Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Ms. Jane Litte
Dear Author Literary Agency
Ms. Jane Litte:
I am writing on behalf of my clients, Tessa Dare and Samhain Publishing. As you know, Tessa Dare is the registered owner of, among others, the Werestag™ and Weredeer™ trademarks (hereinafter referred to collectively as the “wereruminant marks”), having used both those marks extensively in commerce in connection with her upcoming release of THE LEGEND OF THE WERESTAG. Samhain Publishing has acquired an exclusive license to deal in the protected wereruminant marks from Tessa Dare, and thus has a material interest.
It has come to our attention that you have recently sold a book written by Ann Aguirre, (hereinafter “Aguirre”) detailing the escapades of several supposed “weredeer” to Harlequin.
Further, both you and Aguirre were aware of Tessa Dare’s claim to the wereruminant marks, and were made aware of my efforts to protect Tessa Dare’s marks, as can be shown through multiple twitter postings. For reference purposes only, I point you to Aguirre’s twitter posting of approximately 10 AM EST:
ann_aguirre Thank goodness my secret is out. Hooray for were-deer! And I have @courtneymilan to thank for all my success.
As you neither asked for nor received permission to use the wereruminant marks, nor to make or distribute works in commerce that rely upon the source-designating wereruminant marks, you have willfully infringed Tessa Dare’s protected intellectual property.
I demand you immediately cease the use of the protected term “weredeer,” renege on your publishing deal, and refer to the beasts in question by their appropriate generic name: “four-legged beasts having four-chambered stomachs, with or without prongs, capable of shifting into one or more forms upon application of sufficient quantities of moonlight.”
If we have not received an affirmative response from you by 5 PM today indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, we shall be forced to take further action against you, including the filing of a lawsuit, a request for an immediate injunction to avoid the irreparable harm that the book of Aguirre’s hart will wreak on Tessa Dare’s wereruminant marks, and a request for punitive damages. (We are aware that punitive damages are not normally available, even in instances of willful trademark infringement, but those are just because you’re a mean girl.)
Attorney at Law
P.S. You note we have not cced Harlequin on this. I do feel a few tiny twinges of ethics, despite being a lawyer, and feel it is probably not a good idea to send a cease and desist letter to my own publishing house.
P.P.S. In compliance with your submissions requirements, this letter to arrive simultaneously via courier on 110 pound Crane paper, folded into an actual crane. Like this one: http://papercranetheater.com/images/peace-crane.gif
cc: Ann Aguirre
ETA: For those of you who read this much after the fact…. check the date out again. And April Fools!