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Chaos and Evil
29-12-2010, 14:47
http://207.41.16.133/rfcViewFile/10cv8103.pdf

Discuss.

JackDaw
29-12-2010, 15:07
Im not going to attack or defend this decision - however, having worked for GW for many years in the past, I can see why they are doing it. My only suprise is that they waited so long to kick this off. It's a pretty strong case they've got as well...

VERITAS/AEQUITAS
29-12-2010, 15:08
Sad news. There goes another shop for nice conversion bits. Shouldn't have used terms and logos that are copyrighted. :(

scarletsquig
29-12-2010, 15:09
Not sure why chapterhouse don't simply do what all other third-party manufacturers do and advertise parts for "space knights" and "space elves" instead of using the trademarks.

Looks like they'll be fighting the case though. Rather them than me.

loveless
29-12-2010, 15:10
I suppose this is what happens when you go from walking on thin ice to breakdancing on it :p

JackDaw
29-12-2010, 15:10
Sad news. There goes another shop for nice conversion bits. Shouldn't have used terms and logos that are copyrighted. :(

QFT. Itll be sad to lose the options, but expressly calling your new model 'the Doom of Malanti' and your bits as specific Space Marine Chapter upgrades is kinda asking for trouble.

VERITAS/AEQUITAS
29-12-2010, 15:14
Well here is the problem for US, the hobby fans out there: GW doesn't do s*** to create certain things they've put in their army books and codicies. But they claim others have done "irreparable damage to them" when they do instead. This only shows to me one more time that GW is no longer a company for the hobby, but a company solely to make good business. I would say rightly so - if they would compensate with own stuff for what they sue.

When they closed their own shop for bits and parts, a huge part of what made the hobby so cool to me simply died. Now they drain all other sources.

Helicon_One
29-12-2010, 15:34
So after getting the obligatory "I Am Not A Lawyer" disclaimer out of the way first, from a quick skim through it looks as though the chief complaint is that Chapterhouse were specifically marketing their products as Warhammer/40k Conversion Kits, if they had been advertised as generic items (eg helmets and weapons for "Galactic Soldiers" rather than "Space Marines") they may have avoided this whole mess?

jack da greenskin
29-12-2010, 15:36
:O

I enjoyed reading it to be honest, legal language fascinates me. But I find it shocking that GW would use their lawyers to bully a small company. (I don't, GW do this all the time.)

IMO a better way to solve it would have been to work with the sculptor paul whathisface, asking him to remove the infringements and offer him a chance of getting the howling griffon shoulder pads in their "superior quality", its not like GW are selling these.

That and I doubt anyone who is paying for these parts will be selling them on a secondary market, and anyone who buys them probably has a good idea that they arent GW.

*SIGH*

yabbadabba
29-12-2010, 15:42
I enjoyed reading it to be honest, legal language fascinates me. But I find it shocking that GW would use their lawyers to bully a small company. (I don't, GW do this all the time.) How is it bullying when you are defending what is yours? Unusual sense of ..... morality there.

IMO a better way to solve it would have been to work with the sculptor paul whathisface, asking him to remove the infringements and offer him a chance of getting the howling griffon shoulder pads in their "superior quality", its not like GW are selling these.What makes you think that GW haven't already tried to get Chapterhouse to back down and stop abusing what is legally GWs?

My thoughts - stupid idiots deserve it :rolleyes:.

VERITAS/AEQUITAS
29-12-2010, 15:42
What I don't get is why GW doesn't give away real liscences to give free-lance sculptors a chance to enhance the GW-related hobby. You need to buy a GW product in the first place to even utilize the chapterhouse stuff! They should allow others to create stuff for them by selling the right to legally do so. They did so in the past, before the Forgeworld branch of GW was founded...

yabbadabba
29-12-2010, 15:44
Why should they?

MarcoSkoll
29-12-2010, 15:46
Given that there are a thousand companies out there which produce modifications for cars produced by companies which have far larger and better funded legal departments than GW, I think Chapterhouse might be able to pull off an argument for what they're producing.

That's a might. The problem is, GW has a far greater reliance on its IP than (say) BMW does, and Chapterhouse is leeching off that to sell their parts - and in some cases, they are in direct competition with Forge World.

I suspect Chapterhouse are probably going to lose this one. It's disappointing, but GW does have to protect their IP.

VERITAS/AEQUITAS
29-12-2010, 15:46
Because even the most ignorant business man should have seen a long time ago that most GW fans out there do buy un-liscenced stuff no matter what. Why not making money with these people??!

Meriwether
29-12-2010, 15:50
Come to Meriwether's Apple Emporium, where you can get "iPad" this and "iPod" that, "Mac" things that the company over there, "Apple" doesn't have anything to do with! Don't worry though, kids, haha, they won't come after us or anything, because they don't have any vested interest in defending their IP...

This isn't a matter of GW being a bully. This is a matter of Chapterhouse Studios being absolute blithering ******.

yabbadabba
29-12-2010, 15:50
Because even the most ignorant business man should have seen a long time ago that most GW fans out there do buy un-liscenced stuff no matter what. Why not making money with these people??! This is a niche industry, not cars, computers, Iphones etc. There are quality control issues, creative control, liason, legal etc etc all of which costs money. Who is to say such an approach is going to end up making GW money and not costing them? Its not a big market mate, and it is not conventional historical wargaming. GW's IP is all they have, if they don't protect it to the full the whole house comes tumbling down.

t-tauri
29-12-2010, 15:52
What I don't get is why GW doesn't give away real liscences to give free-lance sculptors a chance to enhance the GW-related hobby. You need to buy a GW product in the first place to even utilize the chapterhouse stuff! They should allow others to create stuff for them by selling the right to legally do so. They did so in the past, before the Forgeworld branch of GW was founded...
Those companies paid for the use of GW IP. Armorcast, Forgeworld (US) and Epicast had a licence to produce GW vehicles which had restrictions like not for sale in the UK for at least part of the period.

dean
29-12-2010, 15:54
What does Microsoft do to modified Xbox consoles?.... GW does not have that tool outside of banning parts use in tournaments. See t-tauri's comment above.. GW has Licensed before but CHS is not licensed at all...

VERITAS/AEQUITAS
29-12-2010, 15:57
You might well be right with what you said, yabbadabba.
From the point of view of a fan of the tabletop hobby as a whole, I just dislike the idea that GW thinks their IP is all they have.
If they would do everything with a "the fans are all we have" approach instead, we would live in golden times with this hobby. But nowadays everything comes down to "the money", isn't it?

@T-Tauri: I know they did pay. That's my idea - why did they stop?

t-tauri
29-12-2010, 16:02
@T-Tauri: I know they did pay. That's my idea - why did they stop?

Because Armorcast were making money on the titans and superheavies and GW saw the money from the licence and saw that Tony Cottrell could make far more by taking resin production "in house" through Forgeworld. Why have 10% when you can have it all?

yabbadabba
29-12-2010, 16:05
You might well be right with what you said, yabbadabba.
From the point of view of a fan of the tabletop hobby as a whole, I just dislike the idea that GW thinks their IP is all they have.
If they would do everything with a "the fans are all we have" approach instead, we would live in golden times with this hobby. But nowadays everything comes down to "the money", isn't it? And why not, they are a Plc after all. Its easy to criticise when you aren't the one having to balance the books and make people redundant to keep the business going.
A golden age for hobbyists =/= golden age for GW necessarily.
edit: And their IP is all they have. Any long term "fan" (eg. hobbyist) on here will tell you how many other pies they have their fingers in. So much for financial loyalty, such things have been going on with GWs "fans" for decades.

VERITAS/AEQUITAS
29-12-2010, 16:10
Because Armorcast were making money on the titans and superheavies and GW saw the money from the licence and saw that Tony Cottrell could make far more by taking resin production "in house" through Forgeworld. Why have 10% when you can have it all?

Ok, that makes sense. They saw there was huge success but didn't like it wasn't their own. :D

Meriwether
29-12-2010, 16:32
Ok, that makes sense. They saw there was huge success but didn't like it wasn't their own. :D

And that makes absolute perfect sense. "Gee, I'm letting Joe pay me $100 a week to use my name on his widgets. He's making $1000 a week because people are paying for my name. I already have an in-house widget factory, so why aren't I doing this myself?"

dean
29-12-2010, 16:36
Actually it was more of a "Lets see how much it costs to start up our own widget factory"....

VERITAS/AEQUITAS
29-12-2010, 16:42
So in conclusion one could say:
Well, chapterhouse will close. No real chance to get away with this one. They have used terms and iconography that is protected IP of GW. A success for GW, a loss for the gamers now again having to wait until they get something similar, but then at least having the "it's official" stamp on..

RevEv
29-12-2010, 16:45
What does Microsoft do to modified Xbox consoles?.... .

Microsoft exclude modified Xbox consoles from Xbox live that's what!

I would be interested to see what MS would do if a company were to advertise unlicensed mods to Xbox, probably the same as GW have to chapterhouse studios, who seem to be intentionally inflaming the situation by openly declaring the product which they sell for GW models are not endorsed by GW..

IAMNOTHERE
29-12-2010, 16:45
Its not as if GW arn't known for defending their IP either is it?

It's not like this is the first time they've gone after perfectly viable buisnesses for being far too blatant in what they've ripped off.

Rip Chapterhouse, maybe next time they'll actually think things through and call their products somthing like "Icons for Space Warriors" rather than "Howling Griffon Shoulder Pads".

Numptys.

yabbadabba
29-12-2010, 16:46
a loss for the gamers now How? It shouldn't have happened in the first place. A loss for Chapterhouse. The end of a "freebie" for the customers.

again having to wait until they get something similar, Or they can do what the rest of us have done since year dot - learnt to do it ourselves or find a mate do it. Not rip off a company and its customers by making a profit at it.

IAMNOTHERE
29-12-2010, 16:49
Microsoft exclude modified Xbox consoles from Xbox live that's what!

I would be interested to see what MS would do if a company were to advertise unlicensed mods to Xbox, probably the same as GW have to chapterhouse games.

Rev that's actully a curent issue with the connect. As long as you don't modify the source code you can play with it as much as possible - ie make it work for other systems (write your own drivers). As soon as you touch the source code though - especially for 3rd party products to work on the xbox, Microsoft have said they'll be all over you.

xxRavenxx
29-12-2010, 17:03
I love how people attack GW for defending their ip.


I think everyone in the "boo GW" camp should ask themselves the following question:

"You have just invented the automatic toilet cleaner. You begin to sell them, and they are very popular, because noone enjoys cleaning toilets. Gary, from down the road, sees this, and buys one. Checks how it works, then begins making his own, undercuting yours, and possibly even claiming his version is superior.

Do you feel this is acceptable, socially, ethically, and under copyright law?"


Now, if you answered "yes, this is acceptable", you're lying to yourself. You'd be stomping on your hat.


And remember, a company doesn't just defend its ip for the good of the management. It has all its employees to look after too.

Jim30
29-12-2010, 17:09
"This only shows to me one more time that GW is no longer a company for the hobby, but a company solely to make good business."

At the risk of sounding a bit harsh, surely all companies are in to make money? You'd struggle to find any gaming firm out there that did it purely for the hobby or for love!

GW is an international company with shareholders and a fairly serious amount of revenue. It has a lot of relatively well known trademarks and IP which it relies on to stay in business, and thus make money for its shareholders. They've been fairly lenient in the past, considering companies out there which sail close to the wind (e.g. gamezone), but which are smart enough not to directly link to the GW product.

I am surprised it has taken so long for GW to move in this manner, and if anything shows how tolerant the company is in the main to companies producing bits for kits, rather than anything else. (And I am by no means a fanboi!)

VERITAS/AEQUITAS
29-12-2010, 17:09
Not that I think you meant me in particular but I never attacked GW for defending their IP. In fact, I said I understand they do. However I just ask if this is the only way for them or if they couldn't have handled it any other way. After T-Tauri explained why the selling of liscences to others stopped, I now know that they won't find another way as they simply don't want to. Now, whose next to be stopped from doing what they do -maxmini?

Random Integer
29-12-2010, 17:11
Aren't Chapterhouse the company who were going to a release a Doom of Malantai model?

I mean we're not talking conversion kits or generic 'space knight' alternatives here, we're talking about a company very publicly making a full model for sale, for profit, that is quite explicitly meant to fill a unit slot in a GW codex.

I don't really see how Chapterhouse could have thought it was a good idea or how anyone can defend it. I'm sure that won't stop people trying though.

Edit:

Yep it was Chapterhouse
http://chapterhousestudios.com/webshop/news/29-dooms-day-is-near

I don't want anyone involved with Chapterhouse to lose money over this, I can't imagine there was any motivation beyond genuine enthusiasm for modelling behind it but at the same time I can't imagine how anyone involved didn't think that explicitly using WH/40K to sell their stuff would end up anywhere other than here.

Wolf Scout Ewan
29-12-2010, 17:25
If GW can't or will not produce the parts others want then this will always happen.

I feel sorry for CHS as they were providing a service GW couldn't.

That is how business works, someone finds a niche to be filled and they step in and fill it. However, it must be said that using the words "Space Marines", "Imperial Guard", "Howling Griffons" is asking for trouble.

Additionally, I really find the phrase "great and irreparable injury", laughable. I cannot take that seriously and I hope the court thinks so too.

yabbadabba
29-12-2010, 17:46
After T-Tauri explained why the selling of liscences to others stopped, I now know that they won't find another way as they simply don't want to. Now, whose next to be stopped from doing what they do -maxmini? If Maxmini tread on GWs IP toes and don't withdraw then yes. GW tend to call/write, then send out C+D letters, then they go "legal". There is plenty of time for a company to withdraw offending items before it goes to court.


If GW can't or will not produce the parts others want then this will always happen.
I feel sorry for CHS as they were providing a service GW couldn't. I don't. They could have got away with this if they had spent 5 minutes really thinking about things instead of trying to rip GW and its customers off. And if people make as stupid mistakes as this, then it will always happen that GW will take them to court and bankrupt them with legal costs.


Additionally, I really find the phrase "great and irreparable injury", laughable. I cannot take that seriously and I hope the court thinks so too. Its not laughable, its legalese for "this is going to cost you an awful lot of money", and that is definitely not funny.

Emperor's Grace
29-12-2010, 17:48
The big surprise for me was GW stating that Chicago "is its single largest selling market in the United States".

I always thought the eastern seaboard did more. I guess times change...

Gazak Blacktoof
29-12-2010, 18:23
As others have said, GW have a right to defend their IP and chapter house could have sidestepped the issue by avoiding obvious use of GW's property.

It is next to impossible to register a design unless it is a repeatable logo that people can readily identify as belonging to your company. Conversion bits and whole models closely linked to GW's style can't be stopped, what they can stop you doing is trading on their name by using readily identifiable properties.

Keravin
29-12-2010, 18:28
They could have got away with this if they had spent 5 minutes really thinking about things instead of trying to rip GW and its customers off.

Perfectly understand how they are ripping GW off, but their customers? They are filling a gap that GW are intent on not filling in the same way the bits sites are.

Lord Mayor Of Y'ha-nthlei
29-12-2010, 18:36
all i've got to say is about time. CHS have been getting away with it for ages. the ****** would have been fine if they'd bothered thinking at all but due to the way they went about things i have no sympathy

yabbadabba
29-12-2010, 18:37
Perfectly understand how they are ripping GW off, but their customers? They are filling a gap that GW are intent on not filling in the same way the bits sites are. Its not the sevice, its the implication by use of GW's names, models and imagery in their website that somehow this is something to do with 40K. Think about how much fuss there is when someone refuse to play/allow FW stuff and GW own FW! Now you have a company not endorsed by GW clearly making stuff for one of GW's games and using GW's IP to promote it. That is a rip off, even with the disclaimers.

edit: I hope GW make a huge mess of CHS. Not because I have any real issue with them, but because there is a need for bits out there, and GW need to decide how they are going to address this need. One messy and expensive court case will let others know exactly how they can fulfill this need, support the hobbyists and not tread on GWs toes. Then we, as customers, won't have to go through this rollercoaster with poorly thought out businesses.

Akusho6
29-12-2010, 18:41
Why should they?

Because GW constantly pulls crap such as not even having kits or models for several Army entries per codex, or making you dish out roughly 5+ american dollars a model a piece, which comes out to 100 dollars a squad....
ie- newest Tyranid codex
ie- newest skaven codex (finally 2nd wave fixed this)
ie- it costs 15 dollars for a 20mm scale metal miniature hero for Warhammer fantasy, ridiculous.

it's very irritating for someone like me, who plays two games a month, who does not sculpt or work with puddy in the least, to try to come up with a way to field models that simply do not exist.

Also if everyone only used GW models, then a lot more of our armies would consitently look the same. Same Black Orc Big Boss in every third Orcs and Goblins Army you see and such.
I dig the Gamezone and Kings of War miniature range very much and use them to add uniqueness and help lower the cost of my armies.

Pretty much Chapterhouse was stupid in the way they operated. as mentioned above it is not too difficult to tread on thin ice and make a profit, Chapterhouse seemes to have been breakdancing on that ice. imo they deserve what's coming to them, although I still believe, the greater the miniature range for these games, the better.

I absolutely LOVE running into a new miniature someone is substituting for a GW model (if it isn't forced and well done obviously)
-course just my two cents here.^

Emperor's Grace
29-12-2010, 18:42
Now you have a company not endorsed by GW clearly making stuff for one of GW's games and using GW's IP to promote it.

There's also a passage about them receiving questions and complaints about the Chapterhouse products.

This means that someone, somewhere bought the stuff thinking it was GW or GW licensed.

That's a BIG problem for a copyright holder, especially if item in question is inferior in quality.



I like the idea of 3rd party conversion kits but Chapterhouse went way too far.

If they made science fiction armor and weapons for use with 25-28mm miniatures, didn't copy the direct style, and didn't mention the GW stuff directly, they wouldn't be in this mess.

To draw a parallel:

I got my son some "Circo" trains for Christmas. They are essentially a generic version of "Thomas the Tank Engine". Everyone "knows" it but you won't find that printed on the box. The box merely states that they are compatible with most major brand wooden trains. (They also did not make exact/near exact likenesses on the trains either). That's how you do a knock off without infringing.

yabbadabba
29-12-2010, 18:50
Because GW constantly pulls crap such as not even having kits or models for several Army entries per codex, or making you dish out roughly 5+ american dollars a model a piece, which comes out to 100 dollars a squad....
ie- newest Tyranid codex
ie- newest skaven codex (finally 2nd wave fixed this)
ie- it costs 15 dollars for a 20mm scale metal miniature hero for Warhammer fantasy, ridiculous.

it's very irritating for someone like me, who plays two games a month, who does not sculpt or work with puddy in the least, to try to come up with a way to field models that simply do not exist. The cost of the models is immaterial - you can get around that so many ways.

As for models not being available, GW work on a wave release system (the latest. Trust me, if you think this is annoying back in the 90's you knew that you would never get the models/units you wanted). The wave release system allows them 2-3 chances of promoting an army, getting more slaes out of it, and using this to spur on other things like additional plastic kits that might have been borderline options. Late 90's early 2000's GW went through a period of focussing on new stuff and releasing everything for that army at once. This meant some armies only got a look in if something new was on the way out - so no chance Necrons, DE etc, and that once your army got a rerelease that was it.
GW could improve their timing, but its a business approach and some patience is all that is needed, or a modicum of converting (not modelling) skills if patience is not in supply.

