Warhammer Company Makes "Space Marine" Trademark Claim

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SupahGamuh:
As much as I enjoy the Dawn of War series (and I'm still hoping for a 3rd installment), this is beyond stupid, it's almost like Edge all over again.

Indeed, or like when Bethesda decided it owned the word 'scroll'.

AstaresPanda:
it is abit of a dick move but, really who do you think of when you hear SPACE MARINE ???

I think of generic sci-fi future Marines who happen to operate IN SPACE(!)

That or the folks from Starship Troopers.

Really

In before trademark law =/= copyright law.

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

Trademarks are not copyrights. Trademarks have to be distinctive; they need to refer to a specific product made by a specific company. That's their whole reason for existing. In many jurisdictions you can lose the right to a registered trademark if the symbol (in this case, the term Space Marine) becomes generic, which in this case means that it loses its capacity to refer to a specific product.

For example, the term aspirin was originally a registered trademark owned by Bayer. In 1919, it became genericised in several countries, because people conflated the word "aspirin" with any form of acetylsalicylic acid to the point where the word no longer referred specifically to Bayer's product. Now aspirin is a generic term for acetylsalicylic acid, and anyone can sell acetylsalicylic acid and call it aspirin.

The reason why Games Workshop seems so sue-happy is because, in order to retain their registered trademark, they cannot let it become a generic science-fiction term. More specifically, they cannot let it be legally recognised as such. The reason why that's bad for GW is simple - if Space Marine became a generic term, anyone could release a miniatures range called "Space Marines" and leech off the reputation of GW's product, just like how they could release acetylsalicylic acid and call it aspirin. A whole lot of money goes into establishing the reputation of a product. For GW, who retains its superiority in the marketplace solely on the basis of its reputation rather than the quality of its models (there are better model ranges offered by smaller competitors) this is a huge deal. If they lose that reputation, they potentially lose their marketplace dominance.

That's why the latest 40k game was called Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. The addition of the distinctive element "Warhammer 40,000" ensures that the game's title, which is a trademark, is not struck out for being insufficiently distinctive. Meanwhile, the inclusion of the element "Space Marine" ensures that anyone else who releases a game - or in this case a book - called "Space Marine" can be sued on the basis that "Space Marine" is deceptively similar to "Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine."

The real kicker is that if GW sits by and does nothing, and lets people start or continue using Space Marine as a generic term, they're facilitating the genericisation of that term and undermining the value of their registered trademark. For GW's legal department, that's unethical - they have to throw out these semi-baseless litigation threats from time to time, or they're not doing their jobs. They don't actually intend to sue; they just want to deter people from using the term Space Marine in any field (toys, games, films, books) that GW could have a business interest in, because if they allowed it, a future competitor could use that as grounds for having their trademark struck from the registry.

I hope that helps anyone here who's wondering why GW (and other companies like Bethesda) do this kind of seemingly inane shit from time to time. They actually have a pretty good reason for doing so.

Grenaid:

Muspelheim:

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

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

Curses! Beaten to the punch.

This is not the last you'll hear of me, Grenaid!

Reminds me of Apple trying to sue because of the term "App Store" as if they owned it. I can only hope they fail because as much as I enjoy WH40K stuff, they are far from the first to come up with nor the only ones to use the term.

I must admit that I kinda see the point.. to me the guy from Doom is a UAC Marine, the Starship Troopers are just that, Storm Troopers are just that as well and Hudson and the rest are Colonial Marines... and Space Marines are the guys from Warhammer 40K... never thought the term generic

now "marine" is another story..

But if anyone is breaking their copyright, it would be Blizzard in my mind. A Terran Marine is almost a carbon copy, but again the name not withstanding.

Norix596:
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.

They're shooting for precedence.

Doc on The Whiteboard comic explains it better than I can when dealing with a similar issue regarding paint ball guns.

http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autowb189.html
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autowb190.html
http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autowb191.html

Anyone else remember the case between Zenimax and Mojang over Scrolls and The Elder Scrolls? Same case could be made here (assuming I remember the outcome of my own example right): they're trying to hold onto a name that is simply too generic. Maybe if it was something more.... unique? Then I would understand.

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

*cough**Lensman**cough*.

