Legal Question in Entertainment Law in Washington

Mentioning Places by name in a book

I have written a book which is a series of short comedy pieces based on my observations of the world. In it I mention wal-mart and disneyland. Nothing negative, is this ok or do they need to be changed to fictional places? Would this be covered by parady laws?

Asked on 1/14/07, 1:16 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

David Anderson Anderson Business Law LLC

Re: Mentioning Places by name in a book

Parody- A trademark may be used without the trademark holder's permission if the mark is used for the purpose of criticism or comment associated with the protection afforded by the First Amendment. Again, there must not be a likelihood of confusion by the consumer between the unauthorized use and the registered trademark.

Much of the information above was compiled from the USPTO website. For more information go to:

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Answered on 1/14/07, 1:47 pm

Steven Mark Steven Paul Mark, Attorney at Law

Re: Mentioning Places by name in a book

Gee, I would have hoped you'd have had a lot of negative things to say. David Anderson's answer certainly works for a potential trademark claim. Additionally, mentioning place names in non-fiction or fiction contexts is lawful with the usual cautions (defamation, unfair competition, etc.). Parody is always a credible defense but satire is better.

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Answered on 1/15/07, 8:58 pm

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