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October 9th, 2002, 12:26 AM
This happens;

I wrote a sc-fi novel called "The Way Station", which I have been submitting to publishers, agents etc.
I was looking through old threads on the writing forum and checked out a thread about Clifford D Simak as I've read some of his short stories.
those who know his work will already know where I'm going with this.

I discovered that he wrote a sci-fi novel called "Way Station".
:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

It's an old term, which isn't used much these days, hence my choice to make the title stand out.

After hauling my jaw off the floor I thought "That's it! I'm stuffed!"
I read a review of the story (with heart pounding like a drum) and realised (to my indescribable relief) that it bears no resemblance to my story at all. [heavy sigh!]
However I may need to change the name of my story, which I would hate to do as there are dozens of references to the Way Station by many of the characters in it, and it is the central piece of my book.

:( :mad: :( :mad:

October 9th, 2002, 12:54 AM
Unless a title is trade marked, I don't think you have a problem with your book. There are many books out there with the same title, and normally, the titles aren't copyrighted unless they have been registered as a trademak etc., as I said.

Kats, if you're around, can you shed any more light on this please? :)

October 9th, 2002, 09:40 AM
I wouldn't worry about it, kahnovitch--trust me, I worked in a bookstore for several years and I know that there are lots of books that get published with the same title as something else. As long as the stories aren't similar, I really don't think it matters. :)

October 9th, 2002, 10:54 AM
Thanks for the reassurances, but I'm still a bit concerned that sharing a book title with someone like "Clifford D Simak" will make some prospective agents/publishers file it straight in the bin.

Pirate Jenn
October 9th, 2002, 07:00 PM
Better than Simlac.
Yeah...Wayside Station isn't such a bad overlap as "Ender's Game" or "Left Hand of Darkness" might be. :rolleyes:

October 10th, 2002, 04:36 PM
okay guys n galls, I've decided the name stays.
I looked around the web and found the word in reference to a good few things so I guess it hasn't been trademarked.
Thanks for the help :)

October 10th, 2002, 05:14 PM
Good for you!

Aik Haw
October 11th, 2002, 05:50 AM
Rest assured, no one can trademark the name "The Way Station". I know that in Aussie and New Zealand English, way stations tend to refer to the furthest point in a farmer's paddock when they do their rounds. In Malaysian and Singaporean English, waystation is the short form for "wayward station," usually referring to a train station or a bus station that is so out of place or remote!! No one can trademark a common name. It is like trademarking the word "Bus" for the use of calling the four wheeled public transport.

Trademarks for a name can only be used if:-
(a) It has never been used before for a particular circumstance or object, IN ANY LANGUAGE( very rare ).
(b) Naming of something that has never been known to exist before, usually a drug ( ie:- zyprexa)
(c) A common name for common things or objects, BUT used under trademark to denote a SPECIFIC product, a SPECIFIC literature only, not necessarily something that has been never known to exist (ie:- The Red Bus company running tours around Oxford and Cambridge in England. The Sleeping God as the title of Peter F. Hamilton's Third Book in the Night Dawn Trilogy ). Trademark is only breached if you use the name of the Red Bus with something to do with the Red Bus company without their approval!!

However, I will not commit a crime by pointing out to you in my literature that I am riding a red bus!! Nor naming my story title red bus when it is talking about another bus company!!

October 11th, 2002, 05:54 AM
Cheers mate. I feel a LOT better now! :)

Aik Haw
October 11th, 2002, 06:16 AM
Forgetting to point out, that is my understanding of the law common throughout all Commonwealth nations. Given that you are in Britain where this law originated from, it should govern you. ( Of course, than you get the sticky issue of which law are you under when on the Internet like when you are submitting information etc.. There is still no common agreement even throughout the entire Commonwealth nations which tend to come up with multilateral laws really quickly whether one is governed by the law of the server's website or the site of idea origin!!)

Do note Americans tend to see the internet as governed by the laws of the State of California, which by their arguement are bound by the contract signed by your OS and the user. This of course do not sit well with the Commonwealth, EU and Far East law boards as does it mean that you must inform the State of California if you say wanted to shut down a website?

International law has not yet covered ( at least the 2001 version I have ) the standardising issue of trademarking, but I was informed that a draft law is up and running this year.