Wooden gavel and books on wooden table,on brown background

Cockygate Forever

How do you piss off an entire community of authors? Trademark, baby. That’s how. You probably already know what sparked this entire controversy, but if you don’t, here is the tea on #cockygate. 

Did you, like me, think that it was over? Did you think Faleena had backed down?

We couldn’t have been more wrong. In the space of a few days, several things have happened. Author Heidi McLaughlin trademarked the name “Beaumont“, one day before she trademarked the word “forever.” No one is very sure of who, exactly, trademarked forever. McLaughlin said it was filed without her consent by her agent. Corvisiero, her agent, denied that she had acted without her client’s consent. 

Jenny Trout’s post is worth reading in its entirety, but the whole thing basically boils down to McLaughlin probably did want to trademark the word Forever, but it’s likely we won’t know the truth for a while.

Here’s the relevant part:

My agent and I discussed trademarking my brand. This was essentially important because there is someone out there who poses as me, giving interviews as me, etc… who has been dealt with numerous times. So when I found all this out that was my first assumption. And while I asked you not to make any, I did, based on what I’ve had to deal with when it comes to this other being.

Know this as truth and fact – my agent acted on my behalf, trademarking my brand and my name. The result: a miscommunication on my part.

I’m not an evil person. I never wish harm on anyone, wish for them to fail or desire to stop them from doing anything. That’s not my nature. It’s not who I am or how I function in life, despite what people are saying who don’t actually know me.

The application in question, as I’m being told, is in the process of being canceled, withdrawn or whatever has to be done.

Her statement can be read here in its entirety. 

The trademark filing was withdrawn almost immediately, but things were just about to escalate in terms of cockygate.

Since the trademark entered the public eye, Cockybot has been created. It’s a twitter bot “that searches the USPTO for new applications to register trademarks that may be relevant to fiction authors and then tweets about them.” (Sidenote: The account is worth a read both for its ability to make you rage and its great comedic content. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to read BIG DADDY SWOLLS, personally.)

Kevin Kneupper received an email from Hopkins’ lawyer, telling him that a lawsuit was being brought forward against him.

Hopkins’ lawyer also filed a temporary restraining order against him. According to Kneupper, these are the legal documents filed by Hopkins’ representation.  There is a lot here, but I want to especially highlight two of my favorite screenshots:


Hopkins has also sworn in an affidavit that her sales have declined, which goes directly against a live video in which she said that her sales hadn’t been affected at all by #cockygate. Cockytales is now available for purchase and is a huge part of Hopkins’ lawsuit.

For the time being, it looks like this is going to take a while. The law isn’t going to move quickly. In the meantime, it seems like Faleena Hopkins is going to continue to turn the community against her all while her sales continue to suffer.


One Reply to “Cockygate Forever”

  1. After my initial message to Faleena that she was making a mistake by not thinking about the reaction her consumers would have to her trademarking an obviously overused word in Steamy Contemporary Romance, I thought I wasn’t going to say anything again. I have to. I just have to. I have a copy of Cockales. I bought it in solidarity with authors who were threatened by Faleena. I know that Faleena has, up until this point in her career, done everything on her own. I truly think she thought that Indie publishing was like any other sole pursuit of hers – photography, etc.- that she was going to be on her own and had to protect her craft. That is as far from the truth as you can get with Indie publishing. As an editor, and an avid reader, I can tell you that I’ve been insulted more than once by Faleena’s words. When this mess started, I actually read one of her books, which I hadn’t done before. Her writing is not polished. Her plotting and character development is not well done either. That just convinced me that this was a tempest in a teapot and that it would blow over.

    Obviously I was wrong. I think that she HAS been subjected to something close to bullying by the community of which she is a member, BUT I believe she should have known what would happen when she threw down against people whose entire livelihoods depend upon their craft. Yes, I’ve seen some pretty nasty messages to her that, in my opinion, were over the top, and in the case of a few directed at her family, completely our of line.

    All that said, I read 300 books last year, almost all were in the same category that Faleena and the people she is trying to one-up. Some I’ve enjoyed and some not so much. I review every single one on Amazon (reviewer ranking #1725 this week) and I will tell you that being called unsophisticated, confused, and likely to buy because a guy has a bare chest has got me gritting my teeth and wanting to sue Faleena for any number of things relating to being completely out of touch with her own consumers.

Comments are closed.