Using a trademarked name in a book *edit Just found out the word is trademarked. Not just copyrighted =( I have a gaming username in which I have been using since 1999. It's an ambiguous word I thought of for example: whiteword Now, the problem is, my username has long been "taken" by a company. They ambiguously thought of this word and are now is too, using it as the name for their software. They created their application in 2006. I have always planned to use my username for my novel, because the 2 words put together has alot of symbolic meaning, literal meaning, etc that ties into the plot. It's the name of my main character's power. I've been developing ideas/working on my novel since 2004. I even had a website up since then with that word listed as my name character's power. It's even archived on webarchives. My question is, what are the fair use rules on words. I mean, can I name my main character "Apple" or "Microsoft" or "Beatles"? I read the us copyright database, and it says that word is listed as a copyright as a "software" only. Can I copyright my name as a fictional character like how JK Rowling does with Harry Potter? I read somewhere you can have 2 copyrights of the same word as long as they apply to different things. Am I allowed to make t-shirts with the word, "microsoft", and distribute them or would I be infringing on copyrights? Of course, "whiteword" isn't as obvious as microsoft. I did some research long ago and it seems like I can, but I just want to see what people's opinions are. And it seems like also, publishers tend to shy away from anything that has a chance of interfering with copyrights. When I first saw my word used as something as something else, my heart literally broke and it felt like my novel was butchered. I am 2 more months away from finishing my book.