right now I think she's in denial and has some support, but if her sales drop and maybe if her movie deal gets dropped then she will wake up.

I just read about that too. Reviews of books not even in the romance genre, being removed for containing the word cocky.
How the actual fuck is this being allowed to happen?
How the ever loving god is that allowed? I wonder how amazon would react if ALL the romance authors pulled their novels from their site...would that make them wake up and not allow this craziness to continue?

Most first-world nations use the Madrid system, including the US. Canada, however, does not, but they have, in recent years, taken strong steps toward implementation. Other countries that use non-Madrid systems include Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Brazil.

Of course, some countries use the protocols as written, and some have carved out exceptions and additions.
You lost me? I have zero clue what the Madrid system. I just read somewhere that amazon pulled works from amazon.ca also even though they didn't have to because someone on twitter tweeted that this TM didn't apply to Canadians....maybe I need to churn out a series called the "kocker brothers" lol.

Hooray for writer's organizations!
Yep!!!!She seriously picked the wrong genre to mess with! Ya lets mess with a bunch of bad ass bitches...uh huh...that was smart of her:Thumbs:
 

DarienW

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I have you AW critters to thank for bringing this to my attention. I've listened to some of the video, and WOW! i wish I could resist a train wreck.

I'm interested to see where this ends up. Reviews being removed . . . WOW again!

I have to agree with the concept that titles can't be copyrighted. When I search for a book, there's often similar titles, and I choose the one I'm looking for. I can't believe Amazon didn't think better of complying with this so quickly. Doesn't anyone working there realize how ridiculous this claim is!

Thanks AW Admin, Lisa, for posting those past references . . . indeed!

I have a song to recommend for Hopkins . . .

Ke$ha - I'll See You Next Tuesday
 
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tiddlywinks

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"Apparently" via twitter, (I'm not on twitter but I sometimes troll the interesting feeds like this one) that she is only going after "indie" authors(that is what the tweet said) and that she isn't going after anyone who has a publishing house behind them. Which really pissed me off, because that is very calculated move on her behalf...if it's true. I did notice that amazon isn't treating everyone the same, Vi Keeland/Penelope Ward's book "Cocky Bastard" is still up with its original title.

So I am super confused why some authors have had their amazon books blocked and removed from sale, one author can't even get access to her work to comply with the changes since Amazon has taken it down completely and she can't open it on her dashboard(I think that is what she said)

It's all so frustrating to see one person affect so many others out there. I hope others see the backlash and take good warning NOT to try and TM a word, a popular word too.

Well, there could be several reasons behind this, Jan:

1) She couldn't go after Cocky Bastards as an example because it predates her TM application date. I can't remember the legalese term that's used, but that book and any others like it pre the TM are considered 'senior users' of the trademark. Kinda like they are grandfathered in, if you will. (Though as the lawyer who filed the cancellation brief notes, there enough of those types that should have negated FH's ability to try and corner the market on it in the first place. If one of those authors, say, wanted to challenge for the TM, they'd have a potentially good case. Not that we really want anyone getting it, though, but I digress).

2) Of course she's not going after the trade published. They have access to resources. Probably including legal. And I'm sure they would call BS very fast and very hard, when they've invested in those books, both from stock and marketing. "A simple takedown and redo"...not so much.

The problem with not going after everyone, however, is that she's only selectively defending her mark. I am not a lawyer, but I do have to work on trademark submissions occasionally (and defend them in conjunction with my company lawyer)...and I thought one was supposed to go through and defend trademark violations, period. The more you let slip through, the more it might weaken things when you go to renew the trademark. You can choose how far you are willing to take things - like just a C&D letter or then taking action if they don't comply. Again, not a lawyer. And maybe she's still working her way up her list, picking off the easy targets first.

I am just baffled the prior history didn't give her or her lawyer pause to begin with. We always do a existing usage history search to see how strong or weak our TM case might be for a given solution name or a concept servicemark. :Shrug:

Now I'm not sure, but I read somewhere that this doesn't apply in Canada, this TM is only valid in the USA.

I haven't looked at her exact TM, but you can apply for a US one, or spend more and apply for an international one as well.

We've now reached the point where reviews with the word "cocky" are being removed.

Da beep?? That shouldn't even be an issue, as I haven't seen anything about her trademark being classified as applicable for reviews? It's classified as applying to a book series. Individual titles are getting slammed because of potential confusion of her trademark, but reviews??

If that's the case, I assume she'll be losing a lot of reviews, too. Unless it's ONLY okay to use the word on HER reviews, which, if that's the standard Amazon is setting, it's an indefensible one.

This is what happens when you wield a hammer instead of a scalpel.

You have to pick classifications of use for your trademark and unless she picked book reviews, which is crazy (and I haven't seen anything to that point), then that sounds like Amazon/FH misapplying the TM, IMO. Just because you have a TM, you don't own it for EVERYTHING - only for the use classifications covered by your application.

