The Journal: Trademark Stuff

In today’s Journal

* Topic: Trademark Stuff
* Who’s the Projectionist?
* Of Interest

Topic: Trademark Stuff

Not much in today’s post. It’s all pretty much an expanded “Of Interest” section.

According to Dean Wesley Smith (awhile back in one class or another), registering a trademark for practically anything is a waste of time and money for a writer. Primarily that’s because if you have a trademark, you are required to defend it, and defending it can get costly. Especially in addition to the original cost of filing for trademark in the first place.

Besides, in any trademark dispute, first use trumps everything else. So, for example, someone else can’t successfully trademark StoneThread Publishing unless they can prove in court they were using the name before I was. Ergo, no trademark registration is required.

By the same token, a long time ago I wanted to start a writing/copyediting/teaching/publishing company called Writing The World (WTW). WTW lasted for awhile, but when I started poking around on the internet I found others had used the term first, so I let it drop.

Anyway, to see what prompted my comments on trademark, see “1202.09(a) Names and Pseudonyms of Authors and Performing Artists” at See also PG’s comment and the next linked article:

“What You Need to Trademark Your Personal Name” at

I have no idea why Jean Murray, who wrote the original post at The Balance: Small Business is getting folks stirred up about trademarking their own name. Do what you want, of course, but I’ll trust Dean on the issue.

Note: Copyright is a different animal. Copyright protection is granted automatically, free of charge, the moment your work is “in fixed form.” When you type the last word of your story or poem or novel, it belongs to you legally and is covered by copyright protection.

Rregistering a copyright with the Copyright Office costs a fee, but registration is not required for copyright protection. I’ll leave it up to you to decide for yourself whether to register your copyrights. Most of the time, I don’t.

Who’s the Projectionist?

Just as a matter of philosophical interest, see “Is our universe a holographic projection? Black holes and quantum computing could find out.” at

I’d personally be more interested in learning who the projectionist is and in what “room” is our universe being projected.

Of Interest

See “True Crime Thursday – Obituary Piracy” at

See “How sensitivity readers corrupt literature” at Plus, of course, PG’s take.

See “I Wrote a Book with GPT-3 AI in 24 Hours — And Got It Published” at Okay, one, it was a book of poetry. Two, ewww.

See “Petition calls for US government release of UFO videos” at

Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other topics.

2 thoughts on “The Journal: Trademark Stuff”

  1. I made a mistake with trademarks before. I didn’t realize that Hobbit, the race in the Lord of the Rings universe, was trademarked and I couldn’t use it. So, long story short, I started writing stories based in my own fantasy universe and added Hobbits to it. Only later did I learn I couldn’t use the name.
    Luckily this universe is just for my own personal enjoyment and I never published it for profit.

    Needless to say I’m more thorough/careful now.

    • I didn’t know it was trademarked either. But also, many “parts” of tales can be licensed separately of the tale itself under copyright law.

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