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I want to write a novel about fictitious characters but set in a real historic hotel. Is it necessary to get permission?

Mckinney, TX |

Adolphus Hotel opened October 5, 1913. Hotel Lawrence opened in 1925. I want to use the 1920-1930 era with fictitious characters but based on legends of events that occurred in these hotels. I hope to name both hotels in the novel as settings for the story.

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Attorney answers 2


Simply naming the hotel in a story is permissible as "nominative fair use" but look this up (search nominative fair use and trademark infringement) to insure you understand the principle and your intended use is well within the bounds of the allowance.

Specifically, do not use either hotel's name in the title without permission as this really stretches the nominative principle and gets into possible trademark infringement issues.

Finally, prior to any book being published, you should always have an attorney review the content to insure there are no other possible legal problems which many people do not even consider.

Good luck

My disclaimer is simply that Avvo already has an adequate disclaimer.


You may also want to include a disclaimer at the front of the book that there is no affiliation with either of the hotels. You can use the name of hotels, etc., to identify a place, but you cannot do so in such a manner that people would assume that there is an affiliation.

This is not legal advice. Even if it were, fee legal advice is worth what you pay for it. The facts of every case are different and should be addressed by a competent attorney who has all of the facts.

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