Eh, sorry, I had something in my throat.Anyway, I have to congratulate GW - I personally didn't know rippin-off Dune and SST was considered originality, but what do I know of hypocrisy.

bastardofmelbourne:
In before trademark law =/= copyright law.

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

Trademarks are not copyrights. Trademarks have to be distinctive; they need to refer to a specific product made by a specific company. That's their whole reason for existing. In many jurisdictions you can lose the right to a registered trademark if the symbol (in this case, the term Space Marine) becomes generic, which in this case means that it loses its capacity to refer to a specific product.

For example, the term aspirin was originally a registered trademark owned by Bayer. In 1919, it became genericised in several countries, because people conflated the word "aspirin" with any form of acetylsalicylic acid to the point where the word no longer referred specifically to Bayer's product. Now aspirin is a generic term for acetylsalicylic acid, and anyone can sell acetylsalicylic acid and call it aspirin.

The reason why Games Workshop seems so sue-happy is because, in order to retain their registered trademark, they cannot let it become a generic science-fiction term. More specifically, they cannot let it be legally recognised as such. The reason why that's bad for GW is simple - if Space Marine became a generic term, anyone could release a miniatures range called "Space Marines" and leech off the reputation of GW's product, just like how they could release acetylsalicylic acid and call it aspirin. A whole lot of money goes into establishing the reputation of a product. For GW, who retains its superiority in the marketplace solely on the basis of its reputation rather than the quality of its models (there are better model ranges offered by smaller competitors) this is a huge deal. If they lose that reputation, they potentially lose their marketplace dominance.

That's why the latest 40k game was called Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. The addition of the distinctive element "Warhammer 40,000" ensures that the game's title, which is a trademark, is not struck out for being insufficiently distinctive. Meanwhile, the inclusion of the element "Space Marine" ensures that anyone else who releases a game - or in this case a book - called "Space Marine" can be sued on the basis that "Space Marine" is deceptively similar to "Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine."

The real kicker is that if GW sits by and does nothing, and lets people start or continue using Space Marine as a generic term, they're facilitating the genericisation of that term and undermining the value of their registered trademark. For GW's legal department, that's unethical - they have to throw out these semi-baseless litigation threats from time to time, or they're not doing their jobs. They don't actually intend to sue; they just want to deter people from using the term Space Marine in any field (toys, games, films, books) that GW could have a business interest in, because if they allowed it, a future competitor could use that as grounds for having their trademark struck from the registry.

I hope that helps anyone here who's wondering why GW (and other companies like Bethesda) do this kind of seemingly inane shit from time to time. They actually have a pretty good reason for doing so.

Ty i can see the point of it now but it is still from a PR standpoint kinda of a bad move, like when they sued all those fan-sites a while back and yes i know the reason they did that but it still angered alot of fans.

1337mokro:
I think that is not entirely true. After all Aliens did it first.

Literal Space Marines. Heck if we go by that definition there are even older space marines in Starship Troopers. Heavy Armour Clad Warriors defending the Empire of Man against filthy Xenos?

You must have had a plagiarism field day when creating the board game digging through pre-1980's sci-fi. So no. You do not get to own a part of pop culture. Sad day for you.

Well, strictly speaking while the idea of military warriors in space is old, the actual term "Space Marine" which on a lot of levels is fairly silly, hasn't been used. The groups you've mentioned are Colonial Marines, and The Mechanized Mobile Infantry.

That's not to say that I disagree with you, but it's a little harder to dispute than your giving it credit for, and to be honest similar things have come up before. I seem to remember the term "Super Hero" for example was battled over at one point and wound up as a joint copyright held by DC and Marvel, what it's status is at the moment is unknown to me, but for quite a while it was noticible that the costumed adventurers of other companies had to be referred to as something else, which lead to some rather interesting labeling in indie titles.

What's generic to a fan and the populance at large and what should be specific to someone who poplarized a term (even if they did not create it) is debatable, and in a lot of cases these issues become a big deal specifically due to how things fall into common usage.

To be honest I think M.C.A. Hogarth is the victim of a battle that has been brewing for a while. In cases like this it's good legal strategy to go after people who can't defend themselves properly, to build up a bunch of precedent, before tackling someone who can effectively dispute you.

