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Geedubs vs chapterhouse

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Geedubs vs chapterhouse

Postby killmaimburn » Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:06 pm

Jury in, although final thing yet to be said..
All source/stuff from this post in BOLS lounge- http://www.lounge.belloflostsouls.net/s ... se-Verdict
TL:DR half being legit= a legit 3rd party can make certain bits woo.
Some initial notes:
This is a Jury Verdict, and has not yet become a Final Judgement

Breaking down the counts along the different categories we have:

Copyright Claims
160 claims alleged against CHS
-GW won on 1/3 of the claims, including items such as CHS' Powerfists
-CHS won on 2/3 of the claims, including the use of the underlying shape and size of GW Shoulderpads.

General Trademark Claims
9 claims alleged against CHS
-CHS won all 9 claims, including either no infringement, or fair use of the GW trademarks on CHS' website.

Disputed Trademark Claims
21 disputed trademark claims alleged against CHS
CHS won 11 claims
GW won 10 claims

GW Trademarks ruled "Previously Used in Commerce" Claims
61 claims alleged against CHS
CHS won 35 claims
GW won 27

Notable Trends and Individual Products Under Dispute
CHS lost on some individual products including:
-Doomseer
-Dark Elf Arch Tortress

CHS won on some individual products including:
-Jetbike
-Super-heavy walker model
-Lizard Ogre

Damages Awarded:
CHS ordered to pay GW damages of $25,000 USD

Both sides may appeal the ruling.

Thoughts and Implications:
It's looking like however CHS as an entity comes out of this ruling, the implications for the 3rd party industry are profound.

-The ruling of no infringement for the use of the underlying shape and size of GW shoulderpads is now on the legal record.
-Possibly more important is not guilty verdicts on the use of GW trademarks and terms on the CHS website.
-While certain CHS products themselves may disappear from the Earth in the aftermath of this case, it looks like the verdict may have provided a clear blueprint for the 3rd party accessory bits market. One that allows legal use of certain GW trademarks and terms in a way that goes way beyond what Nottingham themselves ever wished to allow.

Feel free to comment, post s2 dreadball rule book etc etc :lol:
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Re: Geedubs vs chapterhouse

Postby Spack » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:31 pm

Ouch, $25k damages. That's going to hurt.

The other rulings are interesting, at least it means GW can't stop items being listed as "Space Marine shoulderpads", but that's not going to hit GW too hard. The Doomseer ruling is much more of interest - it gives GW the ability to kill any models that look extremely close to GW models.
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Re: Geedubs vs chapterhouse

Postby Baragash » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:20 pm

They can pay in instalments so I imagine they'll be fine. Also being the US they could file Chapter 11 bankruptcy to protect themselves, which given the numbers they submitted in sales during the case should be no problem.

That's assuming they don't appeal of course.
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Re: Geedubs vs chapterhouse

Postby Darklighter » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:31 pm

£25k seems more like a slap on the wrist rather than a punishment to me.
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Re: Geedubs vs chapterhouse

Postby markb » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:55 pm

Niki, I think more than anything else the figure represents the fact it wasn't all in GWs favour and the fact that CH are only a very small company. It's like GW suing you, $25000 is about £16000, I bet you don't have that kind of cash lying around! If the ruling was against someone of a near equivalent size, such as Battlefront or Wizards of the Coast then I would agree that the fine is a pittance.
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Re: Geedubs vs chapterhouse

Postby Darklighter » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:09 pm

No I don't have it lying around but it's not byond the possible and I'm not running a buisness. If you have a succesful buisness that's making money £25k should be nothing to you as you'll know it's a safe investment. They also have the added befit of knowing exactly where they stand (assuming no one succesfuly apeals) and now know exactly how to move the brand/buisness forward in the future. This case has given them a huge amount of publicity within the community and it's target market earning them sympathy and coustom, I'd say for that alone this was a very very small fine. Advertisment and possitve publicity that hits as wide around the world as this could never be achieved in anyother way so cheaply.
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Re: Geedubs vs chapterhouse

Postby markb » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:28 pm

To a point I agree with you, however the judge would have had access the CH's accounts and would have come up with a suitable recommendation for the fine. As far as I know in American law it is the jury who decide the damages based on the range the judge tells them. Due to this the jury would have probably looked at it as a David and Goliath case.
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Re: Geedubs vs chapterhouse