IJW
29-12-2010, 18:51
I find it highly amusing that I'm reading this thread with a Chapterhouse ad sitting to the top of the page. :)

Anyway, it's worth pointing out that this isn't just a case of GW having the right to defend their IP - this involves trademarks. In the US, if you don't actively protect your trademarks when they are infringed by third parties then you can potentially lose legal ownership/control of the trademark.

In effect, Chapterhouse have ensured that GW have to go after them, which is a truly bizarre business decision. :(

Misfratz
29-12-2010, 18:53
Because GW constantly pulls crap such as not even having kits or models for several Army entries per codex...ie- newest skaven codex (finally 2nd wave fixed this)
ie- it costs 15 dollars for a 20mm scale metal miniature hero for Warhammer fantasy, ridiculous.A worrying implication is that GW might stop including entries in codices if they can't produce a model in time for the codex/army book release. Do we really want this?

It's been a relatively recent change [back] to the policy of including entries without a model. It allows GW to release models in two or three separate waves, which gets around the perceived problem of an army not having any new models for several years.

It also encourages people to be inventive and convert things themselves, which I think is a good thing.

Generally speaking I think it gives GW and their customers a greater range of ideas to play with, and the alternative would be more restrictive.

However, one does wonder whether they will look at this and think that they would have had less trouble if they had left the Doom of Wossname out of the Tyranid Codex. Which I think would be a shame.

jack da greenskin
29-12-2010, 19:00
What makes you think that GW haven't already tried to get Chapterhouse to back down and stop abusing what is legally GWs?


Blatantly, CHS should not have been selling "space marine", "imperial guard", or "tyranid" parts. EVER. That's just asking for trouble. I assume they've sent C&D letters to CHS, which they should have taken heed of, they are not above the law. But... I feel that bringing in a full legal lawsuit against a man who makes stuff in a shed is like using a sledgehammer to crack a boiled egg.



"You have just invented the automatic toilet cleaner. You begin to sell them, and they are very popular, because noone enjoys cleaning toilets. Gary, from down the road, sees this, and buys one. Checks how it works, then begins making his own, undercuting yours, and possibly even claiming his version is superior.

But this guy wasnt making space marine box sets, or ultramarine shoulder pads. He was making stuff GW don't sell, howling griffon shoulder pads and tau titans.



edit: I hope GW make a huge mess of CHS.
I dont, I hope they win a small case to make him change the name of everything on his site. This guy has talent, and fulfills a need. He's not an agressive marketeer, he's a normal hobbyist who makes stuff in his shed to sell to people who might like it. A warning about using the copyright might do a bit of good to everyone who sells bits intended for GW games, but I hope he survives and manages to carry on with everything normally. Ruining a guys life with court debts is a horrible thing, especially when he was only trying to help other hobbyists.

In other news the website has now changed all the GW related stuff, selling

"Infantry and Shoulder Pad Bits for 28mm models
Vehicle Replacement Part Kits that fit on Games Workshop Models
28mm Weapon Bits
Bits/Conversions kits for 28 mm Mars Faction
Bits/Conversion kits for Space Elves
Bits/Conversion kits for space bug and monsters
Bits/Conversions for 28mm for colonial guard
Super Heavy Vehicle Kits"

Keravin
29-12-2010, 19:05
edit: I hope GW make a huge mess of CHS. Not because I have any real issue with them, but because there is a need for bits out there, and GW need to decide how they are going to address this need. .

GW will not address this need. They've taken no steps to do so since closing the bits. They are not interested in giving the customers what they want no matter how much they are given the hint. Look how long it took to do early mark armour.

GraemePaul
29-12-2010, 19:06
Its a shame CHS are being taken to court as some of the sculpts they did were very nice, however as many have already stated CHS blatantly infringed on GW's IP and will be taken to the cleaners.

It will be interesting to see what precident this sets (if any) in respect of the other 3rd party providers out there who are boarderline.

yabbadabba
29-12-2010, 19:10
@jack da greenskin - if CHS is a LLC (A US limited company) then I believe they will be protected personally; but again this comes down to poor business decisions. Good to see the site is finally retracting GWs IP.


Look how long it took to do early mark armour. I got them first time around :evilgrin:. Besides, was there a demand before the HH series of books? Who knows, but I would guess not.

PsyberWolf
29-12-2010, 19:14
There is a very simple way for ChapterHouse to defend itself in this case:

1) There is a disclaimer at the bottom of their website that says these are not GW products and lists the trademarks as being associated with GW

2) Any alleged use of GW IP can be shown to be false by showing numerous examples of similar design in the various Sci-fi books, movies, games, etc that GW has ripped off over the years. (from Tolkein to Starship Troopers to Aliens to Terminator to Star Wars - I could go on and on!!!)

3) Not sure how the "Super Heavy Assault Walker" breaks IP - it looks like a generic space vehicle.

IJW
29-12-2010, 19:15
As far as I can see, this would only set a precedent for other third parties if they are also using GW's trademarks.

EDIT - Psyberwolf, what you see on Chapterhouse's site today is not what was there yesterday. They were selling models using specific GW names, in several cases trademarked names.

shelfunit.
29-12-2010, 19:16
So it looks like it's not so much what they are making that is the problem, just the way they are advertising things that is causing all their problems.

PsyberWolf
29-12-2010, 19:19
So it looks like it's not so much what they are making that is the problem, just the way they are advertising things that is causing all their problems.

Except GW is not just asking them to change their marketing but to also destroy all of their moulds.

Keravin
29-12-2010, 19:19
I got them first time around :evilgrin:. Besides, was there a demand before the HH series of books? Who knows, but I would guess not.

So did I, but stock poses for the majority and no poseability was not good.

And it beggars belief you don't think there was a demand beforehand.

shelfunit.
29-12-2010, 19:19
3) Not sure how the "Super Heavy Assault Walker" breaks IP - it looks like a generic space vehicle.

Well GW do use the terms"super heavy", "Assault", and "Walker", I am not sure how they can claim this is anything other than a general sci-fi vehicle.

major soma
29-12-2010, 19:20
I've been following this on another forum and Chapterhouse believe they can win this case as most of the material isnt covered by American copyright laws for various reasons.

yabbadabba
29-12-2010, 19:23
So did I, but stock poses for the majority and no poseability was not good. Things have changed since the first round of GW miniatures mate.


And it beggars belief you don't think there was a demand beforehand. Why - what makes you think in the 90's there was a demand? I could probably count on the fingers of one foot the number of people who actively bought old Marine models to put in their SM armies then. Now using models they had already bought for RT or bought second hand - of course. What evidence do you have there was this huge demand for those models?


Except GW is not just asking them to change their marketing but to also destroy all of their moulds.Negotiation space and manipulation.

major soma
29-12-2010, 19:23
Well GW do use the terms"super heavy", "Assault", and "Walker", I am not sure how they can claim this is anything other than a general sci-fi vehicle. also the weapons look similar to Tau railguns

IJW
29-12-2010, 19:23
Again, this isn't just an issue of copyright but also of trademarks. I think Chapterhouse haven't got a hope in hell, at least as far as trademark infringement is concerned.

shelfunit.
29-12-2010, 19:25
Except GW is not just asking them to change their marketing but to also destroy all of their moulds.

And this is where GW will lose a lot of public support. No problem with them suing to get CHS' removing all "official" GW names from their websites, and to be fair using GW models without permission to advertise scale and similar products is a no-no, but to destroy the molds is taking it too far, and I'm sure CHS if it comes to it could claim these are for personal use, or at worst just hide the things :shifty:

Keravin
29-12-2010, 19:28
What evidence do you have there was this huge demand for those models?



About as much as your supposition that there has been no demand until recently for them.

Crube
29-12-2010, 19:29
And it beggars belief you don't think there was a demand beforehand.


I worked for GW in the 90s...

And there was VERY little demand for these models. Seriously. Occasionally, there'd be a a few orders, but these were nearly always cast on demand, rather than being picked from stock, as say the majority of the rest of the Marine range was at the time...

yabbadabba
29-12-2010, 19:31
And this is where GW will lose a lot of public support. No problem with them suing to get CHS' removing all "official" GW names from their websites, and to be fair using GW models without permission to advertise scale and similar products is a no-no, but to destroy the molds is taking it too far, and I'm sure CHS if it comes to it could claim these are for personal use, or at worst just hide the things :shifty: Nah, its just more legalese to get a response.


About as much as your supposition that there has been no demand until recently for them.
So..

I worked for GW in the 90s...
And there was VERY little demand for these models. Seriously. Occasionally, there'd be a a few orders, but these were nearly always cast on demand, rather than being picked from stock, as say the majority of the rest of the Marine range was at the time...Cheers Crube, cheque's in the post lol!

Melvaius
29-12-2010, 19:32
GW have not lost my support, they have every right to do this, CHS was asking for it. I'm surprised its not happened sooner tbh.

Wing Commander
29-12-2010, 19:33
Lol.. GW tried to enforce IP on the 2 headed eagle a while back.. don't think that went down too well.
Lets be honest here, most of what GW pawns off as its own IP is on very thin ice - they've "been heavily influenced" by almost every major sci-fi/fantasy novel/movie in the last several decades..
They even considered copyrighting the term Space Marine - which, incidently they can't as it involves 2 regular terms - neither Space nor Marine is copyrightable as this would simply indicate a Marine which operates in Space.

eastern barbarian
29-12-2010, 19:35
I hope they will not go bankrupt, merely be forced to remove those names from the website - it would be a loss to the community. I think it was a bit silly and asking for trouble to sell all this stuff with those names, but things they offer are great and nicely fill the gap.

sparks
29-12-2010, 19:37
To be honest I'm amazed it's taken this long for anything to have happened. Disclaimer- I have never purchased or seen any of their bits in person, however I do feel they are of an inferior quality to GW products, and I also feel that those complaining about GW needing to start up a bits business should try and involve themselves in the hobby side of things a bit more or be patient as mentioned above. (I am also aware this is a whole other thread and do not want to derail!) There are plenty of websites that have set up successful bits services should you NEED those parts.

I'm with yabbadabba and co, and hope that this gets sorted out properly! I don't want to see the bits taken on by GW because quite frankly a lot of them are nothing special, and in some cases over the top unnecessarily so.

PsyberWolf
29-12-2010, 19:38
Lol.. GW tried to enforce IP on the 2 headed eagle a while back.. don't think that went down too well.
Lets be honest here, most of what GW pawns off as its own IP is on very thin ice - they've "been heavily influenced" by almost every major sci-fi/fantasy novel/movie in the last several decades..
They even considered copyrighting the term Space Marine - which, incidently they can't as it involves 2 regular terms - neither Space nor Marine is copyrightable as this would simply indicate a Marine which operates in Space.

That's right... saying CHS infringed IP and proving it are 2 very different things.

I get the sense that GW doesn't often need to actually do that since most companies are scared off before it gets to that point.

Crube
29-12-2010, 19:38
Personally, I think that a company offering things such as those offered by CHS i s definitely 'a good thing'. However, there are 2 things that in my mind will mean I lose no sleep over if CHS gets the book thrown at them.

1. Using GW product names in the description....

2. The fact that the products (that I have seen) are absolutley awful. They look knocked up in a mate's garage, yet they profess to be a professional company... I've not been impressed, and overall they will be no great loss should it come to that.

All in my opinion of course

mchmr6677
29-12-2010, 19:39
As far as I can see, this would only set a precedent for other third parties if they are also using GW's trademarks.

EDIT - Psyberwolf, what you see on Chapterhouse's site today is not what was there yesterday. They were selling models using specific GW names, in several cases trademarked names.

They actually haven't stopped selling by using specific GW terms. If you drill down beyond the home page CH is still using "Tyranids" as well as all the various specific Space Marine chapters. They have only fixed the home page.

Keravin
29-12-2010, 19:40
I worked for GW in the 90s...

And there was VERY little demand for these models. Seriously. Occasionally, there'd be a a few orders, but these were nearly always cast on demand, rather than being picked from stock, as say the majority of the rest of the Marine range was at the time...


For those models. Not for early mark armour. I wouldn't buy more than singles of those models.

loveless
29-12-2010, 19:52
Lol.. GW tried to enforce IP on the 2 headed eagle a while back.. don't think that went down too well.

Actually, the case was not enforcing IP on a generic 2-headed eagle, but rather on the Imperial Aquila, which is specific in the appearance of the heads, talons, and I believe feather count.

From what I recall, they were able to prevent the usage of the Imperial Aquila, but not a general 2-headed eagle. It's a bit like a generic apple is not able to be copyrighted/trademarked/what-have-you, but the Apple apple, with a bite removed and a specific stem/leaf configuration, can be enforced.

PsyberWolf
29-12-2010, 19:58
They actually haven't stopped selling by using specific GW terms. If you drill down beyond the home page CH is still using "Tyranids" as well as all the various specific Space Marine chapters. They have only fixed the home page.

Yeah, that is going to be hard to defend. I would think you could say "fits other model kits like Games-Workshop Tyranids" or "similar to GW Tyranids"

Looks like they are going through the process of fixing all that. I am guessing they got some legal advice that it was an obvious "no-no"

Lars Porsenna
29-12-2010, 19:58
Re: Earlier marine armor marks. It really seems like no one has absolutely conclusive and rock-solid evidence, so it's really a lot of anecdotal statements, and as my old History prof used to say "anecdote is not singular for evidence..."

Repost of my posting on TMP, which might be of interest:

As a point of reference, here is a FAQ article from Starship Modeler on the topic of copyrights, trademarks, etc:

http://www.starshipmodeler.com/faq_view.cfm?ID_Num=39

Since the SF kit hobby has some of the same issues (FREX I have conversion kits for Star Trek ships in 1/1000 scale, and I know the line developer for RC2 posts on the SSM forums, so he ought to know of these products), some of this information might be topical for comparative purposes…

Damon.

yabbadabba
29-12-2010, 20:09
Re: Earlier marine armor marks. It really seems like no one has absolutely conclusive and rock-solid evidence, so it's really a lot of anecdotal statements, and as my old History prof used to say "anecdote is not singular for evidence..." Oh I don't know Damon, some revisionist Historian could probably pass off all the anecdotal quips on here as a form of oral history of the oppressed masses of GW's corporate evil :D!

t-tauri
29-12-2010, 20:21
2) Any alleged use of GW IP can be shown to be false by showing numerous examples of similar design in the various Sci-fi books, movies, games, etc that GW has ripped off over the years. (from Tolkein to Starship Troopers to Aliens to Terminator to Star Wars - I could go on and on!!!)

The Aliens Colonial Space Marine figures had a GW copyright on the box because GW held the rights to Space Marine toys. Coming up with the idea means very little if someone else registers the IP first. See the TV tropes link (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SpaceMarine) under film which is the best reference I can find at the moment. There's a photo of the copyright statement on the web somewhere.

Michael Moorcock and the eight pointed chaos star is a good example of this. If he'd registered it from the Elric days then when GW started using it he could have taken GW to court. He didn't and now GW could try and sue him over the use on, say, Elric miniatures.
EDIT - Psyberwolf, what you see on Chapterhouse's site today is not what was there yesterday. They were selling models using specific GW names, in several cases trademarked names.

They're still in there on the second level as of this post. Interesting that Chapterhouse's legal position seems to have changed really fast.

IJW
29-12-2010, 20:27
Yep, the lower levels of the site appear to be unchanged.

It's quite interesting to compare Chapterhouse's front page with the version in Google's cache. ;)

Jim30
29-12-2010, 20:52
"And this is where GW will lose a lot of public support."

Thats a slightly hyperbolic statement - very few GW players outside of a couple of websites either know, nor care about this particular case. The vast majority of the GW target audience will never even hear of it, let alone care.

It will have an effect on those who think GW is satan, and those who were erring towards that line. IMHO it wont have any impact on sales though.

I'd be interested to know what dialogue went before the filing -did CHS tell GW where to go, or did they just ignore the C&Ds sent from GW legal?

dean
29-12-2010, 21:20
From this blog rant from February:

http://chapterhousestudios.com/webshop/news/22-release-of-alien-heads-

we can infer that CHS thinks that they are in the right.

shelfunit.
29-12-2010, 21:33
"And this is where GW will lose a lot of public support."

Thats a slightly hyperbolic statement - very few GW players outside of a couple of websites either know, nor care about this particular case. The vast majority of the GW target audience will never even hear of it, let alone care.

It will have an effect on those who think GW is satan, and those who were erring towards that line. IMHO it wont have any impact on sales though.

I'd be interested to know what dialogue went before the filing -did CHS tell GW where to go, or did they just ignore the C&Ds sent from GW legal?

Well, primarily I meant in this case, not in general day-to-day life. I can fully understand and support their IP protection and feel they are fully justified in their efforts to get CHS to remove all direct wording and pictures of their products, but destroying the molds seems a little OTT.
Were CHS not advertising and selling their products as GW add-ons, and using "generic sci-fi soldier" wording in relation to their products GW would not have a leg to stand on, and as such could not gets the molds destroyed. To be fair anything CHS does produce with GW motifs/symbols should be subject to destruction, and rightly so, but blank shoulder pads, unmarked vehicle add-ons etc should be safe.
As an aside, they have already started calling Eldar "space elves" and tyranids "space bugs" on their home page (sorry if that is old news).

Nkari
29-12-2010, 21:40
"You have just invented the automatic toilet cleaner. You begin to sell them, and they are very popular, because noone enjoys cleaning toilets. Gary, from down the road, sees this, and buys one. Checks how it works, then begins making his own, undercuting yours, and possibly even claiming his version is superior.

Do you feel this is acceptable, socially, ethically, and under copyright law?"


Now, if you answered "yes, this is acceptable", you're lying to yourself. You'd be stomping on your hat.

First of all, your example has nothing to do with copyright, intelectual property OR trademark. A better example would have been if you had writen a book etc..

But, I may be an extremist when it comes to Copyright, IP and Trademarks, and patents.. I think they are crap.. all of them.

Regarding Patents.. its way way better to be first on the market with a new product than copying another companys product and selling it. If you can make my product cheaper then by all means do so, society as a whole will gain from it. Patents today are basicly State sponsored Monopolies. Lets not get into the Copyright life+70 years after your dead buisness..

Only thing I am vaguely possitive to is Trademarks, as in, If it says Sony on your DVD/bluray player, it better damn well be Sony that made the product. The technology behind the product, well thats another matter entirely.. Same thing with Authors etc.. Credit should be given to ppl who created the stuff. But it is no law of nature that says you alone have to profit from what you create.

And last.. IP.. how the hell can you monopolize an idea? I mean seriously?

And yeah, Im a swedish Pirate.. (Ie, Pirate Party :P)

Daniel36
29-12-2010, 21:46
I was looking at their website several days ago, this is not a lie, and my thoughts were that they were walking on some really thin ice. This comes as no surprise whatsoever to me.

Do I agree on the action? Not really. I think on the one hand that GW is a business that needs to protect their own work, on the other hand they ought to be proud that so many people love their worlds so much that they are willing to spend effort, time and money on enriching it. And I never understood why they didn't just release Chapter Upgrade kits... Would save them and everyone else heaps of trouble.

But really... I have no strong opinion on it, other than the fact that I do feel bad for the guys.

IJW
29-12-2010, 21:50
One thing that I suspect will be a pivotal point if this ever makes it to court is what 'level' of item you're allowed to legally make add-ons for.

What do I mean? It's legal (as far as I know, not a lawyer etc. etc.) to make extra or alternative parts for kits from other companies as long as you're not selling them as official parts ('passing off' if I've got the terminology right).

