When Faleena Hopkins decided to trademark the word "cocky" for exclusive use in her romance series of books, the writing community was shocked. After all, trademark is usually reserved for unique identifying words (like Pepsi), or for a combination of words used to form a unique series title. Trademarking a common usage word such as "cocky" was, potentially, opening up the writing community to a litany of lawsuits as other authors also scrambled to trademark other common words.
You can read more about how Hopkins' trademark of "cocky" was setting a dangerous precedent via this previous Inquisitr article.
The dispute went to court as the retired legal professional Kevin Kneupper filed a trademark cancellation. Hopkins (as Hop Hop Productions Inc.) also filed actions against fellow romance writer Tara Crescent and the promoter for the Cocktales anthology, Jennifer Watson.
Eventually, Faleena Hopkins announced via an interview with the Daily Mail that she would step down from the cocky trademark dispute. However, there was no official confirmation that this had happened and her trademark still remained pending on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website.
Now, according to various sources, Falenna Hopkins has finally settled her trademark dispute.
A statement was released on behalf of Jennifer Watson and the Cocktales anthology via the official website for the anthology.
"Jennifer Watson and the Cocky Collective are happy to announce a settlement has been reached in Hop Hop Productions, Inc. v. Kevin Kneupper, Tara Cresent and Jennifer Watson. The plaintiff has surrendered her trademark registrations for COCKY and has withdrawn the lawsuit."You can read the full statement below. It is unclear what sort of settlement was made between the parties involved. However, as a result of Faleena Hopkins stepping down from her trademark claim, authors will freely be able to use the word in the titles of their books without fear of repercussions.
As yet, the final cancelation on the USPTO website is still listed as "Invalidation Pending," so some authors are still being cautious in relation to the news of the settlement.
Tara Crescent released a statement on the legal matter via her Twitter account. While she expressed that a settlement had been made, she also went on to thank those who helped her through the difficult time.
"I look forward to being able to getting back to doing what I love, writing books," Crescent concluded.
Her full statement in regard to the cocky trademark dispute can be read below.Kevin Kneupper has also said via Twitter that he is "very happy" that the settlement was made without having to engage in the entire trademark cancellation process. Faleena Hopkins is yet to make an official statement on the matter.
Since the cocky trademark dispute began, there has been a slew of new titles and anthologies added to Amazon that include the word "cocky" in their titles as a protest against the trademark battle.