You are here:

Writing Books/Specific University Names in fiction


I have a fictional character who is a Psychology professor in a book I am writing.  Is there liability in having this character work at a well-known university and/or specifying the name of the campus building where this professor works?  Is it best just to make up a college and describe it as a major university?  Any input would be very much appreciated.  Thanks.

Using the real identity of a university, when a character is employed there, is a liability. If a real professor where to say it is him, you open up liability.

The university owns property rights to their name, logo, and all associated with it. It is a copyright infringement to their ownership.

You cannot use them, unless it is a brief reference in a good light, meaning simply saying a character passed the university on his way to... or something as simple as that. Much like referring to a trademarked restaurant that a character ate at.

When using a trademarked identity, one must remember that it is owned and cannot be infringed upon.

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jannie Balliett


I am a published writer, Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing, specializing in novel writing, and creative writing. I can answer most any question concerning writing a book, plot and characterization, tighten the prose, and the editing process, and help advise with publishing and the requirements of obtaining a literary agent.


I'm a published writer, freelancer, and Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing for my two Online writer workshops.

Sisters In Crime Internet Chapter, The Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Brazos Writers Group.

Writers Post Journal magazine, May 2006 issue, Augusr 2006 issue, Nov/December 2006 issue and soon in 2008, On A Whim, flash fiction anthology, offered in Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Some college, creative writing, fiction writing

Past/Present Clients
I have numerous clients using my service through my editorial service and numerous members in my Online writer workshops.

©2017 All rights reserved.