Warhammer 40k has become increasingly popular and slipped into the public conscieness in a big way, having become a sort of "go to" referance for this generation when talking about heavily militarized science fiction, far more than making referances to other sources like "Starship Troopers" even if they are older. Referring to something as being like a Space Marine, or a "Space Marine Type" typically invokes 40k imagery among fandom, whether anyone wants to deny it or not.

What's more we've already started to see satires on the entire thing appearing, that are going in directions Games Workshop doesn't nessicarly approve of. An example of which would be the video game "Bonecraft".

You might be sitting here going "well yeah Therumancer, but that's a Blizzard property they are satirizing, and actually proves how generic the entire thing is". The thing is though that Blizzard has special permission to use a lot of the material for Warcraft and Starcraft from Games Workshop. Way back in the day "Warcraft" (the original RTS) began life as an attempt to make a "Warhammer" video game, Games Workshop wound up turning it down, but told Blizzard that if they changed the name they could continue developing it on their own and publish it. As a result you wound up with a lot of elements, including the art style, and some core concepts, which were taken directly from Warhammer and used with permission. This continued with StarCraft. It's ironic because it can be argued that Blizzard wound up killing (or greatly hampering) Games Workshop's eventual video game ambitions accross the board, Blizzard also has't been shy about exploiting their earlier permissions as well despite the changes it includes. Of course this also feeds into the whole attitude that Games Workshop has established some rights here.

At the end of the day though I think the big issue though is that a lot of things have been making analogies to their work, even if indirectly. and some of those things like "Bonecraft" probably slot them off, even if it's at best a secondhand refernace through it's parody of another source.

When you get down to it, I'd imagine their major concern here is going to be the image of the guy in overly bulky armor and the vision of the *ahem* "Facist, Big Shoulderpad Future", the blocky/chunky look of a lot of the equipment and weapons, and similar things.

As I understand things Warhammer 40k itself was drawn from a lot of other sources in UK Science Fiction, especially when you look at 2100 AD titles like "Judge Dredd" and "Stronium Dogs", *BUT* apparently this was again done with permission (similar to Warhammer) and while I've never tracked down the rumors, apparently some of the original artists and creators for Warhammer and 40k worked on those sources as well.

Don't jump on me, since I know people love to get on whatever I say just because I say it, but this is my guess as to what it all comes down to. To be honest I'm surprised it hasn't been an issue before now.

I'll also say that precedents haven't exactly been good for creators nowadays. I personally think an earlier ruling against "White Wolf" over the "Underworld" movies was a travesty, and this is coming from someone who hates White Wolf. Not only from the perspective of imagery, but from almost literally ripping off a published story called "For Love Of Monsters" which objectively wasn't paticularly good, the movies being better than the story, but it was still their material.

The ironic thing about all of this is that White Wolf's "Vampire" stuff was a huge rip off of Anne Rice, but going back many years ago, it was a rip off done with permission FROM Anne Rice, which got a lot of attention on old RPG Echos (what people used back before the WWW was like it is now, a shared mail system between BBS systems distributing packets through hubs and such). Something that makes it kind of amusing when people fight about whether or not it was a rip off or not, because while it went in it's own directions, this was kind of acknowleged since virtually day #1. The thing is though that they had permission, and things like "Underworld" did not. I think this is increasingly becoming the gist of disputes, people using things without permission, in mediums where it used to be politic to ask, and trying to claim public domain of concepts without bothering to ask who got permission from who else, or claiming that simply due to popularity creators should lose their rights to concepts.

I think they're still bitter their MMO sucked...

And, couldn't she represent herself? GW doesn't have a solid enough case to own "space marine", any judge would agree, and a big company shown as bullying a lone, amature author in the news would be really damaging.

Darks63:
[
I hope that helps anyone here who's wondering why GW (and other companies like Bethesda) do this kind of seemingly inane shit from time to time. They actually have a pretty good reason for doing so.

Ty i can see the point of it now but it is still from a PR standpoint kinda of a bad move, like when they sued all those fan-sites a while back and yes i know the reason they did that but it still angered alot of fans.[/quote]

Well, the thing is that at the end of the day creators are out to make money. PR only really matters if you have a product that is going to remain profitable enough for popularity to matter. Typically when things like this happen a company has noticed it cutting into their bottom line... or people using concepts almost identical to their own without permission to make money and even competing concepts for the same market.

Fan sites are a touchy subject, and always have been. I remember back when Viacom decided to try and attack all the Star Trek websites to try and force people onto their official sites where they could charge for the kinds of information (databases, etc...) that fans were providing for free. Of course when Viacom pulled that the WWW was kind of "new" as far as the everyman, and especially big business, was concerned, they didn't really get it and relented.

I wrote a lengthy post on the subject, which I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with, but to be honest I think the final straw was probably not only so many people using concepts they largely popularized, oftentimes styled exactly the same way, but also things like "Bonecraft" which might be a parody of Blizzard games, but it also infringing on their material/style, which Blizzard happens to be using with permission going back to when "Warcraft" was originally developed as a Warhammer video game, turned down, but given permission to be developed and sold seperatly under a non-Warhammer name. Basically before you do something similar to what Blizzard does for it's "craft" games you should also be getting permission from Games Workshop.

Games Workshop. What are you doing?

Games workshop. Stahp.

bastardofmelbourne:
*Snip*

That'd be all well and good if it weren't for the problem that 'Space Marine' is already effectively a generic term for Marines IN SPACE(!). GW didn't even come up with the term, and it doesn't take much searching to find instances of "Space Marine" being used before GW decided to hijack the term. Not that it's exactly uncommon knowledge that the term's been around longer than WH40k anyway.

"Ork", at least, they went to the trouble of swapping out the 'c' for a 'k', for as little effort as that must have taken them. It wouldn't be as big a problem if they were trying to hold on to a trademark for a term or word they'd actually gone to the trouble of making themselves. But since 'Space Marine' is already a de facto generic term that Games Workshop is trying to keep for their own exclusive use, it feels like a stretch at best to try and justify the behavior by saying they're just looking out for their trademark.

If they wanted a trademark on their little armored space people, they should have come up with a new word for them first.

While I may not agree with all of the the trademark laws, they are sill laws and should be followed.

And seeing as GW has trademarked Space Marine, they should enforce their trademark.

The problem is that they claim that all space marines are their IP, which is the basis of their trademark claim. Though probably not for much longer. They're getting their clock cleaned in the Chapterhouse lawsuit. It may turn out that many of GW's IP claims and trademarks will be invalidated.

For example, they tried to claim they own the idea of pouldrons. You know, the shoulder pads on suits of armor? Yeah, they told a judge they came up with that. Needless to say, it's not going well for them. Though if they do win that one, every anime and JRPG maker out there better brace themselves, because Square is next, as they say.

Oh Lord. -__-
Listen, GW, I love your Space Marines, and I love your entire 40k brand, I really do... but don't do this. Don't be Apple. We've already got an Apple - it's called Apple. Don't embarass yourself by pulling a move akin to a tech company with a runaway ego trying to trademark the use of 'i' because of their mp3 player's popularity.

Citadel, Codex, Fanatic, Inquisitor, Marauder, Space Marine, Tau, Warhammer, White Dwarf

So they claim to have trademarked - in general, given their treatment of the term space marines - A kind of fortification, a set of information, extremely obsessive people, torturers, bandits, a greek letter, a kind of weapon, and a kind of star.

I see.

Well I guess they might be right about the obsessive part.

What is your Duty? To serve the Emperor's Will.
What is the Emperor's Will? That we fight and die.
What is Death? It is our duty.
What is your duty? Ruthlessly protect trademark terminology regardless of infringers' right to said terms under fair use.

bastardofmelbourne:
In before trademark law =/= copyright law.

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

Trademarks are not copyrights. Trademarks have to be distinctive; they need to refer to a specific product made by a specific company. That's their whole reason for existing. In many jurisdictions you can lose the right to a registered trademark if the symbol (in this case, the term Space Marine) becomes generic, which in this case means that it loses its capacity to refer to a specific product.

For example, the term aspirin was originally a registered trademark owned by Bayer. In 1919, it became genericised in several countries, because people conflated the word "aspirin" with any form of acetylsalicylic acid to the point where the word no longer referred specifically to Bayer's product. Now aspirin is a generic term for acetylsalicylic acid, and anyone can sell acetylsalicylic acid and call it aspirin.

