Sorry No, You Don’t Get Cocky

Apparently, there is a romance writer by the name of Faleena Hopkins who is claiming a trademark on the word “Cocky” and harrassing other authors for daring to use it. Some are calling this “#cockygate” and have set up a MoveOn petition to ask the US Patent and Trademark office to annul the ruling. This really isn’t necessary. Here’s why…

The artist formally known as (see what I did there?) Faleena Hopkins has sent at least one rival author the following:

Yeah…no.

First, the MoveOn petition will likely come to nothing because the USPTO is unlikely to be swayed by petitioners who’ve jumped on a social media bandwagon without understanding the case. Second, because Ms. Hopkins (or whoever she is) hasn’t a shadow of a leg to stand on, she can safely be ignored, or if she won’t be, sued into submission.

Why? Let me explain as I would explain in answer to the above claim:

 


THIS SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE


Attn: F. Hopkins.

Regarding your claim to trademark protection for use of the word “cocky.”

No dear, I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way.

  1. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (that’s what it’s called by the way, the FTC is the Federal Trade Commission) does not grant trademarks to words in common usage “regardless of font,” not for use “in relation to romance books” or for any other purpose. It just doesn’t do it. It only grants trademarks to words as marks, that is to say, in a particular style. If Morris Yawn Entertainment Law hes led you to believe otherwise, you might want to reconsider your retainer.
  2. US Trademark 5447836 protects the word “Cocky” when written in the particular style submitted and when used as described in the application. However, while the font chosen for this particular application is not readily apparent to me, I see that your legal eagles have also applied for and been granted a trademark for the same word written in what is clearly Northwell Alt Regular from Creative Market. The license under which you obtained this font does not permit its use in trademarks, so at a minimum, your trademark #5447837 is null and void (and so, I’ll wager, is #5447836 as well). At worst, you may be guilty of fraud for having ellegally used such fonts in one of more trademark applications.
  3. Furthermore, both marks were granted under your assertion that this was the first use in US commerce of the word “Cocky” in the relevant context. If you could indeed trademark the word itself (which you can’t), then this claim would be clearly false (and easily determined to be so) for which you might also be liable for fraud for submitting the trademark application in the first place.

 

Ms. Hopkins–or whatever your name really is–your attempt to abuse US intellectual property law for your own enrichment and to pray upon the works of others has been reported to the Romance Writers of America, to the USPTO, and to pretty much everyone in the social media literary universe who might otherwise have been willing to do business with you or the registered owner of these vacuous trademarks, Hop Hop Productions, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE c/o PSBM 235 Park Avenue South New York NEW YORK 10003.

My advice to you is to back off, apologize, and throw your legal advisors under the bus. If instead you choose to press your claim, you can expect multiple counter-suits for malicious prosecution, along with the bill for legal fees for both cases–including travel to the respective jurisdictions.

You don’t use my trademarks, and I won’t use yours, but no, you don’t get “cocky.”

Have a nice day.


THIS SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE


I’d probably be more polite, but this is what I’d say.

USPTO Electronic Trademark Search

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