Romance Author Trademarked the Word ‘Cocky’ and Writers Are Outraged

Romance novelist Faleena Hopkins has trademarked the word “cocky” in book titles and romance novelists are collectively outraged.


Most people who have self-published a novel will know just how hard it can be to get their work in front of readers. To do so, some authors hire social media managers while others decide to trademark a common word within the genre. 


Specifically, Hopkins now has a standard character mark or word mark, meaning that the text and its stylization has been trademarked. This means if any other author wants to use that specific style and font of the word in their title, they just can’t. Not only did she trademark the word, but she also sent out aggressive cease-and-desist letters to authors who had also used the word in their titles. For scale, Amazon’s Kindle store has over 700 titles in which “cocky” is used. 


Romance Writers of America isn’t quite sure how to handle the drastic move and has requested that any member of the association who has been contacted by Hopkins to contact them. 


After the outrage from fellow romance novelists, Hopkins took to Twitter to defend herself, arguing that by trademarking “cocky”, she is “protecting them and that’s what trademarks are meant for.”



Hopkins has since tweeted since the trademark scandal begin, calling the outrage and criticism against her trademark a “public stoning.” 




Featured image via Pacific Standard.