View Full Version : GW trademark/copyright and ezines questions

08-12-2010, 23:28
2 questions

Question #1. The things listed here:


are they a complete list of every trademark that GW own?

This bit I find confusing:

and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Blood Bowl game, the Warhammer world, the Talisaman world, and the Warhammer 40,000 universe are either , TM and/or Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2010, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world.

Does that mean that they are trademark names even though they haven't listed them?? If so, should they?

Take the word 'Hashut' for instance.

Or am I mistaken and it means all associated uses of the trademark names they just listed above are all either , TM and/or , but it doesn't cover anything else?

For instance calling a planet Nurgle would be breaking the trademark, but selling an army of Bretonnians wouldn't (as it's not on the list)? (Edit. As long as you weren't trying to pass them off as a GW product, say having 'World War II Bretonnian Questing Knights').

Or are the things they have listed those that are registered trademarks, and everything else is unregistered?

Question #2. If there is an ezine called (for instance) the Thanquol Press (Thanquol being an unregistered trademark I believe), would it be wise to advertise in it any new releases of models that happen to look skaven like and could be used in skaven armies, but are made by Privateer Press (for example)? I.e. you are not passing them off as "Skaven" models (as that is a registered trademark), simply making people aware they exist.

Privateer Press would be the ones making money as a result of the advertising, nothing at all going to the ezine producers.

An ezine being an online magazine for people who don't know. ;)

09-12-2010, 01:14
I have always wondered if it would be legal to make real life replicas of.... say..... a bolter, and sell it for profit.

09-12-2010, 09:01
I have to say, the trademark/copyright debates always contain too much conjecture and not enough fact. Consult a lawyer on this if you have an actual issue

09-12-2010, 10:42
That is a very specific set of questions. I am no lawyer and I won't make any claim to understand copyright law, but your best bet is to contact GW's Legal department.

From reading your post you want to be making a non specfic wargaming ezine and though I am not sure if you will be making a profit or not, you want to be able to distribute and so I receommend contacting GW direct as they will be able to help.

10-12-2010, 17:52
That is a very specific set of questions. I am no lawyer and I won't make any claim to understand copyright law, but your best bet is to contact GW's Legal department.

No it's not. Your best bet is to get some impartial, unbiased legal advice. GW's legal department will likely give you the company take on matters which may be open to interpretation, or may even give advice/warnings which may be legally unenforcable in a court of law. That's not having a go at GW legal, protecting GW and their IP is what they're paid to do. Anything else said on here beyond "Seek professional advice" take with a massive pinch of salt (Including everything else I've said here ;)).

That said, contact GW legal by all means, if you want to. It's likely to be the better way to avoid getting a "Cease and Desist" in the first place. But just because their lawyers tell you that you can't do/print something, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the case.

10-12-2010, 18:54
We're not sure if 'hashut' is an unregistered trademark you see. Contacting GW legal about this is not going to happen. ;)

However, with more and more companies releasing models that would be good as 'chaos dwarfs' I think it would be nice to get an idea of the legal stance on advertising things in a not-for-profit ezine that are not "chaos Dwarfs". For example the Mantic conversion sets for Kaos Dwarfs.

Gw would have a cheek to ask us to stop, as we'll be heavily advertising all the chaos dwarf warhammer forge products, practically begging people to buy them...

I'm not aware of any other ezines that have a possibly trademarked word in their name, but someone may have come across one?

11-12-2010, 12:26
I have always wondered if it would be legal to make real life replicas of.... say..... a bolter, and sell it for profit.
I am also no lawyer, but this is a very much yes and no matter.

If someone were to commission you to build the likeness of a bolter, then that, I believe would be valid. If you were to build a one off and sell it on eBay, that would probably also fly.
But actually setting yourself up as "producing real life bolters" (and advertising it as part of your repertoire) would get GW legal coming down on you like the proverbial tonne of bricks.

My belief is that it basically boils down to if you're profiting from your talent, that's acceptable. If you're profiting from their IP, then that is not.


As regards the main problem... I've just pinged GW legal a non-specific e-mail that asks if their trademark list on that page is complete, and if not, where a complete one can be found.

It does not ask about any specific trademark, and does not identify this particular situation. I even used an e-mail account that goes with a completely different online alias of mine. So, you're completely anonymous here (well, as anonymous as you can be posting it on an open internet forum...)

I'll post the answer as and when I get it - which is probably not until next week, I doubt their legal team works weekends.

11-12-2010, 17:07
Have you a copy of the Chaos Dwarf army list? (silly question, I know) Checking that might reveal if they have ever registered it. A google search reveals that Hashut is only ever used in connection with Chaos Dwarfs, apart from a Finnish surname. The new Warhammer forge supplement might also include it. Even if they've not registered it the use of the word in Warhammer publications for years would give it some protection.

I think if you started to profit from it then you could expect a cease and desist. I don't think they would like it being used to push non GW product. But like all legal advice it's only worth what you paid for it. ;)

11-12-2010, 18:06
List of GW's registered trademarks in the UK:


11-12-2010, 18:13
Hmmm, Dark Angel and Dunqeonquest both expired...?

No sign of Hashut.... although they coul probably still claim it as their IP....

11-12-2010, 18:22
Pure speculating, they could theoretically say that you are using an unregistered trademark of theirs in your ezine name and that this is causing confusion which damages the sales of their products / their goodwill.

A more generic name and a prominent disclaimer would both probably help (at least a bit).

11-12-2010, 21:00
I've got the WD Presents book infront of me and it doesn't mention Hashut as a trademark, registered or not. Nor does Tome of Corruption. They're the last 2 books (outside novels) that would probably have it mentioned if it was.

Thanks for that MarcoSkoll

I've thought of a sneaky way we may get around this. As I said, most of the time we are including pictures of GW models (i.e. advertising for them) throughout. It's actually rare that we have anything worthy of showcasing that's not made by GW. So my idea is to partially obscure the word Hashut and to take off the mention of chaos dwarfs for any issues when we do this.. *evil grin* Saves us having to permanently rename the ezine.

11-12-2010, 21:52
Going from Avian's link they would seem to have some sort of case for passing off (http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-about/t-protect/t-protect-unreg/t-protect-passingoff.htm) were they so inclined.

11-12-2010, 21:57
Hmmm, Dark Angel and Dunqeonquest both expired...?

No sign of Hashut.... although they coul probably still claim it as their IP....

Not only these, GENESTEALER EXPIRED too lol

anyone to register? :D

11-12-2010, 22:00
Actually, thinking about it, you might be able to get some helpful advice out of Saussure over at Dark Magenta. He goes by the name "Tybalt Andrus" on Warseer.

While DM is an Inquisitor fan magazine, the limited GW 54mm range means its contributors have often used non-GW models in their articles.
I'd say that "Dark Magenta" (while supposedly an Inquisitorial clearance) is too generic and unimportant to count as a trademark (that said, "Orange" is a trademark), so it's not quite the same as here - but Derek might still be able to advise you on the whole "non GW models in an obviously GW based fan magazine" angle. He does seem at least moderately well informed on legal type matters like these.

No guarantees (so don't bother him too much), but it might be worth a try.


As far as the e-mail, I've got an auto-response so far that gives advice for how to send e-mails to their legal department. (How not to get spam filtered, different departments, etc)
It's reasonably useful information, but would have been more so if it was on their site so I could have read it before e-mailing. :rolleyes:

11-12-2010, 22:31
I appreciate the advice given so far, but I think leaving this open too long could attract the attention of all the GW staff that lurk and report to the powers that be.

So I will consider what has been said and contact Tybalt.

If anyone has anything they think may be helpful feel free to pm me.