That is just baffling and awful. :/

Just an FYI~ she is now going after REVIEWS of books with the word cocky in them. In genres outside of Romance (mystery being one).

Reviews with the word cocky. She thinks she actually owns the damn word!

:gone:
 

ULTRAGOTHA

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RWA has announced that Amazon has agreed to wait until this is resolved at the Trademark office to take titles down, and has restored the titles they removed.

Good on ya, RWA.
 

Marissa D

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RWA has announced that Amazon has agreed to wait until this is resolved at the Trademark office to take titles down, and has restored the titles they removed.

Good on ya, RWA.

:hooray: :snoopy: :partyguy: YES! So glad to hear that! This spikes her guns good and proper.
 
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mrsmig

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RWA has announced that Amazon has agreed to wait until this is resolved at the Trademark office to take titles down, and has restored the titles they removed.

Good on ya, RWA.

This is fantastic news. I was really bothered by the fact that Amazon was allowing one author so much power without for a moment questioning whether she did, indeed, have the right to that power.
 

Ketzel

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"My attorney at Morris Yorn Entertainment Law has advised me that if I sue you I will win all the monies you have earned on this title plus lawyer fees will be paid as well."

I wonder if anyone at Morris, Yorn, Barnes, a well-known entertainment law firm in LA, has seen this notice. I cannot imagine a reputable law firm would be happy to be quoted as providing such an unequivocal assessment of their client's chances in litigation. This reads like they guaranteed her a win, which would violate the rules of professional ethics in just about every state in the US.
 

akaria

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This is especially infuriating to me because someone in Jenny Trout's live tweeting of the video rant said she's attacking indie authors of color first. One of the first women who came forward with proof of the C&D letter and who changed her cover was a WOC. Then Hopkins dares complain of bullying? She makes me sick.

OTOH, despite all the problems facing the RWA right now, it's good to see them come through on this.
 

Old Hack

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"My attorney at Morris Yorn Entertainment Law has advised me that if I sue you I will win all the monies you have earned on this title plus lawyer fees will be paid as well."

I wonder if anyone at Morris, Yorn, Barnes, a well-known entertainment law firm in LA, has seen this notice. I cannot imagine a reputable law firm would be happy to be quoted as providing such an unequivocal assessment of their client's chances in litigation. This reads like they guaranteed her a win, which would violate the rules of professional ethics in just about every state in the US.


I wonder what would happen if someone were to forward screen-shots of that letter to Morris Yorn.
 

LittlePinto

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I wonder what would happen if someone were to forward screen-shots of that letter to Morris Yorn.

I expect that if she has retained an attorney with them, she'd get a stern telling-off. If she hasn't retained an attorney with them, she'll learn what it's like to piss off a top law firm.
 

rusoluchka

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Thank you guys for all the links and updates on this unfolding drama. Once again pleased as pie to be involved in this community. Another poster on the last page mentioned if Hopkins had been a part of the community instead of working against it, she might've benefited. Couldn't agree more.
 

JennTX

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I wonder what would happen if someone were to forward screen-shots of that letter to Morris Yorn.

I suspect there is more going on behind the scenes than we know. The fact the RWA was able to get Amazon to ignore a trademark speaks volumes.
 

SepiaAndDust

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I just got this from Amazon:

KDP Executive Customer Relations<[redacted]>
Wed, May 9, 2018 at 11:46 AM
Reply-To: [redacted]
To: [redacted]

Hello [redacted],

My name is Boyd Thibodeaux with KDP Executive Customer Relations. I received your message addressed to Jeff Bezos and I'm reaching out on his behalf. This is an issue best resolved between the authors involved. Until it is resolved between the authors, we will not be removing titles from sale and have reinstated those we previously removed.

Best regards,

Boyd Thibodeaux
https://www.amazon.com/?tag=absowrit-20
 

SepiaAndDust

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I wonder what would happen if someone were to forward screen-shots of that letter to Morris Yorn.

I just called them. They cannot say for sure that Hopkins is not a client, but they don't think so (they'll have to check with every associate to make sure). Anyway, it's been brought to their attention, and they're looking into it. They say they'll call back if they need more information.
 

mrsmig

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frimble3

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Who would think that using a law firm's name to threaten people (without the permission of said firm) was a good move?
Because she's self-published, is making her film by herself (well, acting, writing and directing), what leads me to suspect that she's also acting as her own lawyer?
 

Hbooks

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Geez. Her responses on twitter are just so ridiculous. You would think given how reaction is 99% negative and her book ratings are going down, she would walk this back and hope it would die down, but nope, smug posts about popcorn chomping and the like. Good grief.
 

LittlePinto

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Who would think that using a law firm's name to threaten people (without the permission of said firm) was a good move?
Because she's self-published, is making her film by herself (well, acting, writing and directing), what leads me to suspect that she's also acting as her own lawyer?

Well, she's certainly committed to the destruction of her career. If you're gonna do it, you might as well go all in.

ETA:

This is all I want. One of those stories had better be entitled "Cocky Bitch," in the most literal sense of the term.
 
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