Postby BANE » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:34 pm

I don't think they have had an positive publicity as a result of the case, except maybe from pure GW haters they are very widely been condemned for how they have gone about things. I think where they lose out is the case has highlighted best practise for how to market 3rd party bits for GW products and although this is useful info for CH its paid 25 grand for the info while others with better products have stole a march on CH and got the info for free. I predict CH will cease to be soon, not cos of the case just that others can now do what they do only better.
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Re: Geedubs vs chapterhouse

Postby Darklighter » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:07 pm

You may have a point there Bane. Coustomer loyalty isn't something 3rd party manufactureres gain easily, epecially when confronted with bettter and/or cheaper alternatives.
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Re: Geedubs vs chapterhouse

Postby Baragash » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:53 pm

BANE wrote:they are very widely been condemned for how they have gone about things.


We must be reading different websites (Like Bell of Fawn All Over GW Lost Souls because their research is generally lazy and incomplete for legal or economic articles, so it's possible, given that every other post on the topic there is pointing out how terrible CHS products are even though it's entirely irrelevant).

They were condemned fairly strongly in the beginning, largely because their posts on the forums when people tried to warn them involved them being dicks about it.

Once people realised GW were claiming "halberds" and making other similarly ridiculous items as part of their IP, public opinion very much changed.

Don't forget, GW's demand was "fold your business and give everything to us to destroy", so the discussion of whether it was a wise choice for CHS is kinda moot.
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Re: Geedubs vs chapterhouse

Postby BANE » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:08 pm

I didn't say it wasn't a wise choice to defend there business, I think they were forced into that decision, that may or may not have been the intent behind such a forceful claim from GW.

GW did the right thing by claiming everything was there's, its a case of throw enough mud and some of its going to stick! Everyone knows that GW doesn't own the IP for everything it claims but the thing with IP/copyright/patent law is that if you don't defend it its not yours so by claiming they owned the rights to some things they knew they didn't could only end positively, ie they lose that part of the claim they didn't own it anyway, but if they did win a stupid one that's a ruling inthere favor setting a precedent. Result.

As far as the quailty of chapterhouse, its entirely relevent because win or lose right or wrong people still ain't going to buy a shit product when other companies are selling better stuff for similar prices.
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Re: Geedubs vs chapterhouse

Postby Baragash » Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:49 pm

BANE wrote:GW did the right thing by claiming everything was there's, its a case of throw enough mud and some of its going to stick!


You're making the mistake of assuming all mud is equal, it's not. For example, they lost the shoulder pad decision, which possibly was the biggest decision up for grabs (so big their lawyer thought it was worth illegally concealing evidence twice).

I believe they lost all 9 decisions for infringement of registered trademarks.

And by "right" I assume you mean "tactically right in a legal case" rather than "morally or ethically right".

BANE wrote:Everyone knows that GW doesn't own the IP for everything


And partly that's the point. where does the line end? Being a douche and claiming everything under the sun so no one can see where the actual line is is still being a douche however you want to spin it.

If GW was honest and ethical about where they drew the line they wouldn't have spent over $1m to get their ass thoroughly handed to them by a dude in his garage.

BANE wrote:it claims but the thing with IP/copyright/patent law


Only for trademarks. I wish I had £1 for every time someone tried to defend GW's behaviour with that gem, I'd pay CHS fine myself with change to spare.

BANE wrote:but if they did win a stupid one that's a ruling inthere favor setting a precedent.


In the US decisions are only binding from the Court of Appeals upwards, so no, it wouldn't, it doesn't even set a precedent in the court it was tried in.

BANE wrote:As far as the quailty of chapterhouse, its entirely relevent because win or lose right or wrong people still ain't going to buy a shit product when other companies are selling better stuff for similar prices.


You are aware that CHS revenue was discussed in the trial so we objectively know that not to be true. If you're going to be unnecessarily petty, at least try and be right.
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Re: Geedubs vs chapterhouse

Postby BANE » Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:40 pm

I wasn't trying to be petty, after all I would not want to step on your any ones toes!!
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