Saturday, 18 February 2012

Disaster!?

As mentioned in a previous post a KA Cartlidge and myself recently released a gamebook featuring "Tars Tarkas" a secondary character from a book that's in the public domain.  To our disgust and horror we only just discovered the name "Tars Tarkas" has been trademarked!

Although the original book is in the public domain, a company has trademarked the names of pretty much all of the characters. As a couple of hobbiest authors we are not in any position to mount a legal battle over anything, so for the moment have withdrawn the products from sale until we decide what to do.

It's a blow, but not an insurmountable one. It has highlighted the danger and trouble you can run into using someone else's world, even if it's in the public domain.  Whatever we decide to do with this project, I have learnt that I should do a trademark search before starting writing in someone else world.

I'm going to file this one under "Doh!" ... or maybe not, because that word has been trademarked too!

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