So shoulder pads etc. are OK although I still think Chapterhouse's wording on many of their items is potentially dodgy.

However, models like the Tau walker aren't add-ons for kits. They are add-ons for the game. The Doom model would fall into the same category, except that it's also a direct replacement for a model that GW are planning to release, rather than a fan-made extra.

viking657
29-12-2010, 21:54
After shutting down the ebay traders its the next logical step really to go after companies like these.

Despite as a hobbist I think its great small companies like these offer the stuff that GW, in some cases take far too long to supply, at the end of the day GW are right to take this action.

Chapterhouse Studios are making money off the Warhammer/40k world which is owned by GW - simple really. They will have attempted to warn these guys in advance but seems they haven't taken any notice.

Long term companies like these take sales away from GW and put the future of GW at risk which is certainly a bad thing for everyone.

The development of GW, I'm personally thinking plastic sisters!, costs money and GW need to protect their income to give us new toys!

winterdyne
29-12-2010, 22:13
They got reamed, legally, and rightly so. The lawsuit really is cut and dry when you look at it alongside the site (and particularly what it was a few weeks ago when I last looked at it). I wouldn't like to be in their shoes. Not sure about US LLC's but under UK law, the directors of a Limited company ARE liable in the case of mismanagement / fraud (and trademark abuse is a fraud). Could be horrible, from a personal standpoint.

Dakkagor
29-12-2010, 22:52
I'm stunned CHS ever thought they could get away with this. GW has gone after webcomics for gorks sake, what made them think a bonafide money making endeavour would get away with being so blatant?

Regardless of outcome, CHS deserve to get chewed up and spat out just for being idiots. I'd have a similar lack of compassion for someone who went up to a renowned man eating tiger and yanked its tail.

(and they are even passing around a dish for paypal donations to pay their legal bills!!! I'd be interested to see a running total to see how many gamers think they should 'fight the powert')

Lowmans
29-12-2010, 23:36
I was pretty amazed to read the Blog spiel from February!

Just stunned that Chapterhouse actually think they're in the right.

Shamutanti
29-12-2010, 23:43
I was pretty amazed to read the Blog spiel from February!

Just stunned that Chapterhouse actually think they're in the right.


Agree with you on that one.
It stunk of ego to me.

Max Jet
30-12-2010, 00:25
The case is simple

Doom of Malantai
Salamanders Space Marine Chapter
Tyranids

= Gw has every right to sue them by law (and only by law)

It would only be a shame if Chapterhouse studios were actually smart.
Still I am not feeling any sympathy towards GW, it would be too much to ask that from me since they were just the first in claiming intelectual property, not the first in inventing what they try to protect.
That is all.

Meriwether
30-12-2010, 00:42
:wtf: How does one have a right to sue by other than law?

CoolKidRoc
30-12-2010, 01:01
With all of the hate on here towards CHS I think it will be hilarious if they win. I'm not going to say they are in the right or not legally as I'm not a lawyer, as I'm sure many of you are not.

It seems that many are getting hung up on the fact that he was using the words of GW and saying that the bits could represent such and such, and then making money off of it. How is this any different then selling your models and bits on ebay. Your sell directly dimishes the sales of GW, and you use the IP and TradeMarks of GW to make those sells.

Yes they are making bits, yes they are used for GW products. But they are not direct copies of the logos that GW has for their chapters.

If this goes down wrong for CHS then sites like Warseer should worry also. As they are making money directly off of GW's IP and Trademarks too. We come here to talk and discuss the game, mentioning those words, and blah blah, and they sell advertising and make money off of us coming here because of GW.

I guess only time can tell to see how this goes, but it will be interesting if it goes to court.

Meriwether
30-12-2010, 01:15
Warseer is very careful *NOT* to run afoul of GW's IP, and has some rather strict rules toward that end.

CoolKidRoc
30-12-2010, 01:24
Oh I understand and have seen them in work. But how is it different when warseer says Warhammer 40k and when CHS says Warhammer 40k.

They're both independent providing a service and I'm sure both they're legal text says they're not involved with GW. Trying to figure out the difference here.

From what I read of the complaint by GW, the use of the words is one of the huge things they're mad about, because people "may" think it's actually GW sponsored. What makes warseer not a GW sponsored Forum anymore then CHS is not a GW sponsored bits place?

Pacorko
30-12-2010, 01:26
In this I only disagree wih the "millions of gamers and hobbyists" remark because it's just self-agrandizing... and their attempt at defending unregistered trademarks or their claim about the Super Heavy Walker, as it's basically a big spider robot and they have nothing that resembles one. If they are not registered or FW/GW have an very similar/exact models like the SHW, they can't enforce anything even when they made a few of the things up. But that remains for the court to decide.

Still, I have to say "I told them so...". That "Doom of Malantai" capper was the last straw. I just couldn't see why--other than unabated fannish love and amatuerish self-delusion--they did not hid their stuff under the "generic" banner.

It was a legal disaster waiting to happen to them. They were warned... by many of us... about it.

Guess they weren't smart enough to realize how bad it could really get. Hope it really was worth their [rather short] while.

Sgt John Keel
30-12-2010, 01:27
Warseer is very careful *NOT* to run afoul of GW's IP, and has some rather strict rules toward that end.

Nevertheless the popularity of the forum is pretty much a direct consequence of the goodwill GW has accrued over the decades (not to diminish the work of the administration and the contributions made by members of course).

As such, it could be argued that both Warseer and Chapterhouse are coasting off GW's hard work. By silly chance some made up rules allows for the former but (to be seen) not the latter. In reality, GW would have been nothing if they stood alone, and I cannot in good faith say that the IP is (should be) theirs and only theirs.

The Ape
30-12-2010, 01:32
It seems that many are getting hung up on the fact that he was using the words of GW and saying that the bits could represent such and such, and then making money off of it. How is this any different then selling your models and bits on ebay. Your sell directly dimishes the sales of GW, and you use the IP and TradeMarks of GW to make those sells.

Yes they are making bits, yes they are used for GW products. But they are not direct copies of the logos that GW has for their chapters.

If this goes down wrong for CHS then sites like Warseer should worry also. As they are making money directly off of GW's IP and Trademarks too. We come here to talk and discuss the game, mentioning those words, and blah blah, and they sell advertising and make money off of us coming here because of GW.

I guess only time can tell to see how this goes, but it will be interesting if it goes to court.

Selling on eBay and what CH are doing is completely different from a legal perspective. On eBay you are taking an item that GW has already created and selling it. When you purchase a model from GW you technically purchase a license to use that model as if you are the owner-that license includes the right to sell the model. The license does not however include the right to copy that model.

What CH are doing is passing off their own items as GW items ie they are breaching trademarks and design rights. The test the courts would use is whether a reasonable person in the street would mistake the item as being made by GW - some case law for this is the wagama v rajamama case from what I recall from my days at uni (i'm not an ip lawyer-my mrs is. I chase ambulances).

GW has a legal duty to vigourously protect its IP-if it doesn't then at worst it could "lose" the trademark. I'm surprised it's taken this long for them to go after CH to be honest.

Warseer shouldn't have anything to worry about it-it doesn't infringe any GW IP...

Meriwether
30-12-2010, 01:40
Also, Warseer isn't a for-profit enterprise.

Duke Georgal
30-12-2010, 01:42
Folks...

Keep in mind that this case is going to be either decided out of court (very likey), or in a civil court in the United States by jury.

Most US laws on this sort of thing are very different from what many of the European posters in this forum are aware of.

I am quite sure GW does not want this decided in a US court. They have way too much to lose if the ball bounces the wrong way.

All my chips are going towards a quiet pre-trial out of court agreement with all sides gagged as to the specifics. That is the US way.

Pacorko
30-12-2010, 01:47
Also, Warseer isn't a for-profit enterprise.

I just pictured Wintermute and Sylas "jez cruisin'" on badarse Lambos or Alfas... :p


I am quite sure GW does not want this decided in a US court. They have way too much to lose if the ball bounces the wrong way.

Which is why they shouldn't have filed it in the U.S. of A., and why CHS might have a fighting chance


All my chips are going towards a quiet pre-trial out of court agreement with all sides gagged as to the specifics. That is the US way.

Which, as I've said above, is why CHS might have a fighting chance. If they storm the threats and legalese and build a stong case they might, in U.S. of A. court even come up as victors. Fat chance, I know. But they were deluded enough to think they were in the right and even ranted about how little some people knew about Trademark and Copyright law and dare telling them what was legal and what wasn't.

Guess they had a bit of a rough awakening for the looks of their website today.

Still, they might try to push their luck.

Kordos
30-12-2010, 01:54
I am quite sure GW does not want this decided in a US court.

Umm seeing as though GW filed it in the US I am pretty sure they have their bases covered and have appropriate legal representation

CoolKidRoc
30-12-2010, 01:55
How exactly does non-profit work? They charge for advertising and the like right, so does the owner of the website make no money off of the site? Does the money from this site not going into anyone's pocket at all?

Duke Georgal
30-12-2010, 01:57
There are legal differences in terms "non-profit", "not-for-profit", and "charitable organization."

Way too subtle and complicated for this forum.

Pacorko
30-12-2010, 01:58
Non-profit means that... not making a profit. They get revenue to pay for their costs via subscriptions and advertsing.

[Any Extra] Money keeps the site running. It belongs to no one.

CoolKidRoc
30-12-2010, 02:03
Is salary considered part of costs?

Meriwether
30-12-2010, 02:30
As far as I know, no one draws any kind of salary for running Warseer.

CoolKidRoc
30-12-2010, 02:37
Cool, didn't know that warseer was nonprofit.

But there are still people who are making money off the website, even if it is just the hosting site and the like. Wouldn't they be liable? Or am I just totally wrong here and barking up the wrong tree?

Lord Martel
30-12-2010, 04:10
There is a very good video on copyright and trademark on TED TV

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/johanna_blakley_lessons_from_fashion_s_free_cultur e.html

This is a really fun video on the IP of the fashion industry that has many parallels with our hobby.

GW might have a problem in defending its IP if Chapter House points to all of the Sci-fi influences that GW has ripped off over the years. How do they defend Tryanids when they are compared to the Aliens movies? None of their races are original, and even the names they use are rip offs. Dark Angels, Ultramarines, Praetorian Guard, Imperial Guard, Space Marine, Ork, and Eldar are all found in other works. Much of GW’s IP may not be defendable.

GW might want to be careful about throwing bricks in glass houses. They could stand to loose more than they gain.

At heart I think this will be an issue of anti-trust and aftermarket products not copyright.

PsyberWolf
30-12-2010, 04:36
Umm seeing as though GW filed it in the US I am pretty sure they have their bases covered and have appropriate legal representation

Except it seems like they sued the wrong person - the other named party did not design the "Super Heavy Assault Walker" nor has any relationship with CHS.:wtf:

Reinholt
30-12-2010, 05:08
A couple of points, as though I'm not a lawyer, I work with them constantly in a very legal-heavy business...

1 - Usually when you bring a lawsuit against someone and it's actually hitting the courts, you throw in everything (including the kitchen sink) you might be able to tag them with. Often it is the case that you can't pile on more later if you didn't put it in the initial complaint, so you fire everything you have and make them work to defend it or make the court strike it down. Thus, if you read GW's complaint in that light, what they have done makes perfect sense.

2 - If we are talking about who is in the right here, it is relatively clear that Chapterhouse is likely to get hit with something. Some of GW's claims are clearly overreach, but to be specific, the trademark related claims are likely to stick (so Chapterhouse's marketing is clearly a problem, and probably the big issue, actually), and any models they are making that they have designated as direct GW models (like the Doom) could be a problem. Less serious are things that are just bits, though they may be forced to re-label those and market them totally differently.

3 - My suspicion would be that GW already contacted Chapterhouse and C&D'd them and they did not stop. You don't open with a lawsuit unless someone has done something ridiculously egregious, so I doubt this is the first contact between the two companies.

4 - Disclaimers and giving credit do not give you the right to use trademarks to market your products if they are not your trademarks. Chapterhouse disavowing that they are selling GW products and showing that terms are registered GW trademarks is not likely to be an adequate defense on that front.


So if you want my guess, I don't think Chapterhouse has to destroy all their moulds (though they might have to destroy some), I do suspect they may have to pay damages (possibly large enough to do them in, as they are tiny), and I am relatively confident that GW will force them to stop using their trademarks. The fact that Chapterhouse has been so blatant in their defiance also means that a court is probably pretty likely to slap them down hard if they are found guilty on any count, as the intent was clearly to push the limits as hard as they could, so they are playing a dangerous game. This is should they choose to go to court.

I think, once the ball starts rolling and both sides are into the discovery phase, a settlement becomes very likely, however.

Kordos
30-12-2010, 06:05
Except it seems like they sued the wrong person - the other named party did not design the "Super Heavy Assault Walker" nor has any relationship with CHS.:wtf:

The other party also has bits marketed using GW trademarks and GW IP - the only thing they have stuffed up is his relationship or lack thereof with the walker

EDIT: There is apparently a tenuous link between the other party and the walker but as I am not sure of the particulars I won’t comment on that

Crube
30-12-2010, 06:45
Also, Warseer isn't a for-profit enterprise.

It's not meant to be that way, it just is :D (Joke)



No one on the staff here draws a salary. We are all volunteers, who work for free in our spare time.

We do receive revenue (from advertisers, Guilderships) but this money pays for the site hosting, and maintenance and upgrades of servers and the like.


Crube
The Warseer Inquisition

Born Again
30-12-2010, 08:55
Ok, first of all the obvious disclaimer that A) I am not a lawyer, and B) I haven't read through this whole thread. However, reading through what I could understand of the legal document and looking at CHS website, I understand and have to back GW on this one. Seriously, making and selling bits with a direct infringement on the copyright (right down to calling things by specific Chapter names) is just asking for trouble. They must have seen it coming.

jack da greenskin
30-12-2010, 09:08
I doubt CHS studios will be able to pay the settlement for "irreparable damage". So what are GW after?

BigRob
30-12-2010, 09:41
Probably to stop them making money on the back of something GW has been working on/investing in for many years. Chapter House have been remarkable nieve up til now thinking they will get away with making what are, when you break it down, GW knock offs. At least have the sense to call them "Galactic Warriors" or "Space Knights" or even "The Giant Doom Worm of Malachite" and let the internet do the talking while you deny all knowledge.

By using GW trademarks and claiming to be models specifically for 40K they are cutting into GWs IP and market. Who is to say Forgeworld are not currently working on a Doom of Malanti and given the very specific look of the Tyranids, who's to say it doesn't look very similar? That would be a substantial amount of time and money down the pan if CH are flogging a similar one at half the price.

And for all those who reckon GW should hand out licenses in cereal boxes or bring these free lance sculptures on the pay roll, that they are heavy handed and over reacting, think of the good lesson that is the Simpsons when Bill Gates "buys out" Homers internet company.

"What, you think I got rich writing cheques?" ;)

Crube
30-12-2010, 09:42
Personal Opinion

CHS to stop completely what they're doing, and go away....

doghouse
30-12-2010, 10:23
Couldn't agree more, the market will be a lot better off without them. Beggars belief that they thought that this wouldn't happen.

I mean everyone knows what GW legal is like concerning IP issues, and CHS have been tugging on the tiger's tail far too long not to get swatted.

I think all their talk of third party production is rubbish, CHS are profiting of GW's IP pure and simple and are getting slapped down for it.

I'd recommend the chewbacca defence.

BigRob
30-12-2010, 10:37
Just out of interest, because I'm sure it was different last week ;)

When did Chapterhouse change thier website. The item titles look like they are halfway through being changed from Tyranid to Space Bug, Eldar to Space Elf and Imperial Guard to Colonial Guard and where did that massive disclaimer at the bottom come from?

Interesting that they are also begging money to help in thier legal defence

Talk about shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted....... :rolleyes:

Kordos
30-12-2010, 10:50
Just out of interest, because I'm sure it was different last week ;)

When did Chapterhouse change thier website. The item titles look like they are halfway through being changed from Tyranid to Space Bug, Eldar to Space Elf and Imperial Guard to Colonial Guard and where did that massive disclaimer at the bottom come from?

Interesting that they are also begging money to help in thier legal defence

Talk about shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted....... :rolleyes:

They started changing the item names/descriptions in the last 24 hours
The disclaimer was added a few days ago I believe - and yes too late to make any difference

doghouse
30-12-2010, 10:50
They did it day before yesterday as far as I know. All this talk of having enough money if GW did take action and now they have a legal fund.

Changing the names isn't going to help their case much.

IJW
30-12-2010, 10:54
In the last few days. Search for Chapterhouse Studio on Google and look at the cached version, you should be able to see what it looked like before.

P.S. Born Again - you're confusing copyright (can't make moulds etc. of GW items) with trademarks.

Duke Georgal
30-12-2010, 11:00
GW might want to be careful about throwing bricks in glass houses. They could stand to lose more than they gain.

Does anyone remember all the silly Ty Beanie Baby lawsuit wars of the 1990's? Those were hilarious.

Ty was suing anybody they thought was profiteering off their IP or the popularity of their product.

Meanwhile they are marketing Beanie Babies like "Paul" the walrus, "Sammie" the bear cub, and "Rocket" the blue jay. All of these were obvious rip offs of famous people's names, but Ty insisted it was just a coincidence.

This came to a peak after Obama was elected president and they released two little girl dolls named Sasha and Malia, but denied they were named after his daughters.

Throwing bricks while you are in a glass house does not work against you in the US civil legal system.

johnnyrumour
30-12-2010, 12:39
:O

IMO a better way to solve it would have been to work with the sculptor paul whathisface, asking him to remove the infringements and offer him a chance of getting the howling griffon shoulder pads in their "superior quality", its not like GW are selling these.

*SIGH*

as this is a court summons Chapterhouse will have already been sent a polite C&D from GW Legal, and ignored it.

This is what happens when they don't have to go through the required 'please stop ripping us off with your shoddy, shoddy sculpts' stages.




But... I feel that bringing in a full legal lawsuit against a man who makes stuff in a shed is like using a sledgehammer to crack a boiled egg.

He will have ignored 3 or 4 C&D letters. this is what happens when you stop being polite about it. You'll note that the summons is issued by a Legal team in Illinois, not GW themselves which measn that the internal team have run out of polite options. These are proper red-eyed, leathery-winged lawyers.


But this guy wasnt making space marine box sets, or ultramarine shoulder pads. He was making stuff GW don't sell, howling griffon shoulder pads and tau titans.

That's not the point. the point is he is actively infringing, in such a way that GW have received complaints about quality etc. As others have mentioned, just because GW don't sell it now doesn't mean they never will, nor does it give you carte blanche to make your own awful awful versions. They do wave releases.


In other news the website has now changed all the GW related stuff, selling

"Infantry and Shoulder Pad Bits for 28mm models
Vehicle Replacement Part Kits that fit on Games Workshop Models
28mm Weapon Bits
Bits/Conversions kits for 28 mm Mars Faction
Bits/Conversion kits for Space Elves
Bits/Conversion kits for space bug and monsters
Bits/Conversions for 28mm for colonial guard
Super Heavy Vehicle Kits"

Too little, too late. He should have done that when he got his first C&D. As for the guy who says that the language is laughable and he hopes the court thik so too - they wont. This is legal speak, the court know exactly what it means and will deal with it accordingly.


There is a very simple way for ChapterHouse to defend itself in this case:

1) There is a disclaimer at the bottom of their website that says these are not GW products and lists the trademarks as being associated with GW

That's completely irrelevant - saying that you're not part of GW and you don;t own these trademarks is the stupidest thing in the world!


