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Old 02-06-2013, 08:46 PM   #1
Auricle
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Games Workshop wants to trademark Space Marines?

Saw this on Reddit:


"In the Future, All Space Marines Will Be Warhammer 40K Space Marines"
http://mcahogarth.org/?p=10593

Pretty ridiculous if you ask me, especially the part that Amazon is playing in this.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:54 PM   #2
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Title slightly misleading... GW have TMd "Space Marines" but in this case they are just bullying as their TM refers to games , figures etc but NOT books... welcome to the TM version of the patent wars except GW prefer picking on people who can't afford to fight back... typical big company bullying and it needs stamping on...

Even a simple Google search for "Space Marine" provides ample evidence to invalidate their attempt to intimidate an author as there is plenty of prior art such as
Quote:
Bob Olsen in his short story "Captain Brink of the Space Marines" (Amazing Stories, Volume 7, Number 8, November 1932)
which is just a tad earlier than anything GW has ever done and the rest of the info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_marine gives many more uses prior to the existence of GW...
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:08 PM   #3
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GW's list of trademarks is freaking insane. "Rhino" and "Razorback" are also IIRC on it. Now try telling the State of Arkansas that its state animal violates GW IP?

Either way, they're probably doing it because another company recently trademark-sniped something of theirs because they didn't have a miniature of it available. Its Ford and the script- on- blue logo all over again.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:09 PM   #4
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Popehat is already on it, and support for this author is strong. I'm curious to see how this goes.

http://www.popehat.com/2013/02/06/th...ademark-claim/
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:23 PM   #5
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One other thing comes to mind- the last high-profile bullying case like this from a game company, at least as far as I can remember, was TSR trying to shut down all other RPG companies on the grounds that TSR had some kind of claim to have originated the concept of a RPG.

It was no coincidence that TSR was bought out by Wizards of the Coast a very short time after this failed; TSR was on the brink of collapse. This sort of thing makes me wonder if GW's financials are in as good a shape as everyone would like to believe.

Not to say I'll be happy if GW collapses; far the contrary. The only remaining miniatures games have no narrative aspect and feel too much like I'm playing a video game on the tabletop.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
GW's list of trademarks is freaking insane. "Rhino" and "Razorback" are also IIRC on it.
So is "Orc" as opposed to "Ork"
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:17 PM   #7
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But I guess the other part that bothered me about this is that Amazon blocked the sale of this ebook world-wide based on GW's complaint to Amazon UK Kindle publishing based on Trademark class that isn't even applicable in the US. I'm sure some of this is Amazon wanting to appease a large company that it makes a lot of money from over a single author who they'll make very little money from.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
In their last email to me, Games Workshop stated that they believe that their recent entrée into the e-book market gives them the common law trademark for the term "space marine" in all formats.
Quote:
When I called Games Workshop and pointed out previous books using the word "space marine," they told me their grounds for complaint was based on the European trademark (which is not valid in the US). I explained that, and was told they believed their publication of novels and e-books awards them a common law trademark in America.
http://io9.com/5982201/games-worksho...get-pissed-off



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Old 02-06-2013, 11:25 PM   #9
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I find this interesting

I try to remember where first saw "space marine"

author Poul Anderson maybe

come to me later
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
One other thing comes to mind- the last high-profile bullying case like this from a game company, at least as far as I can remember, was TSR trying to shut down all other RPG companies on the grounds that TSR had some kind of claim to have originated the concept of a RPG.

It was no coincidence that TSR was bought out by Wizards of the Coast a very short time after this failed; TSR was on the brink of collapse.
Er, no, not really. TSR played some legal games, but they had valid trademarks that Mayfair acknowledged in a contact. The lawsuit was over whether or not they lived up to that contract. And TSR largely lost, since that ruling was bascially that "suitable for use with" was not a trademark violation in the game industry.

The reason TSR was on the brink of collapse was because Gygax wanted to do everything but publish roleplaying game. He wanted to make movies, IIRC, a hobby that costs orders of magnitude more money than TSR was ever worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
This sort of thing makes me wonder if GW's financials are in as good a shape as everyone would like to believe.

Not to say I'll be happy if GW collapses; far the contrary. The only remaining miniatures games have no narrative aspect and feel too much like I'm playing a video game on the tabletop.
The reason there are no other decent miniatures games is that GW has run everybody else out of business. It wouldn't be so bad if their miniatures didn't look so silly.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:24 AM   #11
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But I guess the other part that bothered me about this is that Amazon blocked the sale of this ebook world-wide based on GW's complaint to Amazon UK Kindle publishing based on Trademark class that isn't even applicable in the US. I'm sure some of this is Amazon wanting to appease a large company that it makes a lot of money from over a single author who they'll make very little money from.
Amazon sells Warhammer stuff, after all. If GW pulls their product line, Amazon loses a lot more than they do from one (or a handful) of indie published novels.

(I agree, though, that it's pretty slimy. But given Amazon's history, not surprising at all.)
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:07 AM   #12
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It was no coincidence that TSR was bought out by Wizards of the Coast a very short time after this failed; TSR was on the brink of collapse. This sort of thing makes me wonder if GW's financials are in as good a shape as everyone would like to believe.
I would be surprised if that is the case. Their share price is high, sales are high, they have several nice IPs that ain't going anywhere soon.

If anything was wrong, it would be dropping sales, due to GW's bad reputation and extreme prices I'd say.

Quote:
Not to say I'll be happy if GW collapses; far the contrary. The only remaining miniatures games have no narrative aspect and feel too much like I'm playing a video game on the tabletop.
In my opinion GW is the leading horse when it comes to dumbing down (Or WOWification..) tabletop games..
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:14 AM   #13
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Never heard of Games Workshop or Space Marines.

Monkey doesn't dabble in the occult world of gaming
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:22 AM   #14
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I used to frequent the first Games Workshop store in the late 70s/early 80s, back when they were at the heart of role-playing and alternate board games in the UK, and subscribed to the early years of White Dwarf. I was living just a couple of streets away from the shop for a year.

However, when they reduced their focus to miniatures and their own system I lost interest. Highly profitable move for them, but left me cold.

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Old 02-07-2013, 08:13 AM   #15
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I would be surprised if that is the case. Their share price is high, sales are high, they have several nice IPs that ain't going anywhere soon.
So was Enron's stock right before the collapse.

Quote:
In my opinion GW is the leading horse when it comes to dumbing down (Or WOWification..) tabletop games..
I dunno. The current edition seems to be adding even more complexity to the system, compared to previous ones. Either way, my complaint wasn't so much about simplifying the rules as the elimination of narrative. Two entirely different things.

In a GW game, there's always the option of choosing a generic hero, choosing his wargear, and having him be a viable choice on the field. In a Privateer Press game, you're required to use one of their named characters. As a result, there's no roleplaying option. You might as well be playing Final Fantasy.

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The reason there are no other decent miniatures games is that GW has run everybody else out of business. It wouldn't be so bad if their miniatures didn't look so silly.
Privateer Press is doing well. WotC's miniatures games have also done fairly well, even when you consider their horrible distribution model and low-quality casts.

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