WA Choosing Character Names associated with Well-Known Characters

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TimelessLove

Member
24 May 2018
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Hello everyone,

I'm currently in uni studying Creative Writing and am looking to start work on my first book, and I was hoping I could get a second opinion on something.

Without giving too much away in regards to the story's premise, I'm trying to decide on the full name for a character who is kindhearted, brave, strong and unafraid to stand up to [another character] who mistreats those around him. I'd really like to give her the middle name Ariel, a biblical name meaning "lion of God", as it really captures the essence of her personality. However, since Ariel was the name given to Disney's Little Mermaid, I'm a little worried I might get picked up on it even though my character has nothing to do with Disney's character.

I'd also like to make her nickname Nessa (which is a name with various origins including Hebrew and Scandinavian) as her first name is Janessa, but I think that's the nickname of a character in the musical Wicked.

Is this something I need to look into further, or am I just being overly cautious?
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

Lawyer
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16 February 2017
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Not my area, but I think you're being overly cautious. Unless the name is particularly unique, it would require a closer characterisation than what you're describing for you to be breaching trade mark.
 

TimelessLove

Member
24 May 2018
2
0
1
Not my area, but I think you're being overly cautious. Unless the name is particularly unique, it would require a closer characterisation than what you're describing for you to be breaching trade mark.
Thanks Rob. :) I had a feeling I was being overly cautious. After all, that would be like saying you can't use the name Emma because that was the lead in Once Upon A Time. Admittedly I am the type of person to overthink things, but I felt happier asking anyway.