Got a lovely email today:

“Fighting Gravity v. Leah Petersen, et al. – Trademark Infringement”

Is this trademark infringement?

Now isn’t that what every girl wants to read as she’s sitting at the dentist’s office while the kids are getting their semi-annual cleanings?

Well… no, actually.

The claim is from a live-performance group who assert that my use of the phrase “fighting gravity” as the title of my science fiction novel about a couple of teenage guys in a romantic relationship is an infringement on the trademark for their black-light, gravity-defying illusion performance group.

Right. Everyone with me so far?

If I haven’t said before how lovely and wonderful Gabrielle Harbowy, my editor, and Gwen Gades of Dragon Moon Press are, let’s be clear on that now. Before I could even get my bad-mooded self back home, I had emails from them with research and reassurance that I didn’t need to go have a major freak out.

Anyway, there’s lots of stuff on the internet to explain trademark as it applies to authors and book titles. Here’s a great one at Rights of Writers. The point to note is that, according to trademark law*, it’s only infringement if there can be sufficient confusion between the two. I admit, I’ve never seen them perform, so I may be missing something here, but unless they’re up there inventing laser devices and falling in love with the emperor of Earth and other human worlds, I think the opportunities for confusion are rather rare. (Although black-light on the scene where my guys kiss for the first time could be interesting.)

So, no freak out for me anymore. Just hiring a lawyer, apparently. And a much more exciting Wednesday night than I planned for. 😉


*I originally referred to this as copyright law and was set straight by The Passive Voice, who wrote a great explanation of the issue.