Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The End of Cockygate

Thank you letter from Tara Crescent's Twitter page
The cockygate saga started when an unknown author decided to trademark a commonly used word in the romance genre and then proceed to demand that any and all authors who used the word in their titles change them. More on that here and here. When her bullying didn't work she set out name herself as the victim by making a video (an analysis of the video can be seen here), having Amazon remove all the books that used the words in their titles or descriptions and filing lawsuits against the people who she determined had "stolen her work".

The people she decided to sue were the author who had filed a motion with the US Patent and Trademark office to challenge her Trademark, the author she accused of copying her book covers and the publicist for a book compilation that was written as a satirical piece where all of the stories used the trademarked word in the title. Interestingly she chose not to sue the individual authors.

The court determined that she could not stop the author from challenging her trademark so he was let go from the lawsuit. The trademark troll, as she has become known, asked for an extension in the case as it appeared she was going to settle. But then she announced her desired terms of the settlement in several publications where the interviewers choose not to fact-check the material before going to print. She also had her lawyer defend her trademark while announcing to the public that she would be dropping it.

The remaining defendants argued that the trademark troll was not negotiating in good faith while she was asking for the case to be dropped with the option for her to reopen it later. The three people involved have apparently come to a settlement, the details of which are unknown. Additionally, the trademark troll has filed papers to withdraw her petition for the trademarks.

The only thing left to do know is to the thank the numerous people who helped to fight this but specifically Kevin, Tara, and Jenn who didn't give in to the bully.