2) Any alleged use of GW IP can be shown to be false by showing numerous examples of similar design in the various Sci-fi books, movies, games, etc that GW has ripped off over the years. (from Tolkein to Starship Troopers to Aliens to Terminator to Star Wars - I could go on and on!!!)

Wrong. The concept of 'super-human warriors in space who fight from ships in full armour with massive guns' isn't what GW hold a copyright on. They do, however, hold copyright on their IP which is to say an Imperial Space Marine, in MkVII Power Armour carrying a Bolter, as well as the physical appearance of the model and the name of the relevant Chapter. This is what Chapterhouse are ripping off. It's not about 'similar design' it's about the very specific GW thing.


3) Not sure how the "Super Heavy Assault Walker" breaks IP - it looks like a generic space vehicle.

erm... it's clearly meant to be a Tau Titan. look at the Railguns.

Born Again
30-12-2010, 12:58
P.S. Born Again - you're confusing copyright (can't make moulds etc. of GW items) with trademarks.

I was, you're right :) I do understand the difference, I just wasn't paying much attention to what my hands were typing :p

yabbadabba
30-12-2010, 13:09
Much of GW’s IP may not be defendable.
GW might want to be careful about throwing bricks in glass houses. They could stand to loose more than they gain.Thats not what this is about, and it is unlikely to be an issue. If CHS were to countersue then those questions might get asked.

Another question will be if CHS offered to come to the table when they got the C+Ds or whether they told GW to jump/ignored them. If its the latter then that will also not hold them in good stead in court

johnnyrumour
30-12-2010, 13:13
GW might have a problem in defending its IP if Chapter House points to all of the Sci-fi influences that GW has ripped off over the years. How do they defend Tryanids when they are compared to the Aliens movies? None of their races are original, and even the names they use are rip offs. Dark Angels, Ultramarines, Praetorian Guard, Imperial Guard, Space Marine, Ork, and Eldar are all found in other works. Much of GW’s IP may not be defendable.



Again, this is irrelevant. Tyranids are similar to the Xenomorph in Aliens. They aren't exactly the same. Both are alien beasts but that's about it. Think about the Hive Mind, Genestealers, the Shadow in the Warp etc.
40k Imperial Guard aren't easily confused with anything else. A 40k Space Marine isn't the same thing as a Starship Trooper.

Simo429
30-12-2010, 13:32
It seems to me that Chapter House studios were either incredibly stupid or incredibly naive.

VERITAS/AEQUITAS
30-12-2010, 13:42
After so many things have been said and most warseer members seem to agree that CHS was plain stupid in their way of advertising their stuff -

why does warseer still show a CHS banner to click on? :D

PsyberWolf
30-12-2010, 13:44
He will have ignored 3 or 4 C&D letters. this is what happens when you stop being polite about it. You'll note that the summons is issued by a Legal team in Illinois, not GW themselves which measn that the internal team have run out of polite options.

<snip>


erm... it's clearly meant to be a Tau Titan. look at the Railguns.

Do we know for a fact that CHS has received "3 or 4 C&D letters" or are you just guessing? I know that there have been other instances where it was discussed on Warseer about a company receiving one but I haven't seen any discussion on CHS receiving one.

While the guns have a similar look they are not exactly the same. How close is too close is a gray area and something for the courts to ultimately decide.


why does warseer still show a CHS banner to click on? :D

Because contrary to what some Warseer members think - the filing of a lawsuit does not automatically mean that CHS violated GWs IP and that they should immediately shut down their website, destroy any moulds and submit themselves to public flogging!

Ozorik
30-12-2010, 14:13
They only have themselves to blame, actually using GW's trademarks was always going to end up in this situation. I am all for alternative manufacturers but they realy need to be sensible.


40k Imperial Guard aren't easily confused with anything else. A 40k Space Marine isn't the same thing as a Starship Trooper

Simple, guardsmen are 'Colonial Marines' (which actually predate the suspiciouly similar Cadians) or 'Sci Fi troopers'. As long as the sculpts avoid GW iconography and are not direct copies then there shouldn't be a problem as GW minitures themselves derive from generic sources.

spetswalshe
30-12-2010, 14:20
The website still explicitly states things like 'Dark Angel, Death Watch and Inquisition Player Components'; they have 'Imperial Fists' but 'Wolf Theme' for what used to be Space Wolves, which seems a bit odd. I guess they either haven't gone through their website thoroughly, or they're being clever and only removing specific trademarks. Still, I figured 'Horus Heresy' had been flag-stamped by GW.

They always were sailing too close to the wind - or rather, they beached their longship and straight-up invaded the coastal regions. I can understand why they would want to describe their products as what they are - and I imagine having 'Salamander Marine Tactical Pads' did actually net them a few more sales than 'Dragon Space Knight Infantry Pads' would have done; but there's a reason why other companies use this method of naming, and CHS just got a full load of it in the face.


Because contrary to what some Warseer members think - the filing of a lawsuit does not automatically mean that CHS violated GWs IP and that they should immediately shut down their website, destroy any moulds and submit themselves to public flogging!

That wouldn't be enough anyway. From what I understand GW expect full and prompt delivery of your firstborn.

Nocculum
30-12-2010, 14:48
I'm amused this got a Jury trial, and isn't (I assume) being settled out of court.

dean
30-12-2010, 14:53
I'm amused this got a Jury trial, and isn't (I assume) being settled out of court.

This is the preliminary filing... Jury trial to follow sometime in the next 5-10 years.

Faeslayer
30-12-2010, 15:16
They only have themselves to blame, actually using GW's trademarks was always going to end up in this situation. I am all for alternative manufacturers but they realy need to be sensible.

This. I'd previously always wondered why Chapterhouse wasn't being sued, honestly. They very openly describe their parts with GW names.

Grimstonefire
30-12-2010, 15:42
I apologise if this has already been answered, but don't chapterhouse just sell parts that GW specifically do not make? Or at least this is a huge chunk of their business?

Just seems strange to me that on their list of complaints they are loosing a lot of money from it, when they're not actually selling it at all anyway.

I seem to remember seeing something that looked like a full assault marine, so I could be wrong.

I will follow this with interest though because if chapterhouse win it's only a matter of time before someone does this for warhammer.

Chaos and Evil
30-12-2010, 16:07
if chapterhouse win it's only a matter of time before someone does this for warhammer.
Mantic Games.
Avatars of War.
Gamezone.
Etc.

t-tauri
30-12-2010, 16:17
Mantic Games.
Avatars of War.
Gamezone.
Etc.

The only ones of those who are in any danger IMO are Mantic's Khaos Dwarfs which sail mighty close to GW's Chaos Dwarf imagery, army list and names.

The rest are in no danger as GW can claim no IP on human, elf or dwarf.

40k is much easier to protect.

IJW
30-12-2010, 16:19
Even then, Mantic are clearly avoiding use of GW's actual trademarked names.

Baggers
30-12-2010, 16:36
Do we know for a fact that CHS has received "3 or 4 C&D letters" or are you just guessing? I know that there have been other instances where it was discussed on Warseer about a company receiving one but I haven't seen any discussion on CHS receiving one.


Indeed GW have sent out lots of C&D letters to various people and most people responded straight away. ChapterHouse would have got one, and seemingly ignored it. I am no legal expert, but it seems sensible that two or three of these letters would be sent to give ChapterHouse time to comply. If they don't then a court case is the next step.

Earthbeard
30-12-2010, 16:46
Long overdue imho, never liked the guys conduct on various forums, to his "naysayers" and "doubters"....

I used to work heavily in finance, second charges, mortgages etc, and it took a long for anything to get to the "Court" stage, anyone that says no prior correspondence happened, is utterly naive.

Chaos and Evil
30-12-2010, 17:23
The only ones of those who are in any danger IMO are Mantic's Khaos Dwarfs which sail mighty close to GW's Chaos Dwarf imagery, army list and names.

The rest are in no danger as GW can claim no IP on human, elf or dwarf.

40k is much easier to protect.

You mis-read my post.

Grimstonefire said that if Chapterhouse studios win their court case (Or even reach a settlement that allows them to continue trading), it'll open the way for a company to do the same thing as Chapterhouse, only for Warhammer.

I was pointing out that as the IP for Warhammer is much, much weaker (It's just generic fantasy in 28mm "heroic"* scale, for the most part), and several companies are already making directly parallel models (And at a much higher level of quality than Chapterhouse, incidentally).


*Mutant freak head & hands.

yabbadabba
30-12-2010, 17:32
I apologise if this has already been answered, but don't chapterhouse just sell parts that GW specifically do not make? Or at least this is a huge chunk of their business?
Just seems strange to me that on their list of complaints they are loosing a lot of money from it, when they're not actually selling it at all anyway.
I seem to remember seeing something that looked like a full assault marine, so I could be wrong.
I will follow this with interest though because if chapterhouse win it's only a matter of time before someone does this for warhammer.
Two things mate
a) Its not necessarily what they are making but how they are marketing it, although some scuplts sail close to the wind
b) Its legalese to throw the kitchen sink at the issue - you can't go back later and change it becuase you "forgot" something, and even if you could, it would cost you far more than if you just put the entire business in the first complaint and let the court sort it out.

t-tauri
30-12-2010, 17:36
You mis-read my post.

Grimstonefire said that if Chapterhouse studios win their court case (Or even reach a settlement that allows them to continue trading), it'll open the way for a company to do the same thing as Chapterhouse, only for Warhammer.



Agreed the fantasy market is already there and being exploited, just as it is for 40k. No-one else went as far as Chapterhouse and used GW names and made miniatures for named GW codex entries. The whole conversion parts market would seem to be legally fine as long as they advertise as generic 28(ish)mm and avoid the use of names and direct images.

About the only things that would be beyond the pale in Fantasy are direct named parts and heavily characteristic images like the two tailed comet. The rest of Warhammer Fantasy is so generic as to be unprotectable as Gamezone's clone output shows. But this is going off topic...

PsyberWolf
30-12-2010, 17:55
Indeed GW have sent out lots of C&D letters to various people and most people responded straight away. ChapterHouse would have got one, and seemingly ignored it. I am no legal expert, but it seems sensible that two or three of these letters would be sent to give ChapterHouse time to comply. If they don't then a court case is the next step.

You are assuming facts not in evidence. Most likely they did but unless there is confirmation you can't act like they did. Can you provide a link to a copy of the C&D or even a forum discussion about one being sent? I know I have seen these for other companies that GW has sent a C&D to.

yabbadabba
30-12-2010, 17:59
You are assuming facts not in evidence. Most likely they did but unless there is confirmation you can't act like they did. Can you provide a link to a copy of the C&D or even a forum discussion about one being sent? I know I have seen these for other companies that GW has sent a C&D to. Doesn't stop people presenting the other side of an evil GW though, does it, again assuming instead of proving? Welcome to the Interweb MkII. There is a chance that GW haven't sent C+Ds, but it is highly unlikely as it will weaken their own case and any external legal firm would know and advise that.

Ozorik
30-12-2010, 18:01
You are assuming facts not in evidence. Most likely they did but unless there is confirmation you can't act like they did. Can you provide a link to a copy of the C&D or even a forum discussion about one being sent? I know I have seen these for other companies that GW has sent a C&D to.

Its not much on assumption given that C&D letters are far, far cheaper than taking legal action. A copy of a C&D letter is highly unlikely to ever make its way onto a forum.

Ironmonger
30-12-2010, 18:03
If a C&D was sent it would have been notarized. I don't think there's anyway GW would not have done this with the blatant abuse of their IP, but if they didn't it might set up a possibility for an appeal (after GW clearly wins the lawsuit).

The Clairvoyant
30-12-2010, 18:03
Referring to the C&D letters, why would you have heard of it beforehand? Chapterhouse are 6(ish) guys. So unless one of those put it on a forum, no-one else is going to say anything. The others that have been known about are because the recipient has made it public either via their website or on forums.

MarcoSkoll
30-12-2010, 18:37
Referring to the C&D letters, why would you have heard of it beforehand?
Also, based on that earlier blog post, they clearly thought GW were bluffing and rattling the sabre, so they probably thought nothing of it.
Now the actual lawsuit has hit home, they're probably unlikely to discuss it on the basis that if they admit GW gave them prior warning, it makes them look silly, but if they give the idea that GW did not, it makes GW look evil.

There will have been C&D letters. It's far cheaper, improves GW's chances if it did come to a court case, and the threat of force can sometimes enforce things that you can't be certain would stick in court.
No matter how evil you want to believe GW are, they are not stupid.

lotrchampion
30-12-2010, 19:32
Hah. About time.

I think yabbadabba has made some excellent points here, but for me it comes back to this from xxRavenxx:


I think everyone in the "boo GW" camp should ask themselves the following question:

..

Do you feel this is acceptable, socially, ethically, and under copyright law?"

...

And remember, a company doesn't just defend its ip for the good of the management. It has all its employees to look after too.

At the end of the day, GW has spent many years building up a strong series of background universes for their games, as well as the models and rules to go with them. To have someone simply skimming money off the back of many years hard work is just plain rude, as much as any legal implications.

I can understand the wish to fill gaps in existing ranges, but as yabba said, it is part of their current marketing strategy. Maybe not to everyone's taste, but that's how it is. I'd place money on models like the Doom of Malan'tai and others that CHS have done, such as the Tervigon, already waiting for the "Incoming!" newsletter to come along. This is, for the most part, stuff that GW haven't done yet. They have 3 games systems to support, with an ever expanding range of armies and miniatures. Things need to be spread out.

If CHS had operated more subtly, as others have mentioned, I doubt this would be as much of an issue to GW, or if it were, they wouldn't be able to make anything stick in court. However, they have made it exceptionally easy, and has been mentioned (re: US trademark laws), completely necessary for GW to hunt them down.

As for the impact on people's opinions of GW - well, if you think GW are the Big Evil Company (tm), then your opinion is completely fulfilled. If you think GW are just a company trying to do OK in a difficult environment, you'll shrug your shoulders. If you're a fanboi....well TBF, you'll probably do the same.

Lesson for the day: don't sponge off people. Especially people with legal teams. :p

tuesday_the_pixie
30-12-2010, 20:05
I don't know if this has been mentioned before (it's a long thread and my eyes ache from work) but have you seen the state of the components that Chapterhouse are peddling? They really are nowhere near up to the standard that GW produces. Chapterhouse are not only infringing copyright but are tarnishing the imagery and background of what it has taken GW decades to refine into a well made and good quality brand.

I know that may seem a bit fanboyish but tis my two cents.

Malorian
30-12-2010, 20:07
Funny story:

Played a game against a salamander army yesterday with a bunch of cool conversions.

Asked him how he did it and it turns out it's from Chapterhouse.

I had never heard about then until they were being sued, and now I see their stuff the very next day.


The stuff was very fitting and I can see both sides of the argument.

On one side you obviously have to buy all the stuff to add the salamander upgrades, but at the same time where do you draw the line?

Jim30
30-12-2010, 20:34
I'd also turn this on its head - how would people feel if CHS had a really cool series of minis that they'd trademarked, which GW then produced components for, and advertised as such on their website?

If CHS were to sue, would people be going 'bad business tactic, bullying etc' or would they be cheering at the thought of a minnow protecting its IP against the big guy in town?

I must confess that I think a lot of the reaction here is very much in the 'anyone being bullied by the nasty big company is automatically a victim', particularly given how much people love to hate GW. I have no problem with GWs actions - indeed I'd expect any company in the same position to react in the same way...

Kaptajn_Congoboy
30-12-2010, 20:57
Damn, that (Tau) Heavy Walker is cool. It looks like some sort of Mass Effect heavy weapons platform.

Expensive, too. I'd buy it if it came in a small model option.

Lars Porsenna
30-12-2010, 21:24
Chapterhouse are not only infringing copyright but are tarnishing the imagery and background of what it has taken GW decades to refine into a well made and good quality brand.


Oh I dunno. I picked up their Eldar Warlock on jetbike conversion (something neither GW nor Forgeworld has touched in the last 12 years! Not making any judgements here however...), and I thought the quality of the casting was on-par with Forgeworld. I didn't have any issues with it. YMMV.

Damon.

dean
30-12-2010, 21:45
(something neither GW nor Forgeworld has touched in the last 12 years! Not making any judgements here however.

A lot of people on many different forums have brought up this point.... Up untill the last couple of years GW did this INTENTIONALLY so that you can convert your own units. When the bits service was axed a few in GW made comments along the lines of "we are going to produce everything in the codexes" but you dont overturn 25 years of INTENTIONAL gaps in the ranges overnight. Most of the gaps are single mini options in the codexes like the bike Farseer.... Its a Farseer cut off at the waist and pinned to a biker body with some GS robes on the legs. I dont find that much beyond an average hobbyists skills.

captian Maklai
30-12-2010, 22:06
A quote from our dear Eric cartman which i think is quite appropriate
"Don't you have better things to do than go around killing people?!"

I think GW is being completely unjust here, shame on you GW Shame...:skull:

Verm1s
30-12-2010, 22:44
I think GW is being completely unjust here

Assuming you're not being sarcastic - why?

Pacorko
30-12-2010, 23:08
erm... it's clearly meant to be a Tau Titan. look at the Railguns.

But it isn't clearly named as one. So, there's no grounds for a lawsuit, there.

The DoM capper was asking to be shafted. Now, it been holidays and all, they got their wish granted.


It seems to me that Chapter House studios were either incredibly stupid or incredibly naive.

Quite incredibly, none.

They were just absurdly arrogant.

PsyberWolf
30-12-2010, 23:10
At the end of the day, GW has spent many years building up a strong series of background universes for their games, as well as the models and rules to go with them. To have someone simply skimming money off the back of many years hard work is just plain rude, as much as any legal implications.

It's a shame GW has been skimming money off the back of the hard work of the makers of Tolkien, Star wars, Starship troopers, Terminator, etc. :angel:

Jim30
30-12-2010, 23:18
"It's a shame GW has been skimming money off the back of the hard work of the makers of Tolkien, Star wars, Starship troopers, Terminator, etc"

Show me any derivative sci fi or fantasy wargaming company that hasn't?

Verm1s
30-12-2010, 23:30
It's a shame you have skim off the back of the hard work of the few thousand other people who've made that inane statement. Influences aren't the same as, say, GW producing an exact Luke Skywalker mini and declaring "This unofficial Luke Skywalker mini is for use with Hasbro's official Star Wars game!"

Take a look through the likes of The Gothic and the Eldritch (http://www.blacklibrary.com/all-products/Gothic-and-the-Eldritch-The.html) sometime, if you get the chance.

Sleazy
30-12-2010, 23:52
I dont get the difference between CHS producing accessories for 40k and companies producing mobile phone accessories.

I guess its just the way its named. Am sure if they just put for example "hammer suitable for use as a thunder hammer and compatible with Games Workshop miniatures" then theres nothing that could be done.

Same as I dont think theres anything stopping other companies producing a clutch and labelling it suitable for certain vehicles.

Course I could be worng but I'm sure thats gonna be CHS stance.

IAMNOTHERE
30-12-2010, 23:58
That's why there's so little sympathy for CHS in this thread. If they'd done that rather than produced a Doom of Malantai model then this wouldn't have happened.

As it is, with CHS being so blatant GW is left with no option other than to sue. Failing to sue would have created its own legally enforceable precedent of not bothering to protect its IP.

