The Case for (Not) Using Trademarks in Fiction

Today’s post takes a look at the use of trademarks and “brand names” in fiction. For the most part, I advise clients not to use trademarks in fiction if an alternative will do. If use of a trademark or brand is unavoidable, the author needs to be certain the trademark is used in a legally-permissive way. Otherwise, the author risks a trademark infringement–or “trademark disparagement” lawsuit, both of which carry substantial legal penalties. The benefits of “fictitious branding” and generics usually outweigh any benefit the author could obtain from use of a real trademark. Authors have two relatively simple alternatives to use of

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