I have a character in a world i am making along with a few others who are named after real life fighter jets both new and old however i was wondering if whatever i have made took off and got poplular would i have to change their names if the respective governments that commission these jets to be named something different or would i get sued if they don't like it or see it as effecting copyright or something?

Kind of new to this concept and i'm not even sure what i am scared about is possible but i want to make sure just before i go public with these characters.

1 Answer 1


It is true that warplanes, including fighter jets, are often named after real objects and concepts. This goes back as far as the WWI Sopwith Camel, latterly famous as the chosen plane of Snoopy.

But whether a plane has a unique name or not, a single word or a short phrase such ass a title is not protected by copyright. Such terms might possibly be protected by trademark, but as you are not selling goods or services, and as you could not reasonably be confused with a government, nor any characters you create with warplanes, there would seem to be no trademark issue.

In short, you should be legally free to use such names if you please. If you publish a book including a major character with such a name, the publisher will have a legal department who will most likely review your work for possible issues. If you are publishing is some other way, and want to be quite safe, hire a lawyer of your own to review this issue.

  • my main concern is one that is called f-22 which unlike the blackbird is still in operation which is why i wanted to check just in case. Nov 14, 2018 at 3:20
  • @JensenPyart Such a short designation can't be copyrighted (and the process by which it was assigned isn't creative anyway). The only way it could violate trademark law is if you were potentially causing confusion among buyers of F-22s. Whether or not the plane is still in service means nothing here. Nov 14, 2018 at 19:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .