Warhammer Company Makes "Space Marine" Trademark Claim

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I rarely say this, but this has me outraged. This is even worse than the International Olympic Committee suing Legend of the Five Rings over the latter's use of five interconnected rings in their logo (which IOC owns any variation of five interconnected rings in many parts of the world as a trademark.)

Codex

How the hell can they trademark "Codex." It's a term that goes back to describing medieval books. Same goes for inquisitor.

The only thing I could think of is if it means their exact use of the term.

1337mokro:

Want to pull up the Tyranids next? Xenomorphs that absorb useful traits whilst being an engineered life form? Traveling the universe gathering biomass from the things they consume? Ring a bell?

OH YES FUCKING ALIENS! Except instead of chest bursting they just melt you down.

Except the Xenos from Aliens...don't do most of those things. They're never shown to have a space travelling hive mind, as they tend to get spread by other life forms (Humans and Predators). They don't absorb new creatures, they do however adopt the traits of a host creature. The Tyranids have no host creature. They just take over a race and adopt it into their hive.

Like the Zerg. Which were originally supposed to be the Tyranids.

I see where you're coming from as far as GW and originality, but as far as Xenos vs Tyranids, outside of basic visual design (verrrrry basic visual design) there aren't many similarities. I've never seen a Xeno use a weapon. I've never seen a Xeno do much other than hunt and kill.

faefrost:
Games Workshop bullied Lego and a fan creator into changing the name on a CuuSoo project proposal a few months back
http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/5127

For those not aware CuuSoo is a mechanism where a Lego fan can propose a project online. If it gets 10k votes Lego will consider making it. It's how we got the Lego Minecraft set. This project (which hit 10k and is up for review) was originally named "Space Marines". Because of GW's threats it is now called "Space Troopers".

Lego makes so much money it's obscene. I doubt they were so much bullied, as the fight didn't matter to them. Why fight it when you can change the name on an unreleased product in 2 seconds?

DarkArk:

Codex

How the hell can they trademark "Codex." It's a term that goes back to describing medieval books. Same goes for inquisitor.

The only thing I could think of is if it means their exact use of the term.

I'm also curious about how they can apparently trademark "talisman", that seems like a pretty broad term to own!

Ed130:

Right, after rereading though all that, the only other word that's common enough to pose a serious issue would be Inquisitor, mainly due to the Dragon age sequel Dragon Age III: Inquisition. However the term is only used in the 40k IP, not the medieval fantasy one so GW suing EA won't happen, probably.

EDIT: Missed 'Codex' as well.

Oh, Games Workshop, how I used to like you...

Well, until I realized that shelling out about 1000 crowns in all for a playable army with rulebooks et all was just ridiculous. Seriously, I'd love to play your flippin' games, but it's not very likely to ever happen with those prices. And I though Lego was ridiculously overprized...

But then again, I can see why they'd take this kind of fight. It's like Notch & Bethesda's dustup over "Scrolls" (should've been "Skrölls") again. Bethesda more or less had to take the fight, or they'd get problems when a real copyright infringement came along. I hope it's a similar story here, and not just GW being draconian and Donald Trumpy for the sake of it.

wgar:

TimeLord:
As the article says, trademark "Adeptus Astartes" or something but not such a generic term as "Space Marine"

Can't see it succeeding to be honest

What succeeding? Did you even read the original article on boing?

They asked Amazon to take it down, they did. The end. What is your point? The author isn't going to fight it as it would involve an enormous legal battle that would end up with either her bankrupt or GW losing the Space Marine trademark so Chinese companies could continue to make cheap knockoffs with the same names.

I'm talking about this quote from the news post

Hogarth said it makes perfect sense for Games Workshop to trademark Warhammer-specific terms like "Adeptus Astartes," but laying claim to "space marine" is simply an attempt to "co-opt the legacy of science fiction writers who laid the groundwork for their success."

DoomedSheridan:

DarkArk:

Codex

How the hell can they trademark "Codex." It's a term that goes back to describing medieval books. Same goes for inquisitor.

The only thing I could think of is if it means their exact use of the term.

I'm also curious about how they can apparently trademark "talisman", that seems like a pretty broad term to own!

Frostbite3789:

1337mokro:

Want to pull up the Tyranids next? Xenomorphs that absorb useful traits whilst being an engineered life form? Traveling the universe gathering biomass from the things they consume? Ring a bell?

OH YES FUCKING ALIENS! Except instead of chest bursting they just melt you down.

Except the Xenos from Aliens...don't do most of those things. They're never shown to have a space travelling hive mind, as they tend to get spread by other life forms (Humans and Predators). They don't absorb new creatures, they do however adopt the traits of a host creature. The Tyranids have no host creature. They just take over a race and adopt it into their hive.

Like the Zerg. Which were originally supposed to be the Tyranids.

I see where you're coming from as far as GW and originality, but as far as Xenos vs Tyranids, outside of basic visual design (verrrrry basic visual design) there aren't many similarities. I've never seen a Xeno use a weapon. I've never seen a Xeno do much other than hunt and kill.

Frostbite3789:

faefrost:
Games Workshop bullied Lego and a fan creator into changing the name on a CuuSoo project proposal a few months back
http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/5127

For those not aware CuuSoo is a mechanism where a Lego fan can propose a project online. If it gets 10k votes Lego will consider making it. It's how we got the Lego Minecraft set. This project (which hit 10k and is up for review) was originally named "Space Marines". Because of GW's threats it is now called "Space Troopers".

Lego makes so much money it's obscene. I doubt they were so much bullied, as the fight didn't matter to them. Why fight it when you can change the name on an unreleased product in 2 seconds?

GW wasn't exactly suing Lego, but a Lego fansite that has a mild association with Lego itself. It looks to me like Games Workshop is only suing the little guys that it can get away with.

Frostbite3789:

1337mokro:

Want to pull up the Tyranids next? Xenomorphs that absorb useful traits whilst being an engineered life form? Traveling the universe gathering biomass from the things they consume? Ring a bell?

OH YES FUCKING ALIENS! Except instead of chest bursting they just melt you down.

Except the Xenos from Aliens...don't do most of those things. They're never shown to have a space travelling hive mind, as they tend to get spread by other life forms (Humans and Predators). They don't absorb new creatures, they do however adopt the traits of a host creature. The Tyranids have no host creature. They just take over a race and adopt it into their hive.

Like the Zerg. Which were originally supposed to be the Tyranids.

I see where you're coming from as far as GW and originality, but as far as Xenos vs Tyranids, outside of basic visual design (verrrrry basic visual design) there aren't many similarities. I've never seen a Xeno use a weapon. I've never seen a Xeno do much other than hunt and kill.

They have a central hive mind in the Queen.

They can travel through space on board ships in egg form, so you could equate that to the Husks.

The Morphs were engineered, so were the Tyranids.

I could go on, however that is not my point.

My point was to illustrate how if we are going to use something like "Marine who is in space" as a copyright term then the Tyranids are in BIG trouble. They are technically Aliens that can change their physical appearance and do so by consuming other lifeforms.

That is a basic description of BOTH the Xenomorphs and the Tyranids. Fuck that we could take it a step further what if Cameron copyrighted the word Alien(s)? We might as well start pulling every goddamned sci-fi book ever written.

It wasn't to point out that there were similarities, it was to point out that if we take a generic term/description for something and copyright it allot of things are suddenly lost to the copyright fairy.

Unless the Space Marines in the book were exact copies of the Adaptes there should be no copyright issue. Just like their is no issue in using Aliens, Dwarfs, Elves, Orcs, Fairies, Dragons, Ghosts or any other word used to describe a common term for a creature or type of character.

Heck Space Marines isn't even accurate for the 40kers, they are Space Super Soldiers. Starship Troopers had Space Marines.

Soviet Heavy:
Oh for god's sakes. I'd read about this on DakkaDakka, but Games Workshop, just stop. Stop trying to act like you are anything more than a corporate shill. You want to argue originality, do you?
image
Starship Troopers

image

There's also an image of a 1950s sci fi picture out there that looks exactly like a Tau Fire Warrior.

That's pretty much what I was going to say. GW has been getting more and more pathetic over recent years.
I've been a fan of the "Imperial" Space Marines since that first plastic box set but I knew back then that it wasn't an original idea.

Maybe Peter Jackson will screw GW over and lay claim to the term orc....and ork. This proves that he probably could.

Games workshop deserves to crash and burn for lack of integrity alone.

I become more and more disturbed by Games Workshops buisness practices with each passing month. They are constantly doing something new and despicable to rivals, the market or their own fans. Although I still enjoy the wh40k universe and play the videogames I have moved on to other tabletop games. Someone needs to give GW a hard earslap so they find some degree of sense again

Bit late for that isn't it? This company is small fry compared to the legions of others who have been more successful in other franchises since. It's legal claims will go nowhere if it tries to bring suit against Microsoft for example.

it is abit of a dick move but, really who do you think of when you hear SPACE MARINE ??? it makes sense and GW has always been shit hot 40k

Now I dont encourage or approve of crime...

...but I wouldnt be that broken up if someone through a molitove through Game Workshops front window after hours

AstaresPanda:
it is abit of a dick move but, really who do you think of when you hear SPACE MARINE ??? it makes sense and GW has always been shit hot 40k

I think of Ian Douglas' books when I hear SPACE MARINE

GonzoGamer:

That's pretty much what I was going to say. GW has been getting more and more pathetic over recent years.
I've been a fan of the "Imperial" Space Marines since that first plastic box set but I knew back then that it wasn't an original idea.

Maybe Peter Jackson will screw GW over and lay claim to the term orc....and ork. This proves that he probably could.

Doubtful, GW did the miniatures for LOTR and the Hobbit.

The upcoming Bioware game Dragon Age: Inquisition could throw something up.

I think this is dumb, but I thought it was dumb when Marvel and DC were permitted to trademark "superhero", and apparently it was upheld, so... I no longer have much faith that dumb won't prevail.

