That Neil Guy sez, "Writer Leah Petersen received a Cease and Desist notice. Seems the title of her debut novel, Fighting Gravity, is also the name of a live performance group that appeared on America's Got Talent. As Leah writes on her blog, the claim is that '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.' Now she gets to pay for a lawyer. Lucky her."

Update: And it's off: "Fighting Gravity To Leah Peterson and her fans: Disregard the cease and desist letter that was issued by our lawyers. Although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, some people have taken that too far and we have had to deal with it. By no means is Leah Peterson one of those people, our lawyers were just doing their jobs and trying to protect our name and trademark. We wish the best for Leah and hope her book becomes a great success! " Discuss

17 Responses to “Black-light acrobats Fighting Gravity send trademark threat over unrelated fantasy novel called "Fighting Gravity"”

  1. shutz says:

    I’ve always meant to write an SF story (or novel) about a couple who fall in love in part due to the influence of gravity, which would open with the Einstein quote, “Gravity cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.”

    Looks like I was beaten to the punch.

    I hope her book sees a lot of success, and I hope this legal issue will give her some nice extra promotion.

  2. Geoff Arnold says:

    Note that there are quite a few books (novels and non-fiction) entitled “Fighting Gravity”, by authors like Cherie Reich, Peggy Rambach, Sarah Posner, Barbara Wintroub…. There’s also the band by that name (which, ironically, owns the URL fightinggravity.com), and numerous other references in popular culture. I hope those teenage morons can afford all of the forthcoming counter-suits.

  3. I’d like to see hard statistics regarding the number of daily worldwide “cease and desist” letters AND  the percentage of these letters that actually morph (or ooze) into victorious court cases. I would guess the victories are rather insignificant in number

  4. Dylan Gordon says:

    You can tell them how much you like this on their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/FGravityFanpage

  5. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I thought that book and film titles were exempt from all that nonsense.

    Also:  That’s a nice tightrope you got there, sonny.  It’d be a shame if anything happened to it.

    • Sagodjur says:

      Titles are exempt from copyright protection. This is a trademark threat. Basically, the group is claiming that a moron in a hurry would think that the book was issued by them instead of a sci fi novel that is completely unrelated. Or else the group incorrectly thinks it owns the term fighting gravity. Either way, it’s bullshit.

  6. Daemonworks says:

    the band was active (according to wikipedia) for 24 years (up to 2009). I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that they have a better claim to the trademark

  7. Thanks for the mention, Cory! (And Neil.)

  8. Shay Fabbro says:

    Titles are NOT subjest to copyright so I am surprised this is even going to court. Their lawyer is either a complete IDIOT or thinks they’ll gain something from this. Judge shouls take one look at this and throw it out.

    • Sagodjur says:

       Trademarks are different than copyrights. This is a C&D citing “trademark infringement.”

  9. Tim Queeney says:

    Maybe these guys have spent too much time bathed in UV light. Altered cognitive functions perhaps? Leah will prevail in this.

  10. Well, someone over there is aware of the negative PR. All of the Facebook wall requests that they drop the Cease and Desist letter have been removed. 

  11. C&D letters can and are printed out from websites and sent ad hock to people in order to exploit cash to which the senders are not entitled. Not saying this is happening here… but I’m saying it happens… and there’s no reason to be a bully :/ 

  12. Fighting Gravity (the acrobats) just posted on their Facebook Wall in response to those of us who asked why they were issuing a C&D letter to an author. This is their response:

    Fighting Gravity To Leah Peterson and her fans: Disregard the cease and desist letter that was issued by our lawyers. Although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, some people have taken that too far and we have had to deal with it. By no means is Leah Peterson one of those people, our lawyers were just doing their jobs and trying to protect our name and trademark. We wish the best for Leah and hope her book becomes a great success! 

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