May 19, 2020
Several members have reached out or posted on the forums about the trademark filed by Penguin Random House for the word “Alpha.” RWA looked into this issue when the trademark filing first came to our attention in June 2019. We do not see cause for alarm in this instance. It’s a valid practice for publishers to trademark the names of divisions, imprints, etc. If single-word trademarks are approved, owners can’t prevent others from using the word in their titles. They can only assert it against those using the word for a similar purpose or series.