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264 Views 3 Replies Last post: Jun 18, 2018 11:46 AM by Auzora25 RSS
Level 0 98 posts since
Jun 12, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 13, 2018 12:40 PM


A simple question:


Can I write a "book" full of trademarked names and personal names and more or less nothing else?

No defamation, no context whatsoever, no "story" using the trademarks. Imagine a book full of "Mickey Mouse", "Elvis Presley", "Ford" and such, but nothing else. None of the trademarks/names would be used in the title or the subtitle or in any other way to promote the book, they would only be used within the book.


I understand that your response doesn't represent legal advice, I just want to hear your opinion.




Level 4 2,935 posts since
Feb 7, 2015
Currently Being Moderated
1. Jun 13, 2018 4:15 PM in response to: djape
Re: Trademarks

djape wrote:


A simple question:


Can I write a "book" full of trademarked names and personal names and more or less nothing else?

Sure, you can, but seems to me it would be a mighty boring "book."

Level 2 206 posts since
Jul 2, 2016
Currently Being Moderated
2. Jun 13, 2018 5:10 PM in response to: djape
Re: Trademarks

quadruple the size of that book. To be strictly legal, for every trademark that you use you will have to qualify it with "xyz is a trademark of abc corp" or something to that affect.

Level 1 86 posts since
Aug 9, 2012
Currently Being Moderated
3. Jun 18, 2018 11:46 AM in response to: djape
Re: Trademarks

As far as I'm aware, yes you can do it relatively safely as long as you avoid doing the things I will mention below. I say "relatively" because people get offended over petty things nowadays, so I wouldn't be surprised if you ran the risk of having legal issues even if you didn't do them. But aside from that, here's the three issues to look out for when using trademarked names in writing:


1. Infringement - If you're using trademarked names to try to make money selling the same or similar items as the trademarks.


2. Defamation - Self-explanatory.


3. Dilution - Using brand names generically/diluting their uniqueness, like referring to a character grabbing Kleenex when referring to a tissue. This can possibly be worked around if you do this to more than one trademark (so you would be diluting equally, not just targeting one).


I believe all you would need (maybe you don't even need, but it would certainly be a good idea) is a disclaimer in the copyright section of your book, such as:


"This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously."


Now, as far as my disclaimer: As you mentioned, I'm not a lawyer. Do things at your own risk


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