The End of CockyGate

The End of CockyGate

At the end of my “Oh, Oh, CockyGate” post, I promised to update on “the BIG, REBELLION, WEIRDs, and STORYTELLER claims later.” That’s taking me much, much longer than expected.

Happens, you know?

Let’s take care of the CockyGate updates today.


Author and retired IP lawyer Kevin Kneupper tweeted about the final settlement at the end of July.

The author who attempted to trademark COCKY made a strange closing video to the ordeal that is kind of embarrassing to watch. You might find the video on YouTube with a quick search. Because she’s done it before, Hopkins might upload a different message under the same link. I don’t see the point in sharing the link this late. The gist of her closing video was she’s done with her COCKY court cases.

She also made a remark in line with a rumor: that she claimed the word for her own books after the group of trend manipulators–a group she was a member of–decided to all publish “Cocky” titles. I’d intended to research this more but have been dealing with more personal issues. The reason I’m sharing the rumor now for how it fills in a bunch of plot holes in the CockyGate story.

Ironically enough, Hopkins seems to have ensured the trend manipulators’ victory by filing the trademarks instead of calling out the group.

All the MSE Junk

Michael Scott-Earle (MSE) has a reputation for making everything about sex, but isn’t known for romance. He appears to have been a big name in LitRPG, an area of fiction that blends gaming lifestyles into fantasy novels.

I consider MSE’s trademark filings a part of CockyGate because of their timing and his statement that he and Hopkins know each other. It’s easy to imagine that they were inspired by the same sources, if not collaborating.

MSE’s Word Marks

Here’s a follow-up on “A Ridiculous Expansion to CockyGate”. MSE filed to trademark several phrases for fiction:


All of these show as “live” in the system. TAMER is moving toward full acceptance. I’m not sure who that will impact. The good news is that USPTO acknowledges that the MSE’s claim of THE DESTROYER “is confusingly similar to two registered marks.” His filing of DRAGON SLAYER is “incapable of functioning as an indicator of origin”.

Source Documents:

MSE’s Image Marks

More good news! This claim on a popular cover template was withdrawn!

I still wonder why he tried this….

MSE Blacklisted on Amazon

A LitRPG subreddit was full of supporters who say they buy all of MSE’s books. He has a sizable backlist, so that would make for a highly profitable audience.

But what his readers have been discussing online isn’t trademarks.

Around the same time of CockyGate discussions was an increased focus on hiding extra content in ebooks to increase earnings from the shared pot that’s divided out to authors by pages reads in Amazon’s Kindle Direct. And around the same time MSE’s name showed up in discussions of CockyGate, Amazon restricted sales of his prose books.

The reason? Supposedly, he was book stuffing.


Perhaps the lesson authors can learn from Hopkins and MSE is to not see readers primarily as cash cows. Readers tend to value the relationship with authors.

Authors shouldn’t be using their readers as an excuse for abuse.