Is this mall section, in Brown Girl In The Ring, a 1999 book, more likely avoiding trademarks, or talking about knockoffs of "Kentucky Fried Chicken" and "Burger King"?

I've never seen anyone avoiding trademarks in written works in our modern era, except in Japanese works, see TV Tropes: Bland Name Product. But is 1999 sufficiently a foreign country that I'm wrong in my assumption?

Especially in my assumptions of how big "Kentucky Fried Chicken" and "Burger King" were, back then, unlike now-ish?

General George Fried Chicken, proclaimed one sign; Divine Burger, another.

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    For those curious, like me, this has working magic in three plot, so it's on-topic.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 17:31
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    Also, the book is set in the future, with the prequel set in 2049. I sent the author a tweet to see if there's a canonical answer.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 17:45
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    @FuzzyBoots - oops. I just did the same thing. She'll think she's being hounded by very specific crazy people.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 17:48
  • @FuzzyBoots - I didn't know that prequel from a few years ago placed it that far into the future. Wow. I'm not sure if that's canon... Because nothing in the book indicates it's that far in the future...? Only like a little more than a decade ahead of 1998 present?
    – Malady
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 18:25
  • @Malady: I had the same feeling when I saw that, but I thought maybe the Wikipedia article just didn't think to mention it. :-D
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 18:29

1 Answer 1


According to the author:

I invented the names. They weren't meant to represent those specific restaurants (which are, in any case, American not Canadian) but I see you do understand the kind of fast food chain I was invoking.

And also:

I just had a look at the link. You might tell them that it's still a bad idea to use trademarked names in fiction. You risk having a corporation with deeper pockets than yours force you to cancel your book or be sued for infringement. I know writers who've had that experience.

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