Manning, SC asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for South Carolina

Q: I want to title a short story "The Kool-aid Pact," but I know that would pose a trademark issue.

Is there a different way I could title this so it wouldn't be an issue?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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A: To avoid potential trademark issues with your story's title, consider using a more generic term instead of a specific brand name. For example, you could title it "The Flavored Drink Pact" or "The Sweetened Beverage Agreement." These alternatives convey a similar idea without directly referencing a trademarked product.

It's also useful to think about the essence or theme of your story and use that to inspire a title that doesn't rely on brand names. For instance, if the story revolves around a group agreement or a shared decision, you might opt for a title like "The Unity Pact" or "The Collective Promise." This approach can capture the spirit of your story while steering clear of trademark issues.

Remember, a title that is unique and captures the essence of your story can be more impactful and engaging for your readers, while also avoiding legal complications.

Simone Nisbett
Simone Nisbett
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • San Antonio, TX

A: There would typically be a process one could inquire about for rights clearance or limited licensing with the owner of the trademark. This is typically something an attorney would handle, but the information about the owner/their representative may be found online with the TEAS trademark lookup through the USPTO.

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