Regina Brooks, and the staff of Serendipity Literary Agency, are not only exceptional agents well respected in the publishing industry, they are also editors, writers, and advocates for writers who aspire to succeed as authors.
Writers frequently ask whether they can mention brand name products and services in their fiction. The answer is "yes," provided that you take some common sense precautions.
The four areas of law to consider in connection with brand names are "trademark infringement," "trademark dilution," "trademark tarnishment,"and "defamation. For example, if you were the manufacturer of aluminum foil and decided to name your foil "Glad," the Glad Products Company, manufacturers of Glad plastic wrap and Glad trash bags would likely think your use of the term is an infringement.
Even if Glad Products Company doesn't manufacture aluminum foil, aluminum foil is sufficiently close to plastic wrap to create a likelihood that some shoppers would be confused as to whether your aluminum foil is manufactured, licensed, or endorsed by the makers of Glad plastic wrap.
Keeping this principle in mind, it is evident why fiction rarely gives rise to trademark claims.
He is, in fact, using "Glad" to refer to Glad Products' own goods. Trademark lawyers call this "nominative fair use," and it does not constitute infringement.
For example, trademark owners have fits when writers of fiction or non-fiction use their brand names as generic terms for products or services.
Usually, the dispute goes no farther than that. Writers can avoid even mild reprimands of this sort by respectfully capitalizing brand names.
If, for example, you falsely depict a brand name product as being dangerous or defective, a manufacturer could be heard to complain.
Ultimately, the manufacturer should have to prove that some readers actually understood the disparaging depiction to be a statement of fact, not fiction, but there is seldom an artistic necessity to test that line.
Trademark "tarnishment" is a kind of hybrid between trademark dilution and defamation. Such claims arise when a non-owner uses another's trademark in highly disparaging or offensive contexts. The Appeals Court's famous at least to trademark lawyers decision is here.
If there is a compelling artistic reason to use real products and real companies in contexts that arguably disparage them, it is wise to seek advice, prior to publication, from your publisher's attorney -- or an attorney of your own -- on how best to minimize the legal risks.
The movie industry has always been exceedingly cautious about the use of brand names and the names of real people in films. It is difficult to imagine a successful claim arising from such innocuous use, but movie studios are unwilling to run any legal risks that could conceivably lead to an injunction interfering with timely distribution of their films.
There are even isolated isolated reports of paid product placement in novels. I can only speculate that the movie industry's obsession with the depiction of brands in fictional works is the source of the largely unfounded concerns about the depiction of brand names in written fiction.
Again, the use brand names in fiction is not a sleep-depriving issue. It would be obsessive and stylistically unpalatable to use the R-in-a-circle symbol or the TM symbol every time you refer to a brand name in your text.
And, as long as you do not write falsely and disparagingly about real brands and the companies who manufacture them, you are unlikely ever to run into a problem.""Brooks fills her book with clear examples that illustrate her points She tells you exactly how to craft an attention-grabbing query letter to an agent, and how to write a book proposal that will look professional and give you the best chance of getting a book contract.
Gary Burghoff, otherwise known as Radar O’Reilly, is one of the actors most associated with M.A.S.H. (perhaps only Jamie Farr and Alan Alda are more associated with the series than Burghoff).
Even if you don't happen to be a celebrity, this book will teach you methods for striking publishing gold—conceptualizing, selling, and marketing a memoir—while dealing with the complicated emotions that arise during the creation of your work. If. Regina Brooks, Lead Agent & President.
Ms. Regina Brooks is the founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency LLC in New York, New York. listen out for various artists - soul togetherness / lori williams - out of the box. I really look forward to the end of September, beginning of October, periods of the year.
Information about the book, You Should Really Write A Book: How To Write, Sell, And Market Your Memoir: the Nonfiction, Paperback, by Regina Brooks and Brenda Lane Richardson (St. Martin’s Griffin, Aug 21, ).