Clare demands Kenyon show evidence in trademark lawsuit

Clare demands Kenyon show evidence in trademark lawsuit

Cassandra Clare’s lawyer has sought a court order demanding sci-fi writer Sherrilyn Kenyon disclose evidence in the case over trademark infringement.

Kenyon sought a court order at the beginning of last year seeking to stop Clare from infringing on Dark Hunter copyrights and trademarks, alleging that Clare’s Shadowhunter series was too similar to her own work.  However Clare’s legal representative, John Cahill, has now asked United States District Court in Tennessee that Kenyon disclose evidence of her claims or acknowledge that she has none after having “repeatedly pressed Ms. Kenyon for evidence of her claims”. 

In a statement, Cahill said: “There is much for Ms. Clare to be happy about.  However she is still dogged by false allegations filed in Ms. Kenyon’s 2016 lawsuit.  More than writing bestsellers for her devoted and growing fan base, Ms. Clare cares most about her reputation as a skilled writer of originality and vision.”

Recently Kenyon relinquished her copyright claims before the court could rule on a motion to dismiss, according to Cahill.

He said: “For example, she claimed that Ms. Clare copied something from one of her (Ms. Kenyon’s) books when in reality Ms. Kenyon’s book had not yet been published when Ms. Clare's was.”

Kenyon’s unfair competition claims were dismissed by the court. Cahill described Clare as “baffled” by the idea that anyone could confuse her books with Kenyon’s. He said: “The trademark aspect of the suit survived only because the law requires the court at the early stage of the case to accept as true even highly improbable allegations that could theoretically be true – for example, that many people confuse Ms. Clare’s books with Ms. Kenyon’s.

“Ms. Clare is baffled about how anyone could confuse her books or characters with Kenyon’s, especially given how prominent their names are on the books, and how very different their characters are and the different audiences they appeal to.”

Kenyon's Dark Hunter series was first published in the US in 1998 by St Martin's Press and Piatkus and in the UK by Little, Brown. In the UK, Cassandra Clare is published by both Simon & Schuster Children’s Books and Walker Books. S&S UK bought a series of novels from Clare exploring the life and times of Magnus Bane, a character from her Shadowhunter series which will be published. It will be co-written by science fiction author Wesley Chu and published in hardback in November simultaneously with Saga Press (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in the US. TV adaptation "Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments” launched on Netflix in January 2016.

Kenyon has sold 275,312 books in the UK amounting to £1.91m according to Nielsen BookScan.