Shipmonkey
31-12-2010, 00:02
It's a shame GW has been skimming money off the back of the hard work of the makers of Tolkien, Star wars, Starship troopers, Terminator, etc. :angel:


OK, look at what you just said. Is GW making money of Tolkiens? Yes, they are and they have the right too being that they have a license to do so from the owners of the IP. So how is that skimming money? As for Star Wars, Starship Troopers and the rest, is GW making EXACT replicas of any of those IPs? No they are not. GW has clearly borrowed concepts from them all but they are not blatantly selling direct copies of any of them. And that is the issue with the ****** at Chapterhouse, they are trying to sell you Blood Angel shoulder pads for your GW Space Marines. They are directly lifting names, concepts, symbols, and peices from GW and in many cases selling products using these IP that directly compete with products from GW. And their release of the Doom of Malathani and Tyrannid drop pods is directly challenging GWs ability to profit from their future release. That is why they need to be sued into the dirt.

Grimstonefire
31-12-2010, 00:26
I know it's probably been discussed to death many times, but I really struggle to believe that CHS would intentionally carry on trading with a strategy if they believed it could end up them (obviously) losing a court battle.

They paid to have legal advice, so either they had bad advice (which would probably result in them suing the person) or they genuinely believe they stand a good chance of winning.

My guess is that they will attempt to keep this out of court by agreeing to change names on things. I can't see GW wanting CHS to be shut down. It's only pocket change to GW really either way, so it's equally in their interest to stop this lawsuit out of court incase they lose (and get loads of negative publicity). Have GW ever had to defend their IP policy in court???

Chapterhouse must have been expecting legal action. Realistically you don't go (supposedly legally) treading around their entire set of IP without expecting some reaction.

@Chaos and Evil
I meant replacement component parts specifically designed for warhammer not alternate models (as mantic and AOW are doing). There are no companies doing this at the moment that I am aware of (sadly), certainly not on CHS scale.

tezdal
31-12-2010, 00:29
lol I've never heard of Chapterhouse Studios before this thread, but I'm gonna order some stuff before GW shuts em down.

lotrchampion
31-12-2010, 00:58
"It's a shame GW has been skimming money off the back of the hard work of the makers of Tolkien, Star wars, Starship troopers, Terminator, etc"

Show me any derivative sci fi or fantasy wargaming company that hasn't?


It's a shame you have skim off the back of the hard work of the few thousand other people who've made that inane statement. Influences aren't the same as, say, GW producing an exact Luke Skywalker mini and declaring "This unofficial Luke Skywalker mini is for use with Hasbro's official Star Wars game!"

Take a look through the likes of The Gothic and the Eldritch (http://www.blacklibrary.com/all-products/Gothic-and-the-Eldritch-The.html) sometime, if you get the chance.


OK, look at what you just said. Is GW making money of Tolkiens? Yes, they are and they have the right too being that they have a license to do so from the owners of the IP. So how is that skimming money? As for Star Wars, Starship Troopers and the rest, is GW making EXACT replicas of any of those IPs? No they are not. GW has clearly borrowed concepts from them all but they are not blatantly selling direct copies of any of them. And that is the issue with the ****** at Chapterhouse, they are trying to sell you Blood Angel shoulder pads for your GW Space Marines. They are directly lifting names, concepts, symbols, and peices from GW and in many cases selling products using these IP that directly compete with products from GW. And their release of the Doom of Malathani and Tyrannid drop pods is directly challenging GWs ability to profit from their future release. That is why they need to be sued into the dirt.

It appears my argument has been made for me. :)

Yes, GW draws inspiration from many other sources, often in a relatively blatant way. They don't directly copy these ideas, and nor do they use them as promotional grounds for their products. That is the key point - directly, unashamedly using GW's IP without permission.

viking657
31-12-2010, 01:09
interesting thread

I've just finished reading CHS blog to the point were they totally ripped the crap out of whoever emailed them in feb 10 saying they were going to be sued! So funny :D

They have clearly sort advice before they started sculpting, badly may I add, and were correctly told theres nothing wrong with making parts that would fit onto a GW kit and theres nothing wrong with using the word Space or Marine but clearly they stopped listerning at that point and decided that they had the god given right to help themselves to some of GW's pie.

The abuses of trademark and copyright are far too many to list and why anyone would want a Doom that looked like that is beyond me. Counts as Zoan is far, far better.

CHS are going to be taking their P45's (or whatever the US version is) to the job centre very, very soon.

GW for the sheer horror that is that Doom sculpt I hope you totally sink them, really the last time I shivered like that was when someone put 80's Ogryns on the table against me...

CoolKidRoc
31-12-2010, 02:37
I can see where many people are coming from. And some of the harsh attitude of the "I told you so" But people need to remember that just because CHS is being sued does not mean they are guilty.

Innocent until proven Guilty right?

And just because you are sued, doesn't mean you're in the wrong, you can be sued for just about anything in America. You can sue for falling on the kitchen knife while trying to rob a house. Or the guy a couple years ago who sued the laundry cleaners for losing his suit. They offered to replace it for him, but he sued them for like 10mil or something.

I'll remain impartial on this one for the time being. As I feel that even if they were wrong, there are many gamers who have benefited from the use of these bits then I believe that GW was hurt by the sale of the bits.

Oh and just a WTF for the hell of it, when did the word "bits" become a British term? :)

PsyberWolf
31-12-2010, 02:38
OK, look at what you just said. Is GW making money of Tolkiens? Yes, they are and they have the right too being that they have a license to do so from the owners of the IP. So how is that skimming money?

GW has licensed Tolkien IP for their LoTR range BUT it has not been licensed for use in 40K. Clearly GW has borrowed concepts from the fantasy world Tolkien createdand applied it to the far future.


As for Star Wars, Starship Troopers and the rest, is GW making EXACT replicas of any of those IPs? No they are not. GW has clearly borrowed concepts from them all but they are not blatantly selling direct copies of any of them.

CHS does not produce any direct copies. Each item they sell has been cast from custom built sculpts. Now as far as the design they may have "borrowed" from some of GWs concepts - the difference between what GW has borrowed and what CHS has borrowed is in degrees not in kind.*


And that is the issue with the ****** at Chapterhouse, they are trying to sell you Blood Angel shoulder pads for your GW Space Marines. They are directly lifting names, concepts, symbols, and peices from GW and in many cases selling products using these IP that directly compete with products from GW. And their release of the Doom of Malathani and Tyrannid drop pods is directly challenging GWs ability to profit from their future release. That is why they need to be sued into the dirt.

GW doesn't own the concept of using wolf symbols or tear/blood drop symbols nor do they own the concept of putting a symbol on a shoulder pad. They own their sculpts and the symbols they have defined. CHS has created their own shoulder pads and created their own symbols.

Now let's talk about the stand alone models. Look at the Spore Pod. As far as the name I don't think it is trademarked so CHS can use that term if it is not. GW could argue that it was based on their stories and codex. The problem is that there are numerous other sources which provide a similar aestetic. I think it borrows more from Gieger's work which was the basis for the Aliens movies.

I would agree that their "marketing" or "selling strategy" went a little too far. They didn't leave enough room to have it represent multiple game systems. For example, the Super Heavy Assault Walker, the aestetic is very different from Tau (except for the guns which are superficially similar) but it was clearly shown with Tau warriors and painted with a Tau symbol and color scheme. For the average person this may give the impression that it is a Tau only vehicle. Through verbiage and additional pictures using other systems they could have been positioned better to defend themselves.

SotF
31-12-2010, 02:45
While I think Chapterhouse was inviting this sort of thing, I do kind of wonder what they were thinking.

Also, the one thing that comes to mind about the lawsuit being in the US is that there are laws about lawsuit venue hopping that might make the decision unenforceable unless a US court would also have the judgement.

Son of Morkai
31-12-2010, 03:33
It's a shame GW has been skimming money off the back of the hard work of the makers of Tolkien, Star wars, Starship troopers, Terminator, etc. :angel:

What do Tolkien's parents have to do with this? :p

Joke aside, if GW violated those IPs, then by this point, those people have FAILED to protect their IP. Just like GW would if they allowed Chapterhouse to continue. So stop using that argument - it actually validates GW's actions legally.

SotF
31-12-2010, 04:21
What do Tolkien's parents have to do with this? :p

Joke aside, if GW violated those IPs, then by this point, those people have FAILED to protect their IP. Just like GW would if they allowed Chapterhouse to continue. So stop using that argument - it actually validates GW's actions legally.

I think there is a technical workaround with this. If GW tries to stop another company from doing it, then they might be able to go after GW.

Pacorko
31-12-2010, 07:41
I can see where many people are coming from. And some of the harsh attitude of the "I told you so" But people need to remember that just because CHS is being sued does not mean they are guilty.

Innocent until proven Guilty right?

Well, in this case they proved it themselves: The Doom of Malantai capper was the last nail on their silly coffin. They went and created a [very bland and quite ugly] model using trademarks that only GW or a company licensed by them could use and profit from.

CHS has never had a license, so they just can't do a model and then call it with the exact same name GW uses for its "future release".

There are a lot of HPAs around in the intarwebz, none is named HPA nor "Abomination from the Hellish Pits". Gw hasn't go for any of those companies that sell them.

They went after CHS because they broke any rule they could and thought they could keep doing it.

So, yes. They are guilty. Their actions, their [now revised] website, and their rants about IP Law prove it.

scarletsquig
31-12-2010, 09:10
After reading through their blog and seeing them cuss out the person who politely pointed out errors in their IP stance, I gotta say... these guys have a massive chip on their shoulder for some reason.

It's like GW ran over their dog or something.

doghouse
31-12-2010, 09:38
The thing if CHS do win I don't think they grasp the reality the can of worms that they are opening.
The are minnows feeding of the backs of a whale when the real threat lies in the sharks lurking in the depths below.

This is going to have far reaching ramifications for the industry as a whole and will not only affect GW.
Basically anyone will be able to produce GW knock parts using the IP of a company as a reference point of sale.

From GW's point of view this could result in a change to their policy releasing codex books, the current standing being that they are including entries in them that they have no models for as yet so that they can do splash releases without the need to re-write and publish the codex. Ultimately they are trying to save you the customer the need to buy another codex and them the financial costs of printing a new book because they have something new and cool for your army.

Secondly any small business that creates a successful IP runs the risk of a larger parts company running them out of business by out producing them of their own product.

Ironically enough CHS fall into this second category and could well see their sales drop or even be forced out of business as a result.

yabbadabba
31-12-2010, 09:43
I have to ask to those supporting CHS on this issue, why? Whats the moral basis for that support? Is it just a selfish point of view based on the fact you can bits that GW don't produce? Or is it just because it might be sticking it to the man?

EmperorNorton
31-12-2010, 10:23
I have to ask to those supporting CHS on this issue, why? Whats the moral basis for that support? Is it just a selfish point of view based on the fact you can bits that GW don't produce? Or is it just because it might be sticking it to the man?

I think one needs to differentiate here.
Legally CHS may very well be in the wrong, the court will decide that.
A lot of people are bringing morality ino it. That's where it gets complicated.
There are a lot of small companies making parts that are clearly intended to be used with GW miniatures. The only difference is that CHS has been more open about it and I'm not sure that warrants the hate towards them.
Do the people who condemn CHS also condemn Maxmini, Scibor etc.? Have these people ever bought generic brand cornflakes instead of Kellogg's? A car stereo not produced by the car manufacturer?
As has been pointed out, GW's own stuff is hardly ever original. That doesn't mean they can't be legally in the right, as has also been pointed out. It takes away the moral high ground some people seem to attribute to them, though. People who live in glass houses and all that.
Personal anecdote: My first Warhammer purchase was the 5th Edition Wood Elves armybook. Which turned me off the game for years, because after reading it I thought it was a cheap Tolkien ripoff. Naming the forest of the Elves Loren instead of Lórien is not exactly the epitome of creativity.

Baragash
31-12-2010, 10:24
GW has licensed Tolkien IP for their LoTR range BUT it has not been licensed for use in 40K. Clearly GW has borrowed concepts from the fantasy world Tolkien created and applied it to the far future.

Tolkien "created" his world as much as GW "created" theirs. Tolkien's world came about off the back of extensive research he did into myths, legends and folk tales of various cultures and nationalities. It's reasonably difficult to say something is borrowed from Tolkien exclusively without beating a confession from the GW author.

carlospictor
31-12-2010, 10:27
I have to ask to those supporting CHS on this issue, why? Whats the moral basis for that support? Is it just a selfish point of view based on the fact you can bits that GW don't produce? Or is it just because it might be sticking it to the man?

For truth. GW have only so many staff, only so much they can produce as new releases in any given period. They always strive for high quality. Do they always succeeed? Opinions here would suggest not. However, they are always trying to innovate and improve the quality of their products - the current crop of superb plastic kits and beautiful metal characters is testament to that.

So they haven't yet produced shoulder pads for every single chapter? So what. Either wait, or get creative.

Apple haven't yet released the iPhone8 which retails for under £50 and makes me a coffee in the morning, brought to me in bed by a holographic Natalie Portman. Do I complain about how over-priced Apple products are and how they're letting me down? No.

I get my wife to make the coffee! :D

Grimtuff
31-12-2010, 10:33
I have to ask to those supporting CHS on this issue, why? Whats the moral basis for that support? Is it just a selfish point of view based on the fact you can bits that GW don't produce? Or is it just because it might be sticking it to the man?

Whilst i'm not on "team CHS" nor "team GW". I do see this as not being as black and white as either side is making it out to be, there are several shades of grey involved and is a bit of a dilly of a pickle of a jam in legal land.

I've never been a fan of their style but I cannot deny they fill a niche that GW appears to be too sluggish to capitalize on, however their obvious arrogance is possibly why a lot of people want to see them fight this (me included) as they've always claimed to be 100% legal, so lets see them put their money where their mouth is.

IJW
31-12-2010, 10:47
erm... it's clearly meant to be a Tau Titan. look at the Railguns.


But it isn't clearly named as one. So, there's no grounds for a lawsuit, there.

Up until a few days ago when Chapterhouse changed lots of wording on the website, it was being sold specifically as a 'Tau Heavy Walker'. Going by what the website currently says isn't going to help much.

EDIT - the above appears not to be true and a faulty memory on my part, but it was announced as a Super Heavy Tau Walker. See later in the thread for more details...

If you still think that it's not supposed to be a Tau model then download the rules PDF which is full of Tau-specific equipment such as Markerlights, Sensor Spines, Flechette Dischargers etc. and weapons which are 'heavy' versions of standard Tau weaponry such as the 'Heavy Rail Cannon' and 'Heavy Burst Cannon'.

jack da greenskin
31-12-2010, 11:06
So they haven't yet produced shoulder pads for every single chapter? So what. Either wait, or get creative.


True, they have limited manpower, but you'd have thought they'd have done it for all the first founding chapters. Or asked the guy from FW to let them make the raven guard one in metal, so they can sell it on the main site.

or, you know, like I said, contact sculptors of said howling griffon pad, or something similar. Then they can cast those ones in their high quality casting, and legally open it up to the hobbyists who want it.

Not freelancing stuff is a really weird thing to do.

IJW
31-12-2010, 11:39
I doubt you'll find many other miniature companies using freelancers if they already have a team of in-house sculptors.

Chaos and Evil
31-12-2010, 11:49
I doubt you'll find many other miniature companies using freelancers if they already have a team of in-house sculptors.
Plus, financially speaking, the tiny amount of money GW would make from such a minor endeavor (Making more variant shoulderpads) is pretty much meaningless to them.

carlospictor
31-12-2010, 12:15
Trying not fixate too much on the shoulder pad issue (!), but GW and ForgeWorld are giving all this Space Marine loving:

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/armySubUnitCats.jsp?catId=cat440338a&rootCatGameStyle=

http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/Warhammer-40000/Space_Marines/Space_Marine-Infantry-Accessories?filter_action=3&filter_value=1

I count around 60 different packs (pads, etched brass, transfers) for customising your marines - excluding those that come with the regular plastic kits. This also excludes the Black Templar, Dark Angels etc. chapter upgrade frames.

Coupled with the release by ForgeWorld of the variant Heresy armours, I think this shows GW's commitment to offering well-crafted conversion parts. They can't release everything all at once, nor should they.

In this case, ChapterHouse are using terms they don't own, in order to sell (judging solely by the photos) inferior products. Comparisons with MaxMini and Scibor don't hold up in this respect, as their websites show products which appear to be of higher quality and do not infringe trademark. Indeed, I have happily purchased from both companies - on the basis of photo's which made me think the products were quality (they are) as opposed to photo's of products which made me think 'meh'.

PsyberWolf
31-12-2010, 12:51
After reading through their blog and seeing them cuss out the person who politely pointed out errors in their IP stance, I gotta say... these guys have a massive chip on their shoulder for some reason.

It's like GW ran over their dog or something.

Did they really cuss out the person?

Here is the post - a snippy response to a snippy email but cussed out?:


On another note, I recieved this email today.

"games workshop is gonna sue the crap out of you if you dont go below the radar with your casting project, I'd sell em on ebay or some jeez man what're you thinking??
casting your own models of GW copywrighted material is grounds to rip you a new anus, legally speaking."

I do not know what concerns me more, that the common hobbyist is so uneducated about legal law but insist on telling us what is legal and not.

Or the fact that a certain large miniatures company has pretty much brainwashed much of its fans (and many forum admins) that its illegal to make parts that can fit on their models.

I want it on the record that all our parts are sculpted and created by our sculptors.* Even our shoulder pads are 3d designed and created from scratch by us.

No company can copyright the idea of a shoulder pad...* or a U... or a arrow with numbers..* Many of our symbols are similiar to other companies, but there is much interpretation in our works, and nothing is a copy.

Further more.* Do a little trademark research before you think you can not use the word Space Marine™ or any of the chapter names on your website.* These are or may not be copyrighted names, used in written text, this does not mean you need permission to use such text.* The same goes for trademarks.* As long as you are not claiming that they are official Space Marine™ bits,* or saying that they are from a certain company, you can use such language according to the IP laws in your country.* Please, consult a lawyer for the laws concerning such matters.

So do a little research, talk to a lawyer, read a bit, before you buy into all the legal hoopla on a certain companies "IP Policy" website.

If you have any questions, I recommend you talk to a licenced attorney as we are not attorneys or offering any legal consul.

I very much get the sense that this is turning into a "Salem witch trial"

PsyberWolf
31-12-2010, 13:16
Up until a few days ago when Chapterhouse changed lots of wording on the website, it was being sold specifically as a 'Tau Heavy Walker'. Going by what the website currently says isn't going to help much.

I think just thinking about this logically this can't be the case. In the GW lawsuit filed on the 21st (and certainly was prepared in advance of that day) they say it is called a "Super Heavy Assault Walker" - isn't that what it is labeled today? If a few days ago it was labeled "Tau Heavy Walker" 1) why wouldn't GW have stated that since it would bolster their case? and 2) how could they possibly have known what they would change the name to?

Accepting the fact that they are in the process of changing over terminology on their website they must have changed it at some earlier point - so that does seem to imply that they were already changing things prior to the lawsuit being filed. Tau is a GW trademarked term so using it in the context of Sci-fi miniatures would be infringement.


If you still think that it's not supposed to be a Tau model then download the rules PDF which is full of Tau-specific equipment such as Markerlights, Sensor Spines, Flechette Dischargers etc. and weapons which are 'heavy' versions of standard Tau weaponry such as the 'Heavy Rail Cannon' and 'Heavy Burst Cannon'.

I don't believe any of those terms are trademarked so anyone is free to use them in a legal sense. I think they would have been wiser to perhaps put rules out there for multiple systems to show how the model could be used in multiple contexts.

