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Evil Empire has Evil Customer Service - Surprised?


Bruunwald
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If they wanted to have any protection of their IP, they have to challenge every possibility. Letting something slide opens the ground for losing their copyright. I actually don't have a problem with them bringing the lawsuit especially since it appears that there are aspects of the case that they are likely to win. That doesn't necessarily mean that the judge will award damages though, he may simply decide that having Chapterhouse change some elements of the design will be enough.

 

That's not necessarily true.

 

You have to aggressively protect trademarks, but copyrights, patents, and trade secrets have different rules (both from trademarks and from each other).

 

As usual, if this matters to you, talk to a lawyer that specializes in the kind of IP you're trying to protect and that practices in your country. It's a complex area.

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IIRC, they ruled GW has the rights to the dimensions of a SM shoulder pad. Which is not that odd when you think about it, but it is a bit counter intuitive.

IIRC, they ruled GW has the rights to the dimensions of a SM shoulder pad. Which is not that odd when you think about it, but it is a bit counter intuitive.

I get the impression it was the other way around, from the Legalwatch section of BoLS Wargaming News:

 

-The ruling of no infringement for the use of the underlying shape and size of GW shoulderpads is now on the legal record.

That sure sounds like GW has not got the right to stop anyone from making fitting shoulder pads.

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:blink:

 

I just noticed the trial was held in the building where I have in the past served on jury duty.

 

The description of the trial is interesting. You can see it here:

http://www.lounge.belloflostsouls.net/showthread.php?32996-LEGALWATCH-Games-Workshop-vs-Chapterhouse-Trial

 

In a fairly major "Oh what a give-away" moment, Alan Merrett of GW testified.

 

-Mr. Merrett described Games Day to the jury as a Games Workshop event that allowed customers to perform their "favorite hobby activity; buying things from Games Workshop".

Edited by Pingo
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This just further poisons the well of douche that GW continues to gush forth from. If these smaller companies are providing selling products you'd think GW would HIRE THEM TO MAKE THEM MONEY instead of acting like George Lucas. I am utterly baffled at the unbelievable stupidity and arrogance being displayed. One could quote the 'business is business' thing but I'll just smile and go find a pin to pop that frail little bubble of theirs. I will finish modelling what I've already got primed but plan on liquidating anything else that can be put to use by someone less insulted than myself.

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If they wanted to have any protection of their IP, they have to challenge every possibility. Letting something slide opens the ground for losing their copyright. I actually don't have a problem with them bringing the lawsuit especially since it appears that there are aspects of the case that they are likely to win. That doesn't necessarily mean that the judge will award damages though, he may simply decide that having Chapterhouse change some elements of the design will be enough.

Not quite - in this case most of the items challenged did not in fact conflict with GW's IP - they were original aftermarket parts for existing models.

 

Aftermarket parts are very much a legal product.

 

GW's lawyers should have warned them against pursuing this case, but instead tried to mount an offense... and largely failed.

 

This was largely a matter of case law, with well defined precedents.

 

Chapterhouse lost on specific items, rather than their business as a whole. They had individual models that came too close, such as the female Far Seer and some 'True Scale Marines' that were entirely derivative. But the parts for converting vehicles and infantry were legal.

 

GW, in turn, had... rather exaggerated ideas of what they could reasonably pursue as IP. Roman numerals? The letter X? Skulls with horns? Skulls, skulls, skulls everywhere? Big shoulder pads?

 

Much of GW's iconography was likewise derivative - so things like the Dark Angel's death angel icon are still being used by Chapterhouse and were dismissed with prejudice - GW will not be allowed to take CH to task for using them.

 

Also - Trademark needs to be defended in order to enjoy protection - Copyright is under no such requirement. And GW had not bothered to register the bulk of these as IP.

 

So much of 'their' IP that they were trying to defend they have now lost.

 

And the $25,000 fine is the total, not per item. The fine is gonna sting, but is not enough to put CH out of business.

 

And to get that fine levied GW spent over a million dollars up against a pro bono publico defense and their own lawyer was sanctioned to the tune of $10,000 for trying to hide evidence.

 

'>170+ Page Dakka Dakka Thread

discussing the case.

 

Not a good day for GW, last Friday.

 

TSR used to try similar shenanigans... and never won a single case.

 

The Auld Grump

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GW, in turn, had... rather exaggerated ideas of what they could reasonably pursue as IP. Roman numerals? The letter X? Skulls with horns? Skulls, skulls, skulls everywhere? Big shoulder pads?

 

Much of GW's iconography was likewise derivative - so things like the Dark Angel's death angel icon are still being used by Chapterhouse and were dismissed with prejudice - GW will not be allowed to take CH to task for using them.