The reason why Games Workshop seems so sue-happy is because, in order to retain their registered trademark, they cannot let it become a generic science-fiction term. More specifically, they cannot let it be legally recognised as such. The reason why that's bad for GW is simple - if Space Marine became a generic term, anyone could release a miniatures range called "Space Marines" and leech off the reputation of GW's product, just like how they could release acetylsalicylic acid and call it aspirin. A whole lot of money goes into establishing the reputation of a product. For GW, who retains its superiority in the marketplace solely on the basis of its reputation rather than the quality of its models (there are better model ranges offered by smaller competitors) this is a huge deal. If they lose that reputation, they potentially lose their marketplace dominance.

That's why the latest 40k game was called Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. The addition of the distinctive element "Warhammer 40,000" ensures that the game's title, which is a trademark, is not struck out for being insufficiently distinctive. Meanwhile, the inclusion of the element "Space Marine" ensures that anyone else who releases a game - or in this case a book - called "Space Marine" can be sued on the basis that "Space Marine" is deceptively similar to "Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine."

The real kicker is that if GW sits by and does nothing, and lets people start or continue using Space Marine as a generic term, they're facilitating the genericisation of that term and undermining the value of their registered trademark. For GW's legal department, that's unethical - they have to throw out these semi-baseless litigation threats from time to time, or they're not doing their jobs. They don't actually intend to sue; they just want to deter people from using the term Space Marine in any field (toys, games, films, books) that GW could have a business interest in, because if they allowed it, a future competitor could use that as grounds for having their trademark struck from the registry.

I hope that helps anyone here who's wondering why GW (and other companies like Bethesda) do this kind of seemingly inane shit from time to time. They actually have a pretty good reason for doing so.

I was waiting for a response like this. Shame it took three pages. I was gonna post something similar but you were first.

Also if you think about it, 'space marine' is a ridiculous thing to call a military group. Space being...the lack of anything. So if anything they'd still just be marines. Who happen to be in space.

Geez, Games Workshop that is an EA quality move right there...

I don't think you can trademark that name. You can't trade mark the concept of a marine in space, so I don't think you should be able to trademark the most obvious and default sounding term to refer to said concept either.

itchcrotch:
I don't think you can trademark that name. You can't trade mark the concept of a marine in space, so I don't think you should be able to trademark the most obvious and default sounding term to refer to said concept either.

You can, otherwise Starship Troopers wouldn't be a trademark.

This is called "acquired distinctiveness." It's the opposite of genericisation; a descriptive term, say Space Marine or Starship Troopers, becomes so closely associated with the company using it that it acquires the ability to distinguish that company's products. For example, "coke" used to refer to a type of fuel. Now it's a brand of soft drink. "Valve" is just a engineering term. Now it's a premier video game company. See how it works?

In other news Games Workshop announced the hiring of Tim Langdell.

Seriously though, 40k is such a derivative game its risible that GW should start claiming copyright of anything associated with it

Grenaid:

Muspelheim:

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

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

Ah, I see, they're different things! Thanks for the heads-up, there.

Legal language and I never really got along very well. Lawbringers and their strange crowspeak...

...Wouldn't be surprised if Lawbringer and Crowspeak are GW trademarks as well. :P

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

Companies produce lines of models similar to 40K, but not similar enough to excuse legal action. They're blatantly trying to cut GW out of it's own market, the one surrounding their own games, and making off with their IP. If GW doesn't defend its claims it stands to lose a great deal of money when these companies can sell their sort-of-marines under the name 'Space Marines'. Their legal team look like dicks for picking on the little guy, but in reality they're doing it to stave off very real threats to their product. Real life has precious few evil people, GW are hardly numbered among those. They're bureaucratic and miserly, but that's hardly villainous. They're the administratum, not Chaos.

EDIT: Somebody already said this, better than I could have. Ignore me.

Katatori-kun:
whose IP has not a single original idea in its entire repertoire

Space ninja elves with ritualistic warrior personalities bound into their armour? Culturally powered psychic reality warping? Super soldiers powered by sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, who kill using all three? I mean, I get that GW likes to smash ideas and tropes together until cool stuff drips out, but there's *some* fairly unique stuff squirreled away in there. I label your statement hyperbolic, sir.

I've said it before. I'll say it again. FUCK. GAMES. WORKSHOP. Seriously, it's bad enough that they've utterly ruined their own properties, now they're just turning to openly scummy business practices with this bullshit. Fuck them. Fuck them all.

Yakostovian:

DoomedSheridan:

DarkArk:

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.

If you think any big company today doesn't sue the crap out of everyone who gets close to their products, you'd be wrong. Even well liked companies do it, the only reason they don't get any flak is because people like them, so they could never do it just to be petty.

There is a reason companies don't care about public opinion when it comes to legal cases.

Ah, yes, trademark laws. Don't we all love them?

But man, threatening dead rappers with legal action? That's sinking to a new low right there, GW!

I love 40K as a game, but I never really liked GW, mainly for their constant price raising and converting everything to BLEEDING CITADEL FLAMING BLOODY THRICE DAMNED FINECAST but this is really a dick move. Have they trademarked Eldar too, because that's a Tolkien word, so, y'know, they should really tread carefully before they trademark the wrong people's stuff.

Also, captcha STFU about Black Mirror, nobody cares.

Ultrajoe:

Katatori-kun:
whose IP has not a single original idea in its entire repertoire

Space ninja elves with ritualistic warrior personalities bound into their armour? Culturally powered psychic reality warping? Super soldiers powered by sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, who kill using all three? I mean, I get that GW likes to smash ideas and tropes together until cool stuff drips out, but there's *some* fairly unique stuff squirreled away in there. I label your statement hyperbolic, sir.

Fair enough. GW has had three original ideas. Let's count the number of trademarks they have defended by lawsuit and see which list is larger, shall we?

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

Companies produce lines of models similar to 40K, but not similar enough to excuse legal action. They're blatantly trying to cut GW out of it's own market, the one surrounding their own games, and making off with their IP. If GW doesn't defend its claims it stands to lose a great deal of money when these companies can sell their sort-of-marines under the name 'Space Marines'. Their legal team look like dicks for picking on the little guy, but in reality they're doing it to stave off very real threats to their product.

This would all be a very legitimate claim if it weren't for the fact that GW is suing a book that has nothing whatsoever to do with their products, their market, or their games. They would not lose one dime by letting this book exist.

Also, GW tried to use legal action to prevent Raging Heroes from releasing their Lamassu. Let's let that sink in. A company made a model of an actual mythological creature and GW had them blocked for over a year on the grounds that decades ago one of their discontinued lines had a lamassu in it. It would be like if in 1980 I made a griffin model and then threatened to sue everyone else who made a griffin model ever since.

Real life has precious few evil people, GW are hardly numbered among those.

It all depends on what you mean by evil. They may not be comic book supervillains, but they've proven time and time again they're willing to abuse their legal strength in order to shut legitimate competitors or even legitimate people who aren't even competitors out of doing business. Hell, they've shown they're willing to screw over their own customers time and time again (Finecast?) just to make a quick buck. Sure, they're not threatening the UN with frickin' laser beams, but I'd still say as a company they're pretty evil.

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

They operate in the UK. UK litigation law HUGELY favours those on the attack.

Katatori-kun:
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?

Yeah, it's because they are so vulnerable they have to constantly attack.

And have no doubt being threatened with being dragged to a court for an extremely expensive, time consuming and paralysing legal process, oh yes, it's an attack. And everyone runs scared.

I just wish everyone would call their bluff and bleed them dry.

What's next, go around to Ren Fairs and threaten to sue when one of the actors says "Page, bring me my war hammer." Maybe Games Workshop can claim they own the word "space" next?

What's sad is that many many decades ago they started out as a fun little company that survived because no one was willing to sue them when they were "borrowing" ideas left and right from places like Tolkien and Aliens. Way back in some of those pre-100 issues of White Dwarf they would even talk about how they were using ideas from films and books in their products. Instead of punishing fans they would publish fan ideas and promote those early fan websites on the internet.

Now with a declining business and being unable to break into the larger medium of films and TV it seems all the company wants to do is crush any of the little guys they used to be. Instead of expanding they set back like Scrooge hording whatever they think they can hold as their idea alone.

Hate to say it but at this point I'd like see somewhere like Paramount with deep pockets put them out of business with a law suit over a film Paramount decided to call Space Marines.

i say let them have it i don't know how many times i have argued with friends over this term usage or some one talking about this or that and calling master chief a space marine i want to stab some one almost when they say that it cause hes not i don't generally care when the term came out or when it started getting used but i believe GW has more than the rights to do so no one else can truly be a space marine unless they really are a space marine

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