Chaos and Evil
31-12-2010, 13:24
I think just thinking about this logically this can't be the case.
The Super Heavy Assault Walker has never been called a Tau Heavy Walker, AFAIK.

EmperorNorton
31-12-2010, 13:24
Trying not fixate too much on the shoulder pad issue (!), but GW and ForgeWorld are giving all this Space Marine loving:

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/armySubUnitCats.jsp?catId=cat440338a&rootCatGameStyle=

http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/Warhammer-40000/Space_Marines/Space_Marine-Infantry-Accessories?filter_action=3&filter_value=1

I count around 60 different packs (pads, etched brass, transfers) for customising your marines - excluding those that come with the regular plastic kits. This also excludes the Black Templar, Dark Angels etc. chapter upgrade frames.

Coupled with the release by ForgeWorld of the variant Heresy armours, I think this shows GW's commitment to offering well-crafted conversion parts. They can't release everything all at once, nor should they

In this case, ChapterHouse are using terms they don't own, in order to sell (judging solely by the photos) inferior products. Comparisons with MaxMini and Scibor don't hold up in this respect, as their websites show products which appear to be of higher quality and do not infringe trademark. Indeed, I have happily purchased from both companies - on the basis of photo's which made me think the products were quality (they are) as opposed to photo's of products which made me think 'meh'.

I think neither the number of different shoulder pads GW make nor the (perceived or actual) quality of the things CHS produces are relevant, as there still seems to have been demand for their stuff.
There have been a couple of posts decrying how bad the CHS stuff is. Would the people who pointed that out have a different opinion on the matter if they liked their products?

(For the record, I've never bought anything from Chapterhouse either, because I didn't like the look of what they have on offer, but I still saved the link to their site, because I think having options is a wonderful thing.)

doghouse
31-12-2010, 13:38
Accepting the fact that they are in the process of changing over terminology on their website they must have changed it at some earlier point - so that does seem to imply that they were already changing things prior to the lawsuit being filed. Tau is a GW trademarked term so using it in the context of Sci-fi miniatures would be infringement.


They changed it a couple of days ago in what seems to be a knee jerk reaction to all this. Eldar was changed to space elves for example.
The allegations seem to be quite indepth, whilst we have seen a couple of the details the full document that jon and nick were issued with is fifty pages long.

They do have it wrong that Jon Paulson was involved in the construction of the tau heavy walker though as he has had nothing to do with CHS. Kind of sounds like they are dragging him into this to get the trial held in Illinois.

IJW
31-12-2010, 13:39
Hmm. Google's cache is now showing me updated pages from the 30th and Chapterhouse isn't stored by the Way Back site so it could be that my memory is faulty on that one.

As far as the rules PDF is concerned, whether the terms in it are trademarked or not is irrelevant to my point - it's clearly supposed to be a Tau model from the rules that it's been given.

Interestingly, while searching for an old version of the page I came across a Facebook page where someone asks if the SAW is an official unit (http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=136711066360409&id=109981129046761) and the BoLS thread where Chapterhouse first unveiled the SAW (http://www.lounge.belloflostsouls.net/showthread.php?t=7517):

'(I am leaning towards calling this big boy the "Kraken" to keep up the ocean theme of tau)'
'It is a completely new design, but it has an obvious "Tau" style to it.'
The text for the link back to the Chapterhouse Studios page is 'Tau Walker'.

So even if it wasn't called a Tau Heavy Walker it was clearly being promoted as a Tau model.

t-tauri
31-12-2010, 13:52
So even if it wasn't called a Tau Heavy Walker it was clearly being promoted as a Tau model.

See tabletop gaming News here (http://www.tabletopgamingnews.com/2010/05/31/36558).


Let me unveil our first Super-Heavy vehicle kit, the SXV-141 Super-heavy Assault Walker, or the SAW for short. (I am leaning towards calling this big boy the “Kraken” to keep up the ocean theme of Tau)

After seeing the work of the guy who designed and sculpted this walker I knew we had to carry it. We were even able to drop the production cost of this huge kit. Price is set at $285 plus shipping. It is a completely new design, but it has an obvious “Tau” style to it.

This is a resin model kit consisting of over 50 parts, weighing in at approximately 2kg and standing almost 30cm tall when complete. The kit components are supplied “as cast” and require cleanup, assembly and painting for the finished product.
Needless to say I think the Imperial Warhound titan will have its hands full.

This monster mounts Twin Heavy Rail Guns, Smart Missile launchers, Marker Lights and Burst Cannons for close defense.
We are working on rules for this bad boy and welcome any thoughts.

You won’t find this on the website yet, feel free to email me on order inquiries, and due to its large size it will be produced on order.

Chaos and Evil
31-12-2010, 13:59
So, never sold as "Tau Heavy Walker", but definitely inspired by the Tau aesthetic... which may or may not be illegal.

Writing rules for it (Without reference to any game system other than 40k) doesn't do them any favours, of course!

IJW
31-12-2010, 14:06
EDIT - replying to t-tauri - Yep, they used the same wording on multiple sites when it came out.

During some more trawling of Google I came across this:
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ZMh-tMrmMpgJ:www.chapterhousestudios.com/webshop/news/25-june-5th-super-heavy-tau-walker-unvieled+tau+heavy+walker&cd=19&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=safari

It was announced as a Super Heavy Tau Walker. Oddly enough, that page is giving a '404 not found' error on their current site.

viking657
31-12-2010, 14:20
I just thought of something, when it comes to the Wii, PS3 etc theres plenty of companies who make cheap, suitable for use with the offical product, controllers.

If CHS make a model and market it as suitable for use with 40K are they breaking any laws? Seems the manufactors of cheap console controllers are exploiting a loop hole are CHS doing the same? Only very badly as they have been a bit too liberal with the use of trademark names?

Chaos and Evil
31-12-2010, 14:26
If CHS make a model and market it as suitable for use with 40K are they breaking any laws?
It all depends on the manner in which the model is designed, sold, and marketed.

It's perfectly legal to make models that are explicitly designed "for use with...", but it's easy to over-step the bounds of the law, too.

viking657
31-12-2010, 14:38
It all depends on the manner in which the model is designed, sold, and marketed.

It's perfectly legal to make models that are explicitly designed "for use with...", but it's easy to over-step the bounds of the law, too.

If you take the controller example though surely you could make and market something as suitable for use as a Space Marine Shoulder pad and no one could touch you.
Which makes me wonder why other companies bother calling them space knight shoulder pads for example.

Very :confused:, wish I was a lawyer so it all made sense

simonr1978
31-12-2010, 14:48
If you take the controller example though surely you could make and market something as suitable for use as a Space Marine Shoulder pad and no one could touch you.
Which makes me wonder why other companies bother calling them space knight shoulder pads for example.

Very :confused:, wish I was a lawyer so it all made sense

I would be very surprised though, to use your Controller example, if those companies didn't have some sort of licencing arrangement with Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo, since every one of those cheaper alternatives I've looked at mention what system they're intended for. IIRC you could design a controller and sell it, but you couldn't mention that it was for a Wii without Nintendo's permission since that's trademarked.*

This is the thing here, Chapterhouse were apparently using GW terms without any kind of permission and simply stating "Used with permission" is not enough to allow you to make money off other people's IP. The biggest problem as far as I can see it is that they were being quite so blatant about it.

* And now the disclaimer, I'm not a lawyer and have no kind of legal training at all, so take those comments for what they're worth.

captian Maklai
31-12-2010, 14:49
Assuming you're not being sarcastic - why?

Well the main reason is that sure chapter house is making a profit from GW but GW is a Massive corporation, they don't need to go around suing companies like that. I think it would have been better if chapter house just have to give a portion of their profits to GW and keep the services running than sue them for providing a service that GW themselves aren't providing.

yabbadabba
31-12-2010, 14:54
Well the main reason is that sure chapter house is making a profit from GW but GW is a Massive corporation, they don't need to go around suing companies like that. I think it would have been better if chapter house just have to give a portion of their profits to GW and keep the services running than sue them for providing a service that GW themselves aren't providing. Its not a service fella, its a business selling stuff. Lets get this right, its nothing like a service. As to your suggestion, it would open far more cans of worms than solve. Besides GW need to show they are defending their business, its assets and foundations, and aside from the whole usual kitchen sink legal approach, this is what they are doing. If CHS were not wrong, why would they be changing the incriminating parts of their website?

Besides why would such an approach be profitable for GW?

simonr1978
31-12-2010, 14:58
Well the main reason is that sure chapter house is making a profit from GW but GW is a Massive corporation, they don't need to go around suing companies like that. I think it would have been better if chapter house just have to give a portion of their profits to GW and keep the services running than sue them for providing a service that GW themselves aren't providing.

The thing is though, as I think has been said before, if they didn't it would set a precedent that using GW IP without permission was OK. IIRC It would then make it much more difficult to chase other companies later on for IP infringement if you've let other operations go.

Also, GW don't like licencing out their IP. I think that it's probably for a number of reasons, not least that they like to keep a tight reign on what happens in their universes and the imagery and quality of product associated with them. The easiest way to do so is to keep as much of the work in house as possible.

That is of course just my take on it and almost pure speculation at that.

Lars Porsenna
31-12-2010, 15:53
So the fact that GW is a "massive" corporation (not really: to put things in perspective, I work in the Finance department of my company, and help manage cash flow; we make more money in 1 month than GW makes in an entire year, and I consider my company to be mid-sized) makes it OK? While getting a licensing agreememnt would be a good way to go, why should GW contact Chapterhouse to set up an arrangement after the fact? Why didn't Chapterhouse approach GW to begin with?

Also who says GW isn't providing the service? If you go on their website, you can find all sorts of shoulder pads, conversion sets, and there is more from Forgeworld. Maybe they don't make the specific part you're looking for, but they do make parts. And that's what the law will see.

Damon.

PsyberWolf
31-12-2010, 16:26
As far as why people are supporting CHS I can’t say but I can give you my point of view. I am not anti-GW or pro-CHS.

As far as GW, I agree with what they are doing to a certain extent:

1) As a company they have not only the right but the duty to protect their property on behalf of their shareholders (and their employees)
2) GW must actively protect their trademarks (up to and including lawsuits) or risk losing them. This is NOT the case with copyrighted materials – though they must make it clear to others that they are not allowed to use the copyrighted materials or there may form some kind of an implicit assumption that they can.
3) If they have provided warnings to another company they MUST follow through if said company does not comply otherwise they can be sued. This is meant to ensure that bigger companies don’t threaten smaller ones without any legal basis. Basically, if you send a C&D you better be ready to file a lawsuit – it can’t just be bluster.
4) The fact that they don’t produce some miniature is not an excuse in and of itself to allow other companies to produce one. They are under no obligation to license it out if they don’t want to. (I will say this though – if it is fair to say that CHS is “asking” for a lawsuit with what they are doing then it is fair to say that GW is “asking” for smaller companies to create minis for codex entries that they have not created)

*Disclaimer: I occasionally purchase GW products

As far as CHS:

1) I think there are some people on Warseer that think this is an open and shut case but in reality I suspect CHS knows the line and was playing it very close to it. They may have been able to thread the needle.
2) GW did NOT do their homework and named a defendant to the lawsuit that was incorrectly attributed to working with CHS and designing the Super Heavy Assault Walker. This may result in the lawsuit getting thrown out because it would then mean it was filed in the wrong jurisdiction.
3) As far as direct damages, I suspect it would be extremely small.
4) If there is one thing that GW needs – it is competition. They are resting on their laurels and need a kick in the pants. CHS to some small extent does that.

***Disclaimer: I have never purchased anything from CHS and I don’t really care for the products they are selling on their website.

My problem is with all of the GW apologists. To say that GW “borrowed” or was “influenced” by other people’s IP but then to turn around and say that CHS made “exact” copies (i.e. stole) is just blatantly false. Why excuse it in one but not the other. Oh so they mixed it with other IP and some of their own ideas – its still derivative work

The reality is that there is almost no chance of this making it to court. The potential losses for both parties outweigh the potential gains. It is really a big grey area here with miniatures and GW benefits, to some extent, from that. If a company is doing something they don’t like they can send a C&D letter to them and most small companies would stop right there. If this goes to court, that grey area will turn to solid lines – it would by a pyrrhic victory for them. The court would find CHS was wrong on some things and the result would be that they would ultimately be shut down (due to financial reasons). The court could also rule that they are not selling artwork but rather componentized toys for a game and that 3rd party add-ons are permissible. The flood gates would open on companies selling add-ons and there is nothing GW could do about it.

The ultimate answer for GW is not in lawsuits (though they may have to do that in the short-term) but in changing their business strategy. They need to focus on creating more cool looking minis, at a faster pace and at a cheaper price. They have the people and equipment to do it but they have taken a “rest on our laurels” approach and are letting competitors grow and catch up. Does anyone here think that once GW produces their own “Doom of Malanti” (or whatever it’s called) that anyone will even bother with the poor CHS version?


If CHS were not wrong, why would they be changing the incriminating parts of their website?

That's not the only conclusion you can draw from that. I think we can all agree that CHS was on the cutting edge of IP law. Perhaps they thought GW would bluff and bluster but not do anything. Even if you think you would ultimately prevail in a lawsuit they still have a way of clearing the mind. It could have made them have some second thoughts about how far they have pushed into the grey area so they are backtracking.

Besides legally it won't help them at all. It not like if they did do something wrong they can go into court and pretend that's how their website was all along.

yabbadabba
31-12-2010, 16:51
That's not the only conclusion you can draw from that. I think we can all agree that CHS was on the cutting edge of IP law. Perhaps they thought GW would bluff and bluster but not do anything. Even if you think you would ultimately prevail in a lawsuit they still have a way of clearing the mind. It could have made them have some second thoughts about how far they have pushed into the grey area so they are backtracking.
Besides legally it won't help them at all. It not like if they did do something wrong they can go into court and pretend that's how their website was all along.If they were in the right, keeping the stuff up and defending that would stand them better at court. Its an admission of guilt of gaining profit through illegal use of GW's legally protected IP/Copyright/Trademarks/whatever etc etc. CHS are guilty of doing something any internet trader from GW has known about for years.

Don't forget, GW don't have to defend anything here - all they have to prove is that CHS broke the law. CHS will have to countersue to put GW on the defensive.

Chaos and Evil
31-12-2010, 16:54
That's not the only conclusion you can draw from that. I think we can all agree that CHS was on the cutting edge of IP law. Perhaps they thought GW would bluff and bluster but not do anything. Even if you think you would ultimately prevail in a lawsuit they still have a way of clearing the mind. It could have made them have some second thoughts about how far they have pushed into the grey area so they are backtracking.

Besides legally it won't help them at all. It not like if they did do something wrong they can go into court and pretend that's how their website was all along.

It could help show that they are willing to move to a compromise position that will satisfy both parties, however.

I still think they were daft to put the "Doom of Malanti" on their website, mind you!

CoolKidRoc
31-12-2010, 17:20
If they were in the right, keeping the stuff up and defending that would stand them better at court. Its an admission of guilt of gaining profit through illegal use of GW's legally protected IP/Copyright/Trademarks/whatever etc etc. CHS are guilty of doing something any internet trader from GW has known about for years.

Don't forget, GW don't have to defend anything here - all they have to prove is that CHS broke the law. CHS will have to countersue to put GW on the defensive.

Just because I got out and punch somebody and feel I'm right about it, doesn't mean when I'm taking before the cops or judge that I keep punching that person right?

CHS is just showing that they're able to compromise. And if they're right then they'll probably put the names back up.

t-tauri
31-12-2010, 17:20
My problem is with all of the GW apologists. To say that GW “borrowed” or was “influenced” by other people’s IP but then to turn around and say that CHS made “exact” copies (i.e. stole) is just blatantly false. Why excuse it in one but not the other. Oh so they mixed it with other IP and some of their own ideas – its still derivative work
Whatever GW derived they've never come out and directly said "power armour ripped from Heinlein" and suitable for use in Starship Troopers, "eight pointed star ripped from Moorcock" and suitable for Elric gaming and so on. No-one has ever sued GW over IP to the best of my knowledge and GW have managed to make their IP stick.


Besides legally it won't help them at all. It not like if they did do something wrong they can go into court and pretend that's how their website was all along.

I think that GW's legal team will have downloaded and notarised the previous versions, anyway. I think it weakens Chapterhouse's position to change now as it seems like an admission they were in the wrong.

Chaos and Evil
31-12-2010, 17:24
It weakens Chapterhouse's position to change now as it seems like an admission they were in the wrong.
Depends if C&D's were issued previously?

If this law suit is the first notice they've had, then it could be seen as moving to a position of compromise, a pretty responsible thing to do.

Meriwether
31-12-2010, 17:30
I don't have to be psychic to say with 100% certainty that C&Ds were issued before the lawsuit was filed.

Lars Porsenna
31-12-2010, 17:45
Considering the notoriety GW gets for issuing C&Ds as it is, I think you'd be on thin ice suggesting that maybe they didn't in this instance...

Damon.

jack da greenskin
31-12-2010, 18:02
One of the problems with the tau walker is that it says "rules" and has 40k rules in GW format. Not "suggested rules" or "rules if you use this in a GW game" but RULES, as in "These are the rules that will be used for this model WHEN it is used in a gw game."

yabbadabba
31-12-2010, 18:40
Just because I got out and punch somebody and feel I'm right about it, doesn't mean when I'm taking before the cops or judge that I keep punching that person right? Not sure what you are on about.


CHS is just showing that they're able to compromise. And if they're right then they'll probably put the names back up.Or CHS are now bricking themselves and hoping this will mitigate any punishment.

PsyberWolf
31-12-2010, 18:53
If they were in the right, keeping the stuff up and defending that would stand them better at court. Its an admission of guilt of gaining profit through illegal use of GW's legally protected IP/Copyright/Trademarks/whatever etc etc. CHS are guilty of doing something any internet trader from GW has known about for years.

Don't forget, GW don't have to defend anything here - all they have to prove is that CHS broke the law. CHS will have to countersue to put GW on the defensive.

While this may be exhibit #1 in the court of public opinion thankfully it would be inadmissible as evidence in a court of law. If this were a murder trial, it may testify to a person's "state of mind" or show intent on an obstruction of justice charge but remember this is a civil matter not a criminal one. There is no determination of innocence or guilt. A person's psychological motivation has no bearing at all on the outcome - they either infringed or they didn't - that's it. For example, let's say we knew for a fact that they did not infringe any of GW's trademarks but they thought they had. If they changed the website after the fact to try and cover it up it would matter not one bit. The case would be judged solely on the evidence related to infringement. That's different in a criminal setting where they could be prosecuted for obstruction even if it turned out that there was not an underlying crime.

Think of it another way. Let's say I started a website (something like orcs dot com) I am pretty sure it's not a GW trademark but let's say they sent me a C&D saying I need to change my website. I tell them to go pound salt. The next month I am slapped with a lawsuit. For most people you are looking at tens of thousands of dollars for lawyer fees, alot of time and hassle. Sure, if you win you can try and have GW pay for the legal fees but I have got to pay up front - where will I get the money? If I am not working I don't make any money - I can't get that back. So I give in - change the website so they'll drop the lawsuit. According to you I am "guilty" regardless if I infringed or not. :confused:

yabbadabba
31-12-2010, 19:09
According to you I am "guilty" regardless if I infringed or not. :confused:Nope, just very poor in organising yourself as a business/website, poor at research, poor at communication etc etc etc. Plus I don't know how things work in the States, but probably 30 minutes with a specialist business solicitor will give you more than enough advice to go back to GW and negotiate, or to convince you you messed up. In short, you are guilty of so much before you even get to IP infringement.

