Can I reference real companies in a novel?

Asked by: Elgin Juarez

First of all, brands aren’t copyrighted, they’re trademarked. As long as you acknowledge the trademarks, and are not using them in a derogatory way, you should be okay. Yes, you can use them, as long as you don’t mention them in an unflattering way.

Can you use real places in a novel?

Towns/City Names: You can use the names of real towns and cities without any problems. I tend to use real large cities and make up the names of smaller towns. It’s easier to “create” a town to your story’s specifications and needs. You can take liberties with real places by making up the names of streets or businesses.

Can you use real people in a fiction book?

Using real people in your fiction—whether they are correctly named or not—can be legally hazardous. If an author includes enough details that a specific fictional character is identifiable as an actual person, that person could possibly pursue legal action.

Can you write a book about a company?

Do I need the permission of a corporation to publish an article or book about it? No, and if the company has been treated fairly, you should have no legal problems. However, if the company takes exceptions to any part of your work, you may have a lawsuit for libel on your hands.

Can I use the name of a business in a book?

Editors are frequently asked whether it’s permissible for writers to mention product or business names in books. The short answer is yes. The long answer is be careful. By the nature of doing business, companies put their brands into the public forum and in fact usually appreciate publicity.

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Do you need permission to write about a place?

You do not need permission to include song titles, movie titles, TV show titles—any kind of title—in your work. You can also include the names of places, things, events, and people in your work without asking permission.

Can fictional places be copyrighted?

So you cannot legally “copyright” a name, but you could definitely trademark one, and many authors do. For example, the character of Harry Potter is legally trademarked by Time Warner Entertainment, so that no other works of published literature can use the name Harry Potter or the character associated with it.

Can you mention celebrities in a novel?

Using someone’s name, image or life story as part of a novel, book, movie or other “expressive” work is protected by the First Amendment, even if the expressive work is sold or displayed. Therefore using a person’s life story as part of a book or movie will not be deemed a misappropriation of the Right of Publicity.

Can you get sued for writing a book about someone?

Understanding Invasion of Privacy

Even if everything you write about someone is completely true, you still need to consider her privacy. Invasion of privacy occurs when you publicly disclose private facts not related to public concern. As with defamation, only living people can sue for invasion of privacy.

Can I sue someone for using my name in a book?

In most states, you can be sued for using someone else’s name, likeness, or other personal attributes without permission for an exploitative purpose.

Can I mention Disney characters in my book?

Fictional and cartoon characters are protected by a combination of copyright law, trademark law, and unfair competition law, and Disney has a reputation as one of the most litigious companies in the entertainment world. If your book used all…

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Can I use a trademarked word in a book?

Yes. The use of a trademark in a book title is not trademark infringement unless there was some publishing or authoring that was the good/service provided under the trademark.

Can I mention brand names on my website?

The short answer is that you can use a trademark belonging to another person or company if you use the mark for: informational or editorial purposes to identify specific products and services, or. if your use is part of an accurate comparative product statement.

Can you use a company name without permission?

The United States trademark law as stated in the Lanham Act allows a non-owner of a registered trademark to make “fair use” of it without permission. Fair use includes using a logo in editorial content, among other situations.

Can you mention another company in an ad?

It is perfectly acceptable and within the bounds of the law to use another’s trademark in advertising, provided certain standards are met. The advertisement must be truthful and the use of another’s trademark must not give a false impression of connection, approval or sponsorship by the owner of the other mark.

What is considered trademark infringement?

Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services.

Can two companies have similar names?

Can Two Companies Have the Same Name? Yes, however, certain requirements must be met in order for it to not constitutes trademark infringement and to determine which party is the rightful owner of the name.

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How do you avoid trademark infringement?

Here are five steps small business owners can follow to avoid a trademark infringement lawsuit:

  1. Do your research. Before you settle on a name, logo, or domain name, make sure it is not already trademarked. …
  2. Enlist help. …
  3. Consider general liability insurance. …
  4. Register your trademark.

What is trademark misuse?

Definition. Trademark misuse is a defense to a trademark infringement claim, where the defendant claims that the trademark owner has used its trademark registration to extend its monopoly trademark rights beyond that allowed by law. Advertisement.

What are the types of trademark infringement?

The most common defenses in trademark infringement, unfair competition and trademark dilution suits include descriptive fair use, nominative fair use, laches, unclean hands and trademark misuse, fraud in obtaining the registration, and application of the First Amendment.

What are some common copyright infringement penalties?

In general, anyone found guilty of civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed.