#CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

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Kendra
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#CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#1

Post by Kendra »

Somehow I missed the chat on this kerfuffle until today. Oh my, such drama and the way the rest of the romance writers are fighting back.

https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/5/15/1 ... na-hopkins
Gentle reader: Before we delve into the long tale that lies ahead — a tale of hubris, furious romance novelists, and intellectual property law — I ask you to take a moment to contemplate all of the “cocky” puns to which I, your humble reporter, have heroically chosen not to subject you.

I will not snidely remark that someone’s feeling cocky. I will not call this a cocky-and-bull story. I will not lament that the whole thing was started by someone going off half-cockyed. This is a sacrifice, and I have made it.

Thank you for bearing with me. Now let’s get into it: This is the story of #CockyGate.

The word cocky is beloved among certain romance novelists, both for its suggestion of arrogant, alpha-male heroes and for its euphemistic potential. After Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland’s Cocky Bastard became a major hit in 2015, romance novels with “cocky” in their titles became a veritable trend.

One among the trendsters was indie author Faleena Hopkins, a prolific self-published romance novelist whose books include a series she’s titled Cocker Brothers, The Cocky Series. It focuses on a set of brothers and eventually their children, all cocky and all with different job titles: Cocky Heart Surgeon, Cocky Cowboy, Cocky Senator, and so on.

But not long ago, Hopkins took steps to ensure that she wasn’t just one figure in a crowded field. Earlier this year, she registered for and received a trademark on the word “cocky.”
Lots more at the link. Oh, and one way the romance authors are fighting back? :lol: :lol: :lol:

https://www.amazon.com/Kah-Key-Writer/e ... t_ebooks_2

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listeme
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#2

Post by listeme »

It has been a very big deal to indie publishers. I've been following it since the start.

There's a lot of coverage; we have company this weekend, but I'll put some links up if no one else does, after the weekend.
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Kendra
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#3

Post by Kendra »

listeme wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 3:42 pm
It has been a very big deal to indie publishers. I've been following it since the start.

There's a lot of coverage; we have company this weekend, but I'll put some links up if no one else does, after the weekend.
I'll post anything I come across.

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Sterngard Friegen
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#4

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

Descriptive words can't be highjacked through trademark. If some of the authors will get an IP lawyer they can seek TM cancellation. (Even though "Kah Kee" is itself not descriptive, when pronounced it is. It is not entitled to trademark protection.)

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Kendra
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#5

Post by Kendra »

http://www.washingtonindependentreviewo ... /cockygate

I woke up one morning to find my Facebook and Twitter feeds full of #cockygate outrage. What’s #cockygate, you ask? Well, a romance writer by the name of Faleena Hopkins submitted paperwork to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (U.S. PTO) to trademark the word “cocky.” Surprisingly, it was granted, both for a particular font she uses and, more broadly, for the word “cocky” in any romance title or series title.
This author then proceeded to send letters to romance authors who used the word in their own series/titles demanding that they rebrand their work because they were now in trademark violation. She convinced Amazon to begin pulling these books from sale.

When romance authors became upset (see #byefaleena and #cockygate threads on Twitter), Hopkins claimed that she was simply trying to protect her brand. She even complained about other authors using the same stock photos on their covers as she does.

Now, there’s a simple reason we can’t trademark titles or common English words appearing in titles. Imagine if I decided to trademark “mystery,” “murder,” or “girl.” See where I’m going with this? Soon, there wouldn’t be any words left to use. It doesn’t make sense.

The Romance Writers of America quickly became involved and submitted (along with an IP lawyer named Kevin Kneupper) a request to the U.S. PTO to cancel Hopkins’ trademark. For a highly informative summary of the case, see Legal Inspiration. For a more detailed (and entertaining) opinion piece on Hopkins’ actions, see Jenny Trout’s blog post.

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Kendra
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#6

Post by Kendra »

http://jennytrout.com/?p=12071

Don’t Do This, Ever: Faleena Hopkins Cocks The Whole Entire Fuck Up

Posted in Uncategorized


Have you ever noticed how a lot of erotic romance novels have similar titles? For example, Fifty Shades of Grey spawned titles like 12 Shades Of Desire, and after the publication of Beautiful Bastard and Manwhore a ton of books came out with increasingly profane titles? For the last couple of years, the word “cocky” has been popping up on romance novel covers. A lot of them.