PsyberWolf
31-12-2010, 19:10
Whatever GW derived they've never come out and directly said "power armour ripped from Heinlein" and suitable for use in Starship Troopers, "eight pointed star ripped from Moorcock" and suitable for Elric gaming and so on. No-one has ever sued GW over IP to the best of my knowledge and GW have managed to make their IP stick.

Whether they say it or not doesn't determine whether it is infringement or not. For example, if GW had advertised genestealers could be used in an Aliens game - it wouldn't have then made it infringement if they had not already infringed on whoever's copyright. It either already was or wasn't.

The fact that GW has or has not been sued also makes no difference. All manner of people infringe but for whatever reason it doesn't rise to the level of a lawsuit. Again, I think it is a matter of degrees vs. kind. People are reacting based on gut feelings rather than the law. I think GW also waded into that grey area - taking things but making it just different enough to stay outside the realm of litigation. Do I blame them - no. I think we have an interesting universe because of it.

I just think people need to be a little more charitable in their statements about CHS.

uona
31-12-2010, 19:24
Legally I think gw is in the right here. the other guys were using their product names and all that.

However in my opinion for this to have a negative effect on chapterhouse they have to be forced to shut down from this or to be fined so heavily that its no longer financially viable to continue. I think that if all Gw get from the case is a change of name from the chapterhouse products and maybe a small sum for stuff already sold then chapterhouse will have benefited from the case.

You can already see some reactions from posters along the lines of 1. Omg chapterhouse is closing down buy buy buy! or 2. Chapterhouse whats that? and then begins to google them. I wouldnt be surprised if chapterhouse were to post their highest sales in this period or the period immediatly after the case finishes (assuming they are still there).

In fact if chapterhouse get a favourable outcome despite losing then the company may very well look back and think that this might be the best thing that happened to them.

Reinholt
31-12-2010, 21:14
There are an amazing number of people commenting on the issues without knowing anything about the law in this case.

To be clear about a couple of issues:

Trademark Law - In the case where GW is alleging that Chapterhouse has used a GW trademark without permission, the standards here are actually relatively clear cut as compared to copyright infringement. In short, the relevant questions are:

- Did GW have a registered trademark on the phrase / term / image?

- Did Chapterhouse use it without permission for commercial purpose?

This is clearly the strongest piece of the GW lawsuit, as in some cases, the answers are obviously "yes" and "yes" unless GW registered trademarks are somehow found to be invalid.

Copyright Law - Here the case is not so clear cut, and more so, will probably vary on an item by item basis. With regard to how US Copyright Law works, there are some decent and basic wikipedia articles on the topic (specifically the copyright overview and the fair use article in this case), but the bottom line is that reproduction of copies or derivative works for commercial purpose are prohibited.

With regard to Chapterhouse, the burden of proof is upon them as a defendent in a case where commercial use is alleged, assuming the suit is deemed to have enough merit to proceed by a judge. To this end, Chapterhouse is going to have to prove that their works are somehow either transformative, unrelated, or do not harm the original market or maker of the copyrighted item. I suspect in some cases (for instance, the Doom of Malantai) that Chapterhouse will have a very difficult time doing this, but that in others their work may be far enough removed that they will survive, or that GW simply does not have a viable copyright to defend due to the generic nature of some of the IP involved.

Note that this is not related to the trademark charge. If I make a plastic model of a spoon merged with a banana and call it a "Necron", I am still violating the trademark on Necron, if GW registered and holds it. If I called it "Space Robot Spoon Banana", I would be in the clear.

This is why, in many cases, the best aftermarket manufacturers do two things: they avoid using any GW trademarked phrases (something Chapterhouse failed to do), and they make sure that the models they make are generic enough that they are not clearly copying the most notable elements of the GW setting, but rather pulling from sources that could be deemed as non-exclusive ideas. Mantic is probably a great example of this, overall, and however strong GW's IP is overall, it is clearly less strong in fantasy (where almost everything is public domain) than in 40k (where GW has clearly developed some ideas in a transformative and sustained enough manner that they will have some IP rights).

So when some of us come down hard on Chapterhouse, it is for this reason: the law is the law, like it or not, and it's usually a pretty arrogant and stupid business decision to flagrantly violate it, as they have done so in the case of the trademarks. I am more agnostic on the copyright infringement (I suspect, on a case by case basis, some models are fine and others are not), for reference, but there are clearly at least a few very strong claims likely to be supported by the court in GW's brief.

Some additional details: objections to named parties, venue, etc, simply lead to the revision / restatement of the suit, not eliminate it entirely. GW may have to refile, or they may have to amend their complaint, but it does not suddenly and permanently invalidate the suit.

PsyberWolf
31-12-2010, 23:02
To this end, Chapterhouse is going to have to prove that their works are somehow either transformative, unrelated, or do not harm the original market or maker of the copyrighted item. I suspect in some cases (for instance, the Doom of Malantai) that Chapterhouse will have a very difficult time doing this, but that in others their work may be far enough removed that they will survive, or that GW simply does not have a viable copyright to defend due to the generic nature of some of the IP involved.

CHS doesn't sell a "Doom of Malantai" nor do I think it is a registered trademark - the only reference to that was in a blog post where he said he used their new model as a "Doom of Malanta" in his games. As far as the copyright - it is a custom sculpt and not a copy of any GW model or drawings. It bears a resemblance to any number of bug like aliens out there.


Note that this is not related to the trademark charge. If I make a plastic model of a spoon merged with a banana and call it a "Necron", I am still violating the trademark on Necron, if GW registered and holds it. If I called it "Space Robot Spoon Banana", I would be in the clear.

Trademarks are limited by geographic location and by context. If Toyota wanted to name a new car they were making a "Necron" there wouldn't be any issue. I don't even think that a spoon-banana sculpt called "Necron" would be an issue. But any toy or small models that could be used for gaming would fall under copyright infringement. It really depends on the context.


This is why, in many cases, the best aftermarket manufacturers do two things: they avoid using any GW trademarked phrases (something Chapterhouse failed to do), and they make sure that the models they make are generic enough that they are not clearly copying the most notable elements of the GW setting, but rather pulling from sources that could be deemed as non-exclusive ideas.

Using Trademarked names only for comparisons or compatibility falls under fair use and is not infringement. Many of the terms used by Chapterhouse are not trademarks though it sounds like the site (pre-update) may have.

Edit - looking at a google cache version shows for example:

Infantry and Shoulder Pad Bits for Space Marines® players
Vehicle Conversion Kits for Space Marines® Players
28mm Weapon Bits
Bits/Conversions for Adeptus Mechanicus
Bits/Conversion kits for Eldar® Players
Bits/Conversion kits for Tyranids® players
Bits/Conversions for Imperial Guard players
Super Heavy Vehicle Kits

So they are not specifically calling them "Eldar Bits/Conversions" for example

Reinholt
31-12-2010, 23:27
Trademarks are limited by geographic location and by context. If Toyota wanted to name a new car they were making a "Necron" there wouldn't be any issue. I don't even think that a spoon-banana sculpt called "Necron" would be an issue. But any toy or small models that could be used for gaming would fall under copyright infringement. It really depends on the context.

No. The geographic location may be limited, but not necessarily (and often applies to the entire United States; a good example of this would be the BMW logo - you can't use it just because you are in Idaho or something). Similarly, the trademark dilution revision act of 2006 actually does speak to cross-use of trademarks in unrelated fields or objects, so this is frequently a no-no. This isn't even use in a different field, either, it's use in exactly the same field.


Using Trademarked names only for comparisons or compatibility falls under fair use and is not infringement. Many of the terms used by Chapterhouse are not trademarks though it sounds like the site (pre-update) may have.

The pre-update site is the one that spawned the legal action, so I think that is the relevant discussion point, and it is very clear that what they were doing will not be covered under the typical fair use doctrine for commercial uses, which applies to copyright (as per the 1976 act) primarily and which Chapterhouse would likely fail anyways. Trademarks are much more cut and dry; these were being used for a commercial purpose without permission from GW in a competing arena. I am telling you that, as someone who has been directly involved in trademark suits in the past, this is going to be likely to get them into trouble.

Pacorko
01-01-2011, 00:15
The Super Heavy Assault Walker has never been called a Tau Heavy Walker, AFAIK.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Even if there are PDF unofficial rules that mention it as part of the Tau warmachine, the thing was never sold as a Tau anything. Never.

They might have been candid as to what they wanted it to be taken for, but they never sold it under that name.

Still, they were immature/arrogant enough to blatantly use a lot of other trademarks. As Reinholt said, that's why some of us with a bit of business and legal experience/acumen are "coming hard" on CHS.

They had always been wrong. Not by making generic bits or models for people to customize/round-up their armies, but by insisting to call them by the exact same name GW had them trademarked with, even when a few people commented that was very thin ice without being rude to them--I did coment on their DoM model here and even took the time to send them a very mild email warning them they were becoming quite open to a lawsuit before their now [in]famous rant about how a lot of people does not know squat about IP and trademark laws. :eyebrows:

What they've done pretty much since their inception can only be seen as asking for a lot of trouble and, well, now they sure got it.

Zond
01-01-2011, 07:04
Again I'm not a lawyer, or well versed in US law, but I'd like this case to go the distance. I will admit I'm not GWs biggest fan, and I have no opinion at all regarding CHS, but I think they might have a leg to stand on.

The first way to use trademark is “descriptive use”. This is seen when you are comparing your product to a different product. You see it in advertisements and commercials for supermarkets, the softdrink giants etc etc. Miniature companies should have grounds to do this so they can compare miniatures in terms of quality, size etc, which again, you see all the time.

The other way that it is used is called “nominative use”. This is the crux of the whole phone/car aftermarket argument. You can use the trademark to describe what exactly you're selling the aftermarket product for, like explaining what types of phone fit in the case you have just built, or what your shoulderpads are designed for.

It would seem that certain things they have designed and built like the Tau Titan thing that they sell would fall under descriptive use as GW don't make one at all, and most other stuff falling under nominative use.

The Doom of Malanti is a step way over the line, so no idea what's going to happen there. Out of interest, did anyone buy one?

Hopefully this case will go to court as tbh, the issue really needs cleared up. I'd like the result to favour CHS because there are a lot of 3rd party parts providers, who could probably do a lot better if they weren't wary of treading on GWs toes. Plus, as we're all sitting here scratching our heads like armchair lawyers, would be nice for a direct ruling. Might be cathartic for the hobby after the outpour of opinion.

neXus6
01-01-2011, 10:20
I just thought I'd throw a thought that sprung to mind into the discussion ring.

GW take legal action against Chapterhouse for making money off their names/products even if their actual product is filling gaps in the GW range.

How long till GW start taking legal action against people/small companies who offer painting services or converted/scratch built models for GW systems?

Surely it would set a precident that even saying "We will paint your Warhammer army" or "We will build that 40k model you can't" would be doing much the same thing as Chapterhouse?

No legal background, no real comment either way on if it is right or wrong, just a curious thought that came to me.

The Ape
01-01-2011, 11:09
Offering a painting service is completely different to what CHS are doing...

Grimstonefire
01-01-2011, 11:35
[color="Orange"]
- Did GW have a registered trademark on the phrase / term / image?

- Did Chapterhouse use it without permission for commercial purpose?

This is clearly the strongest piece of the GW lawsuit, as in some cases, the answers are obviously "yes" and "yes" unless GW registered trademarks are somehow found to be invalid.

Which registered trademarks were directly used to sell items (without proper referencing)? That's the one thing I think CHS were very careful to avoid. They may have refered to them in passing as influences (which may be illegal possibly?).

My limited understanding is that the answers would be "no" and "yes", which changes things a fair bit.

IJW
01-01-2011, 11:39
Thanks for pointing that out.
Yes, it looks like I was wrong on that one as I already admitted yesterday, you may also notice that I've added a line to my original post pointing that out because the post is getting picked up by Google. However...


Even if there are PDF unofficial rules that mention it as part of the Tau warmachine, the thing was never sold as a Tau anything. Never.

They might have been candid as to what they wanted it to be taken for, but they never sold it under that name.
Go back a day in this thread and you'll find links to a cached page from the Chapterhouse site where they announce the walker as a 'Super Heavy Tau Walker' and a forum post by Chapterhouse where the link back to the purchase page took the form 'Tau Walker'.

It may not have been sold under the specific name 'Tau Heavy Walker' but it was described (not just inferred but actually described) by Chapterhouse as a Tau model.

Anyway, I've now worked out where my confusion on the name came from (apart from Chapterhouse's assorted announcements) - the page for the walker used to say 'Our first vehicle kit, we decided to go crazy on Tau' and has since been changed to 'Our first vehicle kit, we decided to go crazy.'. So 'Tau' was in the description on the purchase page for the model. Unfortunately the page is no longer cached by Google but I've attached a screengrab where the wording can be seen in the search results summary.


How long till GW start taking legal action against people/small companies who offer painting services or converted/scratch built models for GW systems?

Surely it would set a precident that even saying "We will paint your Warhammer army" or "We will build that 40k model you can't" would be doing much the same thing as Chapterhouse?
I'm not sure on the scratch-builds, but as far as I can see the painting service would fall under either descriptive or nominative use of the trademark, as discussed previously by more knowledgeable posters like Reinholt and KevinJohnston. They would be painting Warhammer models, not selling non-GW models as Warhammer models.

Zond
01-01-2011, 12:27
I wouldn't call me knowledgable at all. I just read up on a few things (briefly) before posting. ;)

Jim30
01-01-2011, 12:46
Figure painting services are almost as old as wargaming itself, and have never to my knowledge been sued by any manufacturer.

Korraz
01-01-2011, 14:27
How long till GW start taking legal action against people/small companies who offer painting services or converted/scratch built models for GW systems?



Never. If you paint a GW model, or convert a GW model, you use a GW model. Which means that you paid for it. After that point they do not care. If you don't recast and sell it, it's all the same to GW.

This is mostly about the names. It doesn't matter if they are "filling gaps." That's fine to GW. There are tons of companies that produce bits that are only compatible with GW stuff. Hell, luck at Avatars of War. Everybody with functional eyes sees, that those heroes are to be used with WHFB. Even GW! They use them themselves!

But CHS didn't simply cross the line, the burst through it at 500mp/h on a pink party van, playing "Don't Stop Me Now" at max volume from a giant sound system, loud enough to blast windows out of the wall.

Whoever is that stupid deserves it.

susu.exp
01-01-2011, 15:06
I have to say, it´s an interesting case I would like to see in the courts. As far as I can see the use of the trademarks does fall into the exception for nominative use. This means:

1. The product or service cannot be readily identified without using the trademark (e.g. trademark is descriptive of a person, place, or product attribute)
2. The user only uses so much of the mark as is necessary for the identification (e.g. the words but not the font or symbol)
3. The user does nothing to suggest sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark holder. This applies even if the nominative use is commercial, and the same test applies for metatags.

All 3 criteria were presented in New Kids On The Block vs. News America Publishing Inc. and this should cover the use of GWs trademarks by CHS.

The dillation of trademarks charge rests on the secondary market not being clear in the distinction between GW and CHS products - resellers on eBay are noted. This however is hardly something you can pin on CHS - if somebody sold his Volvo on eBay claiming it was a BMW, that person is infringing trademark law, fair business practices and the contract he has with eBay. But I don´t think Volvo could be sued by BMW over this (successfully).

Which leaves us with the copyright issues.
Now, US copyright law, §113(2) notes, that "[t]his title does not afford, to the owner of copyright in a work that portrays a useful article as such, any greater or lesser rights with respect to the making, distribution, or display of the useful article so portrayed than those afforded to such works under the law".

Since GW produces miniatures used for gaming, not merely ornamental, the material in their Codex book illustrations and writing does not extend to their miniatures. However the making of sculptures based on these sketches may still infringe copyright. It becomes a question of how closely the products sold by CHS match sketches in the books.
Their miniatures themselves are protected by the sections governing the protection of designs. GW have dropped the ball here, because design infringement isn´t in their filed compaint.

Now, most design laws have clearly defined exceptions for spare parts (for instance the must-match and must-fit exceptions in the UK design law). In the US there´s nothing in the law itself and I´m not well versed enough in the case law. But unless the US view on this is very different from the rest of the world CHS would be fine under design law as well.

IP laws are a rather delicate thing. They need to confer protection to innovators, but at the same time they need to allow exceptions for various uses (research and study, review and reporting, aftermarket companies, further innovation). This means that there´s a line up to which one can make use of IP owned by somebody else. GW v. CHS is interesting because it´s a case that´s very close to that line, no matter on which side. A similarly interesting case that never went to court was GW vs. the makers of Damnatus, which also sat on that line. In the end Damnatus was withdrawn because it could have gone either way. CHS seem willing to fight this out, leading to more clarity on where the line runs no matter how it turns out.

I have to admit to favoring CHS here, mainly because GWs legal department has in the past reinterpreted IP laws in truly odd ways and GW does violate IP laws on a regular basis - for instance by not listing the painters and sculptors of the minis shown in their webstore, or by not providing a reference as to which illustrator painted which illustration in their books. Both are in violation of most copyright laws in the world. There´s also the issue of aparently not understanding the distinction between various types of IP (the one between design and copyright a central one to GWs business) and in some cases actively obscuring lines (the good "are either (c), (r) or TM" line). I do support GW is protecting what is rightfully theirs. But I abhor their moves to also lay claim to what´s rightfully others. The idea that their employees - in particular the creatives - have no rights pertaining to the work they do is ridiculous. The idea - expressed on the GW legal page - that if I paint a model in a new color scheme they own that scheme, because they own the IP to the mini is completely ridiculous. Their claim that conversions do infringe on their rights, but they leniently let it slide is inane (legally it´s the same as if an architect claimed you couldn´t legally paint the walls in the color you liked, or a cars manufacturer claiming that they weren´t suing you over that bumper sticker because they were nice, but of course they could - no, they couldn´t). In this case, they might be right, but it is a close call.

CoolKidRoc
01-01-2011, 15:56
Although exclusive 40k painting services are against GW Rules:

Painting Services

We often get e-mails from hobbyists regarding our position on providing painting services for third parties. As always, we do not allow third parties to make money from our IP. Accordingly, any "painting service" must be entirely generic, i.e., it cannot state that it is a Games Workshop, 'Eavy Metal, or Golden Demon painting service. The service must not be based on the intellectual property, i.e., using the intellectual property (images, trademarks etc.) to "sell" itself. Nor must you exclusively paint Games Workshop's miniatures. The same would be true of any painting companion or guide - you must not make money from Games Workshop intellectual property without a license.

t-tauri
01-01-2011, 17:34
I have to admit to favoring CHS here, mainly because GWs legal department has in the past reinterpreted IP laws in truly odd ways and GW does violate IP laws on a regular basis - for instance by not listing the painters and sculptors of the minis shown in their webstore, or by not providing a reference as to which illustrator painted which illustration in their books. Both are in violation of most copyright laws in the world.

But not in the UK where the contract is "work for hire" and all IP belongs to the company you work for as I understand it.


Although exclusive 40k painting services are against GW Rules:

Painting Services

We often get e-mails from hobbyists regarding our position on providing painting services for third parties. As always, we do not allow third parties to make money from our IP. Accordingly, any "painting service" must be entirely generic, i.e., it cannot state that it is a Games Workshop, 'Eavy Metal, or Golden Demon painting service. The service must not be based on the intellectual property, i.e., using the intellectual property (images, trademarks etc.) to "sell" itself. Nor must you exclusively paint Games Workshop's miniatures. The same would be true of any painting companion or guide - you must not make money from Games Workshop intellectual property without a license.


