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Sarah Palin’s ‘Rogue’ book has a competitor: ‘Rouge’

Going Rogue

When Sarah Palin’s big-bucks memoir “Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin” comes out Nov. 17, there’ll be another book about her hitting the stores the same day: “Going Rouge: Sarah Palin, an American Nightmare.”

The “Rouge” book, with a similar name and cover, will be put out by a new company, OR Books, says Publishers Marketplace, which says it will  be composed of “essays assembled by Nation editors Richard Kim and Betsy Reed.” Marketplace adds that “it promises ‘progressive perspectives on Sarah Palin’s political career’ by writers including Naomi Klein, Jane Mayer, Katha Pollitt, Jim Hightower, Christopher Hayes, Gloria Steinem, Joe Conason, and Tom Frank.”

Going Rouge

Shouldn’t there be a copyright trademark problem in this somewhere? Publishers Marketplace wondered, too:

… we asked Ned Himmelrich, head of the intellectual property department at law firm Gordon Feinblatt, for an assessment of whether the cheeky new cover crosses legal lines. “Although the first instinct is to believe that the ‘Nightmare’ book has to be infringing” the publishers “may have found a seam in Palin’s protection.”

He added: “Titles of books cannot be protected as trademarks (a clear rule); trademark protection does not accrue until the mark is used (no sales yet); both books would be ‘in use’ on the first day (Palin cannot claim first use); ‘Trade dress’ does not exist unless the graphics are inherently distinctive (doubtful) or well recognized (too soon); and the ‘Nightmare’ title may even be a valid parody (a good defense). Each of these theories has a countervailing argument, but on each, the legal arguments might be a nightmare for Palin.”

Meanwhile, the real Sarah Palin will appear on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Nov. 16.

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