Author Faleena Hopkins certainly likes to use the word in her book titles. See, Hopkins knows the importance of a brand, as she discusses in her blog post about being the first self-published author to ever photograph her own cover models (she is definitely not). Other authors were copying her on purpose. By…using stock photos that she had coincidentally also used:
Edit: Do read every word of this bit, Trout's language gets a bit salty at times, but what a smackdown.

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Kendra
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#7

Post by Kendra »



For those who don't do FB, Jenny's comments are spoiler tagged below. This is from an avid reader and book blogger, I've rarely see her this ticked off and vent her feelings in public.
ABBC3_SPOILER_SHOW

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Kendra
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#8

Post by Kendra »

I wonder what the Goodreads staff will think of her posting this on her author page.

She's pretty much burned her bridges with readers. Stuff like this makes the social media rounds and is a sure fire way to get readers to put her on their never buy/never read list.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7102410
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#9

Post by Whatever4 »

listeme wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 3:42 pm
It has been a very big deal to indie publishers. I've been following it since the start.

There's a lot of coverage; we have company this weekend, but I'll put some links up if no one else does, after the weekend.
We are the company. :thumbs:
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#10

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

How cocky of you.

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Suranis
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#11

Post by Suranis »

And I thought romance novels were all about love.
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#12

Post by Flatpointhigh »

I guess I will have to change the title of my Romance: The Cocky World of Derwood, the half-cocked altecocker.

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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#13

Post by Mikedunford »

Transcript of a hearing on a restraining order in one of the proceedings:
http://www.courtneymilan.com/cockydocs/I61RHOPM.pdf

I'm going to try and pull some other documents to read while flying tomorrow.
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#14

Post by RoadScholar »

Denise, owner of the Cafe Hon in B’more (the one with the two-story pink flamingo out front in honor of John Waters and a life-size period Elvis sculpture inside the door) managed to copyright the word “Hon.”

The derision she provoked resembled this #CockyGate thing.
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Sterngard Friegen
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#15

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

Da judge:
. . . the motion for a TRO and for a preliminary injunction is denied.
Descriptive, no secondary meaning (cast as no likelihood of consumer confusion).

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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#16

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

RoadScholar wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:15 pm
Denise, owner of the Cafe Hon in B’more (the one with the two-story pink flamingo out front in honor of John Waters and a life-size period Elvis sculpture inside the door) managed to copyright the word “Hon.”

The derision she provoked resembled this #CockyGate thing.
Scholie - a word can't be copyrighted. If it was protected it was as a trademark.

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Mikedunford
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#17

Post by Mikedunford »

So many good moments in the transcript:
Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 8.47.24 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 8.48.21 PM.png
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"I don't give a fuck whether we're peers or not."
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#18

Post by Mikedunford »

More:
Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 8.52.13 PM.png
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"I don't give a fuck whether we're peers or not."
--Lord Thomas Henry Bingham to Boris Johnson, on being asked whether he would miss being in "the best club in London" if the Law Lords moved from Parliament to a Supreme Court.

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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#19

Post by RoadScholar »

Sterngard Friegen wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:39 pm
RoadScholar wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:15 pm
Denise, owner of the Cafe Hon in B’more (the one with the two-story pink flamingo out front in honor of John Waters and a life-size period Elvis sculpture inside the door) managed to copyright the word “Hon.”

The derision she provoked resembled this #CockyGate thing.
Scholie - a word can't be copyrighted. If it was protected it was as a trademark.
Thank you. You are of course correct and accuracy is important. Especially now.

Old timers locally deeply resented her claiming a sort of Baltimore signature word for her own. The nerve, they said.

Years ago there was a guy we nicknamed “the Hon Man” who repeatedly defaced (or improved, if you will) the Welcome to Baltimore sign on the BWParkway by adding the word “Hon.” Carved into the wood. He was arrested and fined, but kept doing it.

Him, we liked.
The bitterest truth is healthier than the sweetest lie.
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Sterngard Friegen
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#20

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

Image

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RoadScholar
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#21

Post by RoadScholar »

:thumbs:
The bitterest truth is healthier than the sweetest lie.
X3

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Sterngard Friegen
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Re: #CockyGate and major drama in the romance genre

#22

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

RoadScholar wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:13 pm
:thumbs:
You're welcome to Baltimore, Hon.

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