Can a person write a book about a company or organization and use the name of that organization in the title (UAW for instance)?

Most companies have tradmarked their name. Would a title of a book be breaking the law if it included that name?

Indianapolis, IN -

Attorney Answers (3)

Daniel Nathan Ballard

Daniel Nathan Ballard

Trademark Infringement Attorney - Sacramento, CA
Answered

The answer depends on how the organization's name is used. Many, many titles of books include the name of companies and organizations.

For example, the title "The History of the UAW" would not be an infringing use of the trademark UAW.

However, the title "The UAW's Guide to Lobbying Politicians" would be an infringing use if the book was not written or sanctioned by the UAW.

Before you publish a book it's necessary for you to hire an attorney to "clear the rights" to all the material that was created by others and to evaluate if any of its content would trigger legal problems. As part of that process the title will be evaluated as well. Good luck.

Pamela Koslyn

Pamela Koslyn

Intellectual Property Law Attorney - Los Angeles, CA
Answered

Here's how to get a book published: If it's non-fiction, prepare a book proposal and write a few sample chapters. Hire an entertainment lawyer to "vet" what you've written to make sure it doesn't infringe on anyone's contract, publicity, privacy, copyright, or trademark rights, because a publisher will require you to indemnify them for any such violations. Research literary agents for those willing to accept new clients and new works in your book's genre, and submit your proposal and chapters to these literary agents to find one willing to represent your book. Once you get one, enter into an agency agreement so they can shop your book to publishers.

If it's fiction, it's the same, but you have to have written the entire book.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Ian Hyland Gibson

Ian Hyland Gibson

Intellectual Property Law Attorney - Newport Beach, CA
Answered

I generally agree with the answer provided above. Implying any sort of endorsement of your book by the company whose name you use could constitute a violation of that company's trademark. In addition to being mindful of the potential trademark issues in the title, you must be careful not to state anything untrue or misleading about the company in the content of your book. Due to the issues raised and other potential liabilities inherent in this venture, I strongly suggest you seek counsel to carefully scrutinize your literary work prior to publication.

Please be advise this answer does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. To obtain an appropriate, comprehensive answer to your legal question, I suggest you consult an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction with experience in intellectual property.

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