Vatican Assassin Trademark Row

In 2005, Mike Luoma self-published his first novel, Vatican Assassin, through Lulu.com, a space religious war set against the moon in 2109. It’s met with modest success for Luoma, who’s since written two followup novels (Vatican Ambassador and Vatican Abdicator), and is currently adapting the stories to audio and comic forms. To help, he set up the website http://vaticanassassin.com.

In February of this year, Charlie Sheen enters the picture: yes, that Charlie Sheen. In February, when the news just exploded about him, we saw a series of bizzare statements on the Alex Jones radio show, including:

“Guys, it’s right there in the thing, duh! We work for the Pope, we murder people. We’re Vatican assassins. How complicated can it be? What they’re not ready for is guys like you and I and Nails and all the other gnarly gnarlingtons in my life, that we are high priests, Vatican assassin warlocks. Boom. Print that, people. See where that goes.”

According to Luoma, it was a bit of a shock when he referred to himself as a Vatican Assassin, and when he began to use it in all of his followup interviews.

The worrying thing that came recently was the news that Sheen has reportedly been looking into trademarking some of the things that he rambled about, including, Vatican Assassin. With someone who’s published a book by the same title, Luoma was worried: “I reached out to a lawyer friend who told me I might want to register my own trademark or file a competing claim – both of which will cost some serious [money] I don’t have.”

Luoma found help with Twitter, in the form of author Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Stardust, The Graveyard Book):

Further confirmation came in from author William Gibson (Neuromancer, Spook Country, Zero History):

It’s an intresting turn of events, and Luoma notes that he’s seen a slight uptick in people visiting his website and downloading his audio books. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear that the book is under any threat. For more information on Mike and his work, visit http://glowinthedarkradio.com.

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