If there are ever actual Space Marines, however, I suggest GW backs off before they're made to eat a plasma rifle.

I don't like these trademark trolls. Not at all. This is like trying to trademark a common word.

Sounds like GW's main source of income will be a legal war machine. A pity.

DVS BSTrD:
With Zynga going under, I was wondering where we would be getting our continuous source of petty lawsuits.

Well, Apple aren't stopping anytime soon either.

can't wait for the 3D printing lawsuits to start.

Technically, Andy, Master Chief is a space squid. The Marines are a specific entity within the United Nations Space Command of which John 117 is not a part. He's part of Naval Special Weapons group, which reports directly to UNSC High Command. A small difference, yes, but I'm sure your readers from the current Marine and Navy branches would no more appreciate getting lumped into one category than would their video game counterparts.

Aaaaaaaaand I've expended my quota of geekery for the day.

Frostbite3789:

faefrost:
Games Workshop bullied Lego and a fan creator into changing the name on a CuuSoo project proposal a few months back
http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/5127

For those not aware CuuSoo is a mechanism where a Lego fan can propose a project online. If it gets 10k votes Lego will consider making it. It's how we got the Lego Minecraft set. This project (which hit 10k and is up for review) was originally named "Space Marines". Because of GW's threats it is now called "Space Troopers".

Lego makes so much money it's obscene. I doubt they were so much bullied, as the fight didn't matter to them. Why fight it when you can change the name on an unreleased product in 2 seconds?

It's more they weren't about to go to the mat or spend legal time over the naming of a fan proposal CuuSoo project that would have a production run of 10 or 20k.

This is like if J.K. Rowling trademarked the term "wizard". It's retarded.

Oh, Games Workshop: What, it's not bad enough you price your hobby out of the range of most intelligent people, now you want to unleash the Lawyers of Tzeentch on common sense as well? Just shut up and hide in the corner, already.
Also, Captcha: Please crap off trying to get me to enter in adverts just because some new fancy company's trying it out. I don't care about Black Mirror or any of that BS. Thank you and please desist.

hudsonzero:
good, come up with your own term for space military men

Yeah, cause GW was the one to come up with that term.
-.-

OT: Good job GW, first you make warhammer absurdly expensive, then you unbalance the game and finally you are on the road to being an annoyingly retarded corporation.

CoD: 40K will be next.

Muspelheim:

[...] when a real copyright infringement came along.

Very much agree with your post, but I thought I'd point out that trademark != copyright.

Decent post here: http://tacticalip.com/2012/03/19/copyright-vs-trademark-whats-the-difference/

Basically copyright might apply to a particular picture, or piece of art, but a trademark is more typically like a logo. The critical thing (if the trademark is valid) is that a customer wouldn't confuse the two. I can't start selling Apple phones I make myself out of my garage, but I could open a plumbing company named Apple since no one would confuse the two.

TLDR; Copyright is for those worried about being copied. Trademark is for those worried about their company's brand or "mark" being confused with another company.

Does anyone know why GW is so sue happy all the time? Are they bored between codexes? greed? Chaos gods?

Edge 2.0.

Let's do this.

I'd be okay with this if they trademarked SPEHSS, and not "Space".

But - yeah. This smacks of a minor company wanting to protect its brand's visibility after the publishing arm of its video games-based lore went belly-up. They don't know where the Games Workshop license is going to go, so they're trying to protect Warhammer 40K in case getting more games published in that setting turns out to be trickier than expected.

Hogarth's right. I'd see them copyrighting "Blood Ravens" or "Adeptus Astartes", but copyrighting "Space Marine" is pretty much the same as trying to copyright "John Smith" as a name.

Isn't it funny that GW, the company whose IP rips off every trope from sci-fi and fantasy imaginable, whose IP has not a single original idea in its entire repertoire, is also the company that most vigorously defends their trademarks with the threat of litigation?

Darks63:
Does anyone know why GW is so sue happy all the time? Are they bored between codexes? greed? Chaos gods?

Add in fear and I would pick the "all of the above" option.

Korzack:
Oh, Games Workshop: What, it's not bad enough you price your hobby out of the range of most intelligent people, now you want to unleash the Lawyers of Tzeentch on common sense as well? Just shut up and hide in the corner, already.
Also, Captcha: Please crap off trying to get me to enter in adverts just because some new fancy company's trying it out. I don't care about Black Mirror or any of that BS. Thank you and please desist.

Just type in swear words, or slap the keyboard a few times.

Its what I do then they show up.

GW shows it's best stupid once again. I've no more words for them.

Whenever they do something somewhat decent, they follow it up by something incredible stupid. I hope that damn company finally gets bought by WotC/Hasbro <.<

I love Warhammer 40K so much it's probably a little unhealthy, but I do not like Games Workshop at all. They're awful and this comes as no surprise. Copyright law is also awful and in dire need of a serious shake up.

I really hope this sort of crap is stopped soon but I just don't see it happening. Sad really.

IIRC, when the Aliens board game came along, they had to get GW's permission to use the term "Space Marine" in there, so I can't say I'm surprised

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