 

Also - Trademark needs to be defended in order to enjoy protection - Copyright is under no such requirement. And GW had not bothered to register the bulk of these as IP.

 

So much of 'their' IP that they were trying to defend they have now lost.

 

And the $25,000 fine is the total, not per item. The fine is gonna sting, but is not enough to put CH out of business.

 

And to get that fine levied GW spent over a million dollars up against a pro bono publico defense and their own lawyer was sanctioned to the tune of $10,000 for trying to hide evidence.

 

170+ Page Dakka Dakka Thread discussing the case.

 

Not a good day for GW, last Friday.

 

TSR used to try similar shenanigans... and never won a single case.

 

The Auld Grump

 

 

Wow. What a bunch of douchebags. I wonder of this will allow online retailers to display images of GW stuff they have for sale now? Is this tied in any way to that restriction?

 

I really hope this gets GW's management's heads out of their collective asses and realize they can't trademark the world.

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TSR used to try similar shenanigans... and never won a single case.

 

The Auld Grump

 

 

I can't say whether TSR ever won a case in court. I do know of situations where they lost in court or lost to a pro se defense (e.g. their case against Mayfair, where one of the principals was a lawyer; TSR ended up buying the product they were suing to stop simply to end the case they started).

 

I can say that they forced quite a few companies to stop selling product without getting to court.

 

IMO, this case is a fine example argument for US tort reform.

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TSR used to try similar shenanigans... and never won a single case.

 

The Auld Grump

 

 

I can't say whether TSR ever won a case in court. I do know of situations where they lost in court or lost to a pro se defense (e.g. their case against Mayfair, where one of the principals was a lawyer; TSR ended up buying the product they were suing to stop simply to end the case they started).

 

I can say that they forced quite a few companies to stop selling product without getting to court.

 

IMO, this case is a fine example argument for US tort reform.

 

The scary thing is how often TSR settled and paid money to the person or persons that they were suing....

 

One thing that I will say about WotC - they have not been crazy about taking people to court, and have been willing to find work arounds.

 

Heck, the whole of the OGL was a giant work around that would allow folks to use their IP without challenging that IP.

 

Which made the GSL even stupider.... But even then, WotC did not try to defend the indefensible. The OGL worked because it was quid pro quo, but the GSL tried to make it all one sided, and was not at all attractive to most 3PP.

 

Hmm... a soapbox seems to have just appeared under my feet....

 

But even at their worst, I do not think that TSR ever tried to shut a company down entirely, which is what GW has just attempted, and utterly failed, to do. (Wanting CH to remove all means of casting miniatures... the first judge actually told them that wasn't going to happen... but they tried anyway.)

 

I am tempted to get one of the Chapterhouse jetbikes... just because.

 

The Auld Grump

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TSR used to try similar shenanigans... and never won a single case.

 

The Auld Grump

 

 

I can't say whether TSR ever won a case in court. I do know of situations where they lost in court or lost to a pro se defense (e.g. their case against Mayfair, where one of the principals was a lawyer; TSR ended up buying the product they were suing to stop simply to end the case they started).

 

I can say that they forced quite a few companies to stop selling product without getting to court.

 

IMO, this case is a fine example argument for US tort reform.

 

 

(Bolding mine) I wonder if that hasn't been a large part of GW's strategy to date. I have heard of multiple small, individual producers who were essentially shut down because they couldn't afford a court case. If Chapterhouse weren't offered free legal representation, he might have had to fold as well.

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The scary thing is how often TSR settled and paid money to the person or persons that they were suing....

Yeah, can you say "Dangerous Dimensions"? (Later "Dangerous Journeys" as a result of a C&D from TSR.) It's my understanding that TSR ended up with a warehouse full of books that they bought to remove them from the market. Frankly, it's about the only way that GDW could have sold the game; it was ... not good.

 

But even at their worst, I do not think that TSR ever tried to shut a company down entirely, which is what GW has just attempted, and utterly failed, to do. (Wanting CH to remove all means of casting miniatures... the first judge actually told them that wasn't going to happen... but they tried anyway.)

 

I am tempted to get one of the Chapterhouse jetbikes... just because.

 

The Auld Grump

If I liked 40K even a little bit, I might do the same. But I cordially despise both the game and the art style ... and I don't fish, so they're not even worth buying for sinkers. :devil:

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On the topic of GW. I have come to the "startling" conclusion that that their dry brushing paint sucks. I bought two bottles to try it some time ago. One of which is no completely useless. Already 'dry' they dry up in no time at all, and not even Buglips could salvage it I'm certain.

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