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I want to trademark all the vowels except ‘u’

May 12, 2018

I was looking to reblog a post today, but didn’t know who to pick, then I read this and knew it was the one. I did not think common words were allowed to be trademarked. I also did not know you could go to prior the trademark date and demand payment. Has she billed all the dictionary publishers? U cn hv ur vwls. ‘ll g wthut.

Matthew Wright

Apparently a small storm’s brewed in the US over an author who, according to the Guardian, trademarked the word ‘cocky’ and has approached other authors to remove it from their book titles.

“We are from ZONTAR. We own the trademark on the word YEWFOE. Hand over all things of value – yes, your planet’s entire water supply and every last Chicken Nugget in existence!” Public domain.

According to the OED the word means ‘conceited or confident in a bold and cheeky way’, though I can think of a few other meanings (check out next Wednesday’s ‘Obscure English Word’ post). It’s intriguing. You can’t copyright book titles, legally they are ‘short slogans’ that can’t be covered by intellectual property law. But clearly there’s nothing to stop anybody trademarking anything. Including, it seems, a word in a book title.

Problem is, as Kiwi NYT best-selling novelist (and former lawyer) Nalini…

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