All they are saying there is that you can't call yourself "'Eavy Metal Painting Services" or say you are a "Warhammer 40k painter". You can get around the exclusivity by painting one mantic mini for your website.

IJW
01-01-2011, 17:38
GW does violate IP laws on a regular basis - for instance by not listing the painters and sculptors of the minis shown in their webstore, or by not providing a reference as to which illustrator painted which illustration in their books. Both are in violation of most copyright laws in the world.
I thought I was well versed in UK copyright law from my previous occupation as a photographer, but that's new to me. Could you explain further?

Jim30
01-01-2011, 17:49
"All they are saying there is that you can't call yourself "'Eavy Metal Painting Services" or say you are a "Warhammer 40k painter". You can get around the exclusivity by painting one mantic mini for your website"

Or just say you paint 28mm miniatures? Most painters do that - they advertise by scale and not range or game.

simonr1978
01-01-2011, 17:56
But not in the UK where the contract is "work for hire" and all IP belongs to the company you work for as I understand it.

I've had contracts that have said (I can't remember the exact wording) that anything I do during my work shift belongs to the company, whether it's related to my job or not.


All they are saying there is that you can't call yourself "'Eavy Metal Painting Services" or say you are a "Warhammer 40k painter". You can get around the exclusivity by painting one mantic mini for your website.

I would have thought that so long as you don't explicitly refuse to do anything other than GW miniatures, you're not saying you're GW exclusive.

Meriwether
01-01-2011, 19:00
http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1995-09-15/

One step further -- I have had jobs where I was forced to sign contracts where any ideas I got arising from what I did at work were the intellectual property of the University of Rochester. (Enforcing that might be fun, but there it is.)

susu.exp
01-01-2011, 20:11
But not in the UK where the contract is "work for hire" and all IP belongs to the company you work for as I understand it.

And IJW as well. Indeed and that´s one of the ways UK copyright differs from continental copyright - though the restriction of derogatory treatment of work still applies in the Uk even by employers. In addition these moral rights can be waived in the UK.

However - and this is a big however - UK is not the sole jurisdiction for this. A website is published simultaneously worldwide and thus does count as being published in a lot of countries where these exceptions do not hold. While an Eavy Metal painter could not sue GW over the lack of a notice of authorship in the UK, he or she could sue GW over the lack of notice of authorship in France or Germany, where employees can give away the economic rights to IP, but can neither transfer nor waive their moral rights (including note to authorship).

GWs legal department has been arguing that since they are a UK based comapny and the studio members are citizens of the UK (or at the very least residents), other jurisdictions don´t apply. This however is incorrect, when a work is published in a country X, then the country X has to respect the IP rights of the author and other copyright holding entities as if they were both seated locally. I.e. Jervis Johnson has the same rights over his work as a German author if that work is publically available in germany. Does GW sell work by jervis in Germany? Yes. Hence if they ignore rights JJ has in Germany, they are infringing on his rights in Germany and could be sued by JJ here. The same goes for EM painters, sculptors, etc. The position of GW legal doesn´t make more sense then to have their delivery trucks drive on the left side of the road on the continent (GW is a UK company, the trucks are british and so are the drivers. For this reason they don´t fall under French trafic laws while driving around in France).

IJW
01-01-2011, 20:20
Surely that means that GW would only be violating IP laws in that way if the illustrators/painters/sculptors requested a credit and GW then refused?

Duke Georgal
01-01-2011, 20:20
I have to ask to those supporting CHS on this issue, why?

I am not a CHS supporter, but I imagine that the majority of them are just glad somebody is standing up to GW.


I don't have to be psychic to say with 100% certainty that C&Ds were issued before the lawsuit was filed.

I am only 99 & 44/100% sure

Again, this is a USA case. I have been involved in, witnessed, and testified, in several court cases in the USA. Believe me, nothing is able to be predicted when it goes to trial. I have heard a few times where the lawyers for both sides make very reasonable and well thought out arguments. Always complete with legal reference and prior rulngs. I am always left thinking that both sides seem to be correct. I am so glad I don't need to sort one of these cases out.

susu.exp
01-01-2011, 21:27
Surely that means that GW would only be violating IP laws in that way if the illustrators/painters/sculptors requested a credit and GW then refused?

Nope. GW has to ask permission to publish a work with a particular form of author acknowledgement every time they do so. And the creatives have the right to change their opinion about that at any time, barring things that cause grief financial damage (so they couldn´t demand a Codex to get pulped, if they did agree to it in the first place. If GW didn´t ask them about the codex specifically, they could demand it pulped).
If they didn´t ask - say - Jes whether the Wyches entry on the website should carry his name, they are violating his right. Of course for this, a court would at worst order them to add the authors name and pay the cost of the suit, so it´d make sense for the studio members to request first, rather than sue.

The bigger issue may be distortion of work rights and in particular I´m thinking about Rick leaving and his work on the WF book. If they use his material, but substantially alter the direction, he could probably prevent publication in continental europe. If they do such substantial changes but keep his work, don´t run the final version by him and ask for permission and then publish it, that could not only result in having to withdraw it, but also in damages. GW legal have claimed that these rights don´t apply, but they do and that´s probably the biggest issue they could face at some point - a codex revision, a sprue recut not run by the original authors/designers if it makes substantial changes could be C&D`d.

wilsongrahams
01-01-2011, 22:32
Nope. GW has to ask permission to publish a work with a particular form of author acknowledgement every time they do so. And the creatives have the right to change their opinion about that at any time, barring things that cause grief financial damage (so they couldn´t demand a Codex to get pulped, if they did agree to it in the first place. If GW didn´t ask them about the codex specifically, they could demand it pulped).
If they didn´t ask - say - Jes whether the Wyches entry on the website should carry his name, they are violating his right. Of course for this, a court would at worst order them to add the authors name and pay the cost of the suit, so it´d make sense for the studio members to request first, rather than sue.

You don't seem to realise that there is a difference between GW using a sculptors work, and a sculptor working for GW.

In GW's case, the sculptors and artists are GW staff and all work they do belongs to the company. If they were freelance sculptors that had their designs bought by GW you would be right.

What you seem to imply is similar to when I worked on Steam Turbine design for Alstom Power. What you say would imply that anything I designed I owned and could then sell myself to other power generation companies, or a designer for say Mercedes Benz making his own copies of the parts he designed.

susu.exp
01-01-2011, 23:19
You don't seem to realise that there is a difference between GW using a sculptors work, and a sculptor working for GW.

There is no difference for the purpose of moral rights in German law.


In GW's case, the sculptors and artists are GW staff and all work they do belongs to the company. If they were freelance sculptors that had their designs bought by GW you would be right.

Again, under German (and French and AFAIK most other continental european laws, as well as the EU regulations governing this) this does not make a difference for moral rights. Economic rights can be sold by freelancers, or automatically fall to employers. Moral rights can´t be sold, tranfered or waived in continental europe. In the UK they can be waived (but such a waiver wouldn´t cover rights pertaining the publication in other countries) and in cases of work for hire they don´t exist at all. To give a comparison:

Economic rights, UK, Freelance work: With the freelancer first, can be sold.
Economic rights, UK, employee: With the employer first.
Economic rights, CU, Freelance work: With the freelancer first, can be sold.
Economic rights, CU, employee: With the employer first.
Moral rights, UK, Freelance work: With the freelancer, can be waived but not tranfered.
Moral rights, UK, employee: Doo not exist.
Moral rights, CU, Frealance work: With the freelancer, inalienable.
Moral rights, CU, employee: With the employee, inalienable.

As you can see, there´s no difference btween the UK and continental europe pertaining economic rights. However there is a big difference pertaining moral rights. And there´s no difference between employees and freelancers in terms of moral rights in continental europe.


What you seem to imply is similar to when I worked on Steam Turbine design for Alstom Power. What you say would imply that anything I designed I owned and could then sell myself to other power generation companies, or a designer for say Mercedes Benz making his own copies of the parts he designed.

Nope. For starters the reight to making copies is an economic right - which as noted above can be transfered. Secondly designing a part is subject to either patent right or design right, neither of which has moral rights attached to it (lets face it, the link between an engine part and its designer is less intimate as that between the writer of a love poem and the poem), this only applies to copyright of artistic work. Moral rights are entirely seperate from economic rights and for some strange reasons people in countries with no long tradition of them (the UK did introduce them in 1988 with the noted exceptions, the US introduced them to comply with the Berne convention, but after several case law decisions doesn´t enforce them) this aspect of copyright is subject to confusion. Jes Goodwin owns moral rights to every model he ever sculpted. He does not have the right to licence production of Space Marines or the new Dark Eldar to another company, because this is an economic right wholly owned by GW.

wilsongrahams
02-01-2011, 00:13
There is no difference for the purpose of moral rights in German law.

Nope. For starters the reight to making copies is an economic right - which as noted above can be transfered. Secondly designing a part is subject to either patent right or design right, neither of which has moral rights attached to it (lets face it, the link between an engine part and its designer is less intimate as that between the writer of a love poem and the poem), this only applies to copyright of artistic work. Moral rights are entirely seperate from economic rights and for some strange reasons people in countries with no long tradition of them (the UK did introduce them in 1988 with the noted exceptions, the US introduced them to comply with the Berne convention, but after several case law decisions doesn´t enforce them) this aspect of copyright is subject to confusion. Jes Goodwin owns moral rights to every model he ever sculpted. He does not have the right to licence production of Space Marines or the new Dark Eldar to another company, because this is an economic right wholly owned by GW.

Why is a sculpt of a miniature artistic when it is still a product to be sold by a business, and a brake caliper for mercedes not artistic when it is much the same?
Nor do I see why it is any less intimate when as much passion may be had for engineering as for art. I'm an engineer myself and was very proud of any methods I put on a design sheet that would enable a product to be cast where others would claim it was impossible.

Maybe because the UK is different, I'm not entirely sure what Moral Rights fully encompasses and how that applies to say a sculptor that is creating something they have been told to create - it is not their sole invention - the design brief has been given to them afterall, and it is not a creation that has appeared in their head without influence from anyone else.

Back to the main issue, Chapterhouse studios were simply too arrogant, believing they would get away with it, when the solution to avoid court was simple and told to them many times - change the names like other companies had done. In fact, the way they did not do this gave me the impression that they were not a trustworthy company and that I had no guarantee of ever recieving product if ordered from them so I never have. Arrogance is a bad trait to advertise to a customer in my opinion.

After court action, I imagine Chapterhouse will simply change the names of their products and pay a fine if all goes badly, or if they win, I think they will get cocky and take even more blatant creations and names.

Whatever they do create, by naming it as such, they are claiming it is representative of a GW product - which they are not. Claiming use od trading names also falls short in my view, as some items (doom of malantai is an example of their cockiness here) are not spares or accessories but blatant infringements on the IP and a customer could buy such an item believing it to be a genuine GW product and hence take sales from GW in that way.

I hope you see what I'm trying to say here.

All said and done though, I think CHS are lucky it's trial by jury as that gives them more opinions to vote. Maybe it's a good job I'm not on that jury because I hate theft of all sorts!

susu.exp
02-01-2011, 01:31
Why is a sculpt of a miniature artistic when it is still a product to be sold by a business, and a brake caliper for mercedes not artistic when it is much the same?

Ask the lawmakers. It´s noteworthy that some aspects of engineering work do come with moral rights, like 3d prototypes, mock ups, design scetches. The key difference here is that artistic works come with a meaning, which designed objects don´t - they have functions and aesthetic components, but unlike works of art don´t mean anything specific. Hence you can infringe on the rights of an author by cutting bits from his novel in a way that change his intended meaning, but a brake caliper has no meaning.


Nor do I see why it is any less intimate when as much passion may be had for engineering as for art. I'm an engineer myself and was very proud of any methods I put on a design sheet that would enable a product to be cast where others would claim it was impossible.

The question is whether it´s possible to hurt you personaly with an altered version. It´s also a question of whether giving you moral rights over such changes would impair progress. As with any law this is about balancing rights.


Maybe because the UK is different, I'm not entirely sure what Moral Rights fully encompasses and how that applies to say a sculptor that is creating something they have been told to create - it is not their sole invention - the design brief has been given to them afterall, and it is not a creation that has appeared in their head without influence from anyone else.

In the UK moral rights encompass:
- Right to be identified as author or director
- Right to object to derogatory treatment of work
- Right to oppose false attribution of work
- Right to privacy of certain images
In Germany they encompass:
- Right to be identified as author or director
- Right to object to derogatory treatment of work
- Right to object to publication (restricted by contract law).

(the right to privacy of certain images is in German law, but not in copyright).

The first two are generally in there, additional moral rights vary by country. These rights apply to a set of things that fall under copyright. This generally covers literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, and film, where artistic work means paintings, drawings, diagrams, maps, charts, plans, engravings, etchings, lithographs, woodcuts or similar work, photograph, sculpture or collage, irrespective of artistic quality, a work of architecture being a building or a model for a building, or a work of artistic craftsmanship.

It´s a long list... A further requirement is that of personal creation. This does not mean that there was no brief, it is sufficient that this brief is not 100% exact and allows room for a substantial personal creative efford. A work based on the work of others is derivative, but comes with it´s own protection, extending only to the personal creative efford involved.


Back to the main issue, Chapterhouse studios were simply too arrogant, believing they would get away with it, when the solution to avoid court was simple and told to them many times - change the names like other companies had done.

Well, for the bits that are potentially actionable this makes no difference. They did use the trademarks, but in a way that appears to be in accordance with the nominative use exception in the US. In the EU trademark law has been harmonized and there´s this wording for the EU statute:
"The trade mark shall not entitle the proprietor to prohibit a third party from using, in the course of trade, [..] the trade mark where it is necessary to indicated the intended purpose of a product or service, in particular as accessories or spare parts; provided he uses them in accordance with honest practices in industrial or commercial matters."

The UK implementation of this is:
"A registered trade mark is not infringed by [..] the use of the trade mark where it is necessary to indicate the intended purpose of a product or service (in particular, as accessories or spare parts), provided the use is in accordance with honest practices in industrial or commercial matters."

That´s an area where CHS will be able to get rid of the charges easily, because this has been established in US case law as well. And they used trademarks of GW only for the things that are spare parts or assesories, in fact conversion bits fit this description to a T.


Whatever they do create, by naming it as such, they are claiming it is representative of a GW product - which they are not. Claiming use od trading names also falls short in my view, as some items (doom of malantai is an example of their cockiness here) are not spares or accessories but blatant infringements on the IP and a customer could buy such an item believing it to be a genuine GW product and hence take sales from GW in that way.

But Doom of Malantai is not a GW trademark. To be a trademark that a court can recognize a company must sell product under that name. Tyranids is a trademark because GW sell products under this name. But GW do not sell anything named Doom of Malantai or close to it.


I hope you see what I'm trying to say here.

Sure, though as far as Trademarks go CHS are probably on the safe side. The Copyright part of GWs motion is more of a grey area.

Hellebore
02-01-2011, 01:56
What is the legal standing on selling 3rd party products for something another company has made allowance for, but has not actually made?

It would seem odd that a company can sue someone for making something that fills a hole in their own product line for loss of income when they themselves have not actually made anything to sell.

Hypothetically, if a car was made with a space for a spoiler but the company didn't make a spoiler, would it be legal to make and market a spoiler specifically design as a 'car X spoiler'?

I can see the reason if they're making something that competes with your own products and marketing it as such, as it's direct competition and false advertising 'this is Car X spoiler' when only Company Y has the official 'car x' spoiler.

If GW released a Doom of Malanti then from my perspective I could see them being justified in sueing if Chapterhouse had a model advertised as THE doom of malanti. It could confuse customers and GW would cop the abuse. But if chapterhouse then, after GW released a Doom, readvertised their doom as 'an alien that is suitable for representing the Doom' I don't see the problem there either.

If anyone that understands these things could illuminate me I'd be most grateful.

Hellebore

nvillacci
02-01-2011, 03:50
I have been keeping up with all of these post, and it actually seems like the real issues and laws are starting to be explained.

I am glad there are other folks who do the research and learn about the specifics of the laws pertaining to our website design, marketing and the case in hand.

lanrak
02-01-2011, 10:31
Hi Hellebore.
Anyone can design thier own parts and minatures that 'could be used with other companies products -games.'
And if the company that makes the games has NOT made these parts or minatures there is not realy any infringment of IP?

As people are free to use ANY minatures and rules they want to outside the restrictions of a GW tournament -establishment.


EG I belive Warlord Games make 28mm 'sci fi great-coat troopers' that COULD be used as alternative Imperial Guardsmen.(And some gamers do ...;))

If they sold them as 'Warhanmmer 40k '(tm)Imperial Guard'(c) Steel Legion-Valhalans(c) they WOULD be in direct conflict with GW as they use GW descriptions of an existing piece of IP.

I could make and sell 'shoulder puldrons suitable for space commandoes' in my FORTEEKAY range of parts and minatures.
This would not be an infingment of GWs IP.(I think)

But listing them as 'Space Marine(C) Shoulder Pads for Howing Griffons(c)' in my 'Warhammer 40k'(tm) range of parts and minatures , IS in direct conflict with GW IP rules .As it used GW descriptions and terms .

This I think is the issue here is not making parts and minatures that can be used with existing GW games and minatures.
But LISTING them using GW terms and descriptions.

I may be wrong though....

TTFN

Hellebore
02-01-2011, 10:59
I can see it making sense if there is already a GW product there to represent it, but if there isn't it seems odd to be able to sue over something that they don't actually make themselves.

They can sue over loss of income on steel legion because they already sell steel legion.

But they don't sell a Doom of Malan'tai so it seems strange that something they don't sell can be sued over. some makes something to fill a product hole that the original company hasn't made themselves.

Basically what GW would be arguing is 'the consumer should go without a product rather than another company make it.' Deny the consumer to spite the competitor.

That's the part I was unsure about.

Hellebore

madden
02-01-2011, 11:05
Though we don't no that gw are never going to make a doom for all we no they have one in design phase so gw will lose sales of said model when/if they release it as people have bought chs doom look at hellpit abom being released now over a year after the book so probible sales verses actual sales it's still infringment. Personally I think chs have pushed to far so get what they deserve.( I'm not a lawer )

simonr1978
02-01-2011, 11:32
But they don't sell a Doom of Malan'tai so it seems strange that something they don't sell can be sued over. some makes something to fill a product hole that the original company hasn't made themselves.

Basically what GW would be arguing is 'the consumer should go without a product rather than another company make it.' Deny the consumer to spite the competitor.

That's the part I was unsure about.

Hellebore

It's not that the consumer should go without product, there's nothing stopping you buying another product to use as a stand-in for pretty much anything. The problem from GW's stand point is when you start selling that product under the same name as GW IP. To be fair here, if CHS sell a "Doom of Malatai" model under a different name there's still nothing more or less stopping customers buying it and using it as such than there was before and unless it uses GW protected iconography or symbols CHS would be completely and undoubtedly in the clear.

Equally, as madden said, for all we know GW could be working on their own model and whilst some might buy official replacements for tournaments or GW store play, inevitably others wont, so it might impact on future sales.

As ever, I've no legal training of any description. Precisely how legal or enforcable any of this is remains to be seen and it sounds like Chapterhouse seem reasonably confident that they understand their position from nvillacci's post.