This Came Up Recently – Using Brand Names in Stories

I had a short story I sent to an editor recently. In that story, I had people from the future go back in time and one of the things they did was buy the IPO of a certain brand name technology stock. I’m not currently using the products of that company, I use a PC. The implication from the way it was used was that the company in question would still be a thriving company a hundred years in the future. My editor, rightfully, discussed a concern about using the exact name of the company in the story. I was of a mind to use the name anyway, especially since I didn’t say anything bad about it.

Still, I felt better when I read this blog post.

Can I Mention Brand Name Products in My Fiction?

While it was written in 2010, I would imagine that the principles still hold true. I’m going to quote a bit from that post.

Writers frequently ask whether they can mention brand name products and services in their fiction.  The answer is “yes,” provided that you take some common sense precautions.  Indeed, if it were unlawful to include brand names in fiction, countless product references in Bret Easton Ellis’s novel Glamorama would have been expurgated, and David Foster Wallace could never have described in Infinite Jest an alternative present where large corporations purchase naming rights to the calendar years (e.g., “Year of the Whopper,” “Year of the Trial-Size Dove Bar,” “Year of the Perdue Wonderchicken,” “Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment,” and “Year of Glad”).

The four areas of law to consider in connection with brand names are “trademark infringement,” “trademark dilution,” “trademark tarnishment,”and “defamation.”

If you were wondering about this question, I hope this article helps you as much as it helped me.

Advertisements

Rwanda Mission Trip

I posted this on my devotional blog. I wanted to let people here know about my upcoming trip.

Daily Enduring Truth

I am going to do something I rarely do: ask for your support. On the menu at the top of the page you will see an item called “Rwanda Trip.” That page is a shameless request for prayer and financial support, if God would so lead you, for a mission trip that my daughter, my wife and I will be going on. Please begin by supporting us with prayer and see how else God would have you support us. Here is the text of that request:

This summer my wife, my daughter and I will be traveling to Rwanda with Africa New Life Ministries and Love 41. Africa New Life Ministries works with children who need all kinds of assistance and provides them an opportunity to get a great education and allows us to participate in that ministry monthly by adopting a child, supporting him/her, praying for them and in turn…

View original post 326 more words

About That Donate Button

This is a copied post (with minor editing) from my devotional blog Daily Enduring Truth to explain why I have a “donate” button.

In all my years of blogging I have never put a donate button on my blog for myself. Last night I did. The button is there if you want to have a part in my mission trip to Rwanda. My wife, my daughter and I will be traveling with a group from Love 41, Saddleback Leather and Africa New Life Ministries to minister in Rwanda this summer. Africa New Life Ministries allows people the privilege of sponsoring and supporting orphan and fatherless children there. There are too many after the genocide.

If you have enjoyed my writing and would like to contribute for the trip, you have that option. The biggest donation you can make, though, is 2 minutes of prayer a day. Let the donation button be a reminder to pray. Prayer for effectiveness of our time there. Pray for our safety. Pray for God to work through us. Pray that we would be attentive to God’s desires. Pray for the children we sponsor. My daughter will see her son and her sister again. We will get to meet our daughter for the first time. The greatest gift you can give us as we prepare and as we travel is your prayers. Thanks for understanding and praying.

“Blessed is he who considers the poor; the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness, You will sustain him on his sickbed.”

Psalm 41:1-3 (NKJV)