Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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The ridiculous things bullies think up amaze me

Had you heard about this?

Cockygate: Faleena Hopkins Has Registered a Trademark on Cocky, and is Using it to Threaten Other Romance Authors

I heard about it on Twitter first, and now The Passive Guy has a post about it.

The comments on both posts are quite educational and sometimes funny, so click through and read some of those if you have time.

Here’s an example of a threat that an author named Jamilla Jasper received:

Hi Jamilla,

My name is Faleena Hopkins, author of Cocker Brothers, The Cocky Series,

The Federal Trademark Commission has granted me the official registered trademark of the word/mark “Cocky”, no matter the font.

Trademark Registration number: 5447836

I am writing to you out of professional respect so that you may rename your book “Cocky Cowboy” which shares the same title as my book, and republish all of the versions (ebook, paperback, and Audible) on Amazon to keep your ratings and money earned. My attorney at Morris Yom 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 by you as well. I will do that – but I would rather give you the option. I have had this series established since June 16, 2016 and I take all of the hard work I put into establishing it very seriously. Your hard work I also take seriously.

You have the opportunity to adjust, rename, and republish before taking further action. You can do so on Amazon without losing reviews.

Thank you,

Faleena Hopkins

Can you imagine? I mean, really?

It makes me want to immediately write a romance novel with “cocky” in the title so that I could get one of these threats and compose a suitable answer. Though you’d think her lawyer would tell her she is out on a very thin limb here, apparently Hopkins is still sending these types of letters to people and continues to try to get Amazon to remove random romances with “cocky” in the title from their ebook store and so on. This suggests she genuinely thinks she has a case. And yet … suppose that she thinks she is completely right, legally. I know, but just suppose that she does. Even if she were correct legally, which seems quiiiite unlikely given the comments at Passive Voice, this would still be such a mean, bullying thing to do. I’m glad to learn that trademarking random words for your own special use is not possible, but who … who … would think of trying to do it and then bullying random people for daring to use Your Special Word? What an unpleasant person this Hopkins seems to be.

Well, at least a lot of authors, including me, are learning something about trademark law from this, so that’s a plus.

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4 Comments The ridiculous things bullies think up amaze me

  1. Evelyn M. Hill

    Still too angry to talk much about this, except to say one thing: if you’re going to try to game the system, make sure your hands are clean.

    Everything this… this person has claimed other people are doing, some helpful person on the Internet has supplied a screenshot of her doing . (She herself has not supplied any evidence of her claims.)

    She claims someone one-starred her book because they don’t like the way she does business? Screenshot provided of her giving a one-star review because she didn’t like the way someone did business.

    She complains people should re-cover their books that are already published because it’s so easy? Screenshot of a foreword in one of her books saying she couldn’t re-do the cover because it had been put up for pre-order.

    She complains people are bullying her? Screenshot of her sending threatening letters to other others.

    Oh, and she then complained about people sending screenshots of her letters. Because too much honesty ruins her drama? She is doing a great deal of harm and it benefits no one. Least of all herself.

    Okay, I’ll stop now. I’ll go to my back wilderness garden and pull weeds. Might as well get some good out of all this.

  2. Rachel

    I have to think this woman is mentally incompetent to run her own affairs. Because just being mean wouldn’t also make you this stupid, right? She is going to get crushed, and I’m sure she’ll believe to her dying day that her problems are someone else’s fault.

    I try to be sympathetic, because what must it be like to live in that woman’s brain?

  3. Rachel

    Here’s an excellent post about this attempt to use trademarks to bully other writers. I especially like this bit:

    Before I end this blog post, Faleena, I have some words for you that are original, not copied from anyone, and straight from the heart:

    You are a nasty piece of fucking work, lady.

    Nobody was ever copying you. Nobody knows who you are. The most common reaction seen on social media when your name started coming up was, “Who?” followed by “Who does she think she is?” We had to ask these things because we legitimately had no clue you existed. But boy howdy, do you exist now. See, you’re not famous, but you’re infamous. You probably thought all publicity was good publicity. That is not the case if the publicity you’re getting is just making people become more and more furious and fed up with you. I haven’t seen anyone say they planned to read your really interesting and unique books as a result of your Highlander mentality. I’ve seen a lot say the opposite.

    You have burned a bridge the size of the Mighty Mac, Faleena. Not just burned. You blew a bridge up, but you didn’t quite get off it in time and you’ve blasted yourself into the ravine below.

    That is one excellent metaphor there.

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