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Endrju
01-25-2005, 03:41 PM
Can somebody tell me something about today's state of the conflict on trademarks between Ubi and Northrop/Grumman? Is it finished or not? I am just curious...
For these who don't know the matter:
http://www.igda.org/Forums/showthread.php?s=06f9ecee0b099cc427ee93e26d83d875&threadid=13370&perpage=15&pagenumber=1

FliegerAas
01-25-2005, 05:06 PM
I wonder that too.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

Capt._Tenneal
01-25-2005, 05:31 PM
I don't know any late news, but I guess Oleg will let us know how it turns out (if ever). On legal disputes like this, especially with big companies involved, one loose word or phrase might make the situation worse. Let them iron it out in the background and just hope for the best.

PzKpfw
01-25-2005, 05:45 PM
The way to get around this, if it becomes a problem. Is to do what the Counter strike devs did when the gun companies came after them for useing the weapons names, change the names of to something difrent.

Also though Gruman etc, built the planes all AC were owned by the US Govt, includeing official prototypes etc. Gruman and anyone else that tries to collect on names is in for an uphill battle especialy if wartime contracts are brought into it.

Regartds, John Waters

Gibbage1
01-25-2005, 07:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by PzKpfw:
The way to get around this, if it becomes a problem. Is to do what the Counter strike devs did when the gun companies came after them for useing the weapons names, change the names of to something difrent.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think if they just stuck with "F4F" and "F4U" and such that there would be no problem since they are NAVY designations. But the box, game, and manuals spacifically say Grumman. The "Wildcat" and such names are "iffy".

ElAurens
01-25-2005, 07:46 PM
I believe that on the Northrup Grumman website they specifically mention the images of their aircraft as being protected material.

WWMaxGunz
01-25-2005, 08:02 PM
Exactly as Aurens states, close enough image got legal attention and Olegs' models are
to the decimal.

UBI paid the money. I guess it came out of what 1C is supposed to get. Which is why
it's not a good idea to pressure for a bunch of extra work, just take what they can give
and hope they stay in business and able to call shots rather than UBI at the helm.

Dunno if it'd cost more to add more planes than we have now, either. I offered to send
$ and not taken up on it. Once someone has a good address, I think a people would send
enough to add up. At least those who want to keep a good thing going would.

volkware.xyz
01-25-2005, 09:19 PM
You can`t realistically claim license to something that is so inexorably historically part of the public experience - the proper solution is to shut these greedy idiots down asap. Paying a license encourages them.

I understand the circumstance, but somebody still needs to stop them. Beasides, if they wish to treat likenesses and nicknames as intellectual property, aren`t they susceptible to the active use limitations of any other property? Specifically, lapsing trademarks if the property is not exercised for 25 years (10? 5?); Marvel had this problem with a number of their old characters. My point would be that Grumman surely couldn`t have been utilizing these ancient aircraft in any substantial way in order to renew their claims (no new production runs, as far as I know).

nearmiss
01-25-2005, 09:49 PM
What a crock...

The aircraft companies that supplied the armed forces during the war have
pictures and all kinds of historical information scattered throughout
a myriad of media. If push comes to shove they are completely out of line.
Interesting, they didn't take on MSFT. I think they know old Bill has got
the bucks to stop their train.

Now, if the governments of the respective countries made a fuss that might be different.
Different, because the governments paid for all
the R & D, testing, and purchasing of those old
warbirds. If there is any license owed it's those aircraft companies for promoting their business through projects their governments' funded.

TAGERT.
01-25-2005, 11:19 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Warlok_0:
You can`t realistically claim license to something that is so inexorably historically part of the public experience - the proper solution is to shut these greedy idiots down asap. Paying a license encourages them. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>License? Maybe.. Maybe not.. But they sure seem to realistically claim them as a non-exclusive list of registered trademarks, registered service marks, or trademarks or service marks.. For example

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/wms/findPage.do?dsp=fec&ci=2&rsbci=0&fti=0&ti=0&sc=400

Scroll down or seach for P-38.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Warlok_0:
I understand the circumstance, but somebody still needs to stop them. Beasides, if they wish to treat likenesses and nicknames as intellectual property, aren`t they susceptible to the active use limitations of any other property? Specifically, lapsing trademarks if the property is not exercised for 25 years (10? 5?); Marvel had this problem with a number of their old characters. My point would be that Grumman surely couldn`t have been utilizing these ancient aircraft in any substantial way in order to renew their claims (no new production runs, as far as I know). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Funny how so called ancient aircraft intelectual property can come back into play some 60 years later.. For example

Northrop 1946
http://www.bombnav.org/photogallery/photo30669/yb49-1_300.jpg

Northrop 1996
http://www.darkgovernment.com/b2-1.jpeg

Notice any resemblance?

You never know when something old will become something new.. And they know it! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

nakamura_kenji
01-26-2005, 03:42 AM
I not see what problem is with this if it really problem with trademarked name they could just change name in game and get ubi to change box art manuel to something else that not copyright. As far as i understand not able to trademark anything that has an effect on how the product opperates that comes under patent i believe this why coca cola can trade mark name and bottle shape becuase it has no bearing on how bottle works, where as with aircraft the visual shape of it can not be trademarked as it is integral to areodynamics and thus how it flies therefore it come under patenet and not trade mark ^_^, this just my understanding but i never have any legal knowledge other than read

Punkfriday
01-26-2005, 08:38 AM
bump

Gunny124
01-26-2005, 09:39 AM
Change the designation of the Corsair to F3A. Brewster aint in business anymore.

M-o-a-b
01-26-2005, 09:11 PM
Truth is IMHO Northop/Grumman does't have a leg to stand on.

I am only familiar with the intellectual property laws of the United States, but Northrop is an American company so I think it probably applies. That is unless Northorp threatened to bring a law suit in another country (france, uk, russia, uganda) then I have no realy idea as to what the laws are there.

First Copywrite.

N.Grum. probably does have legitimate copyright to the designs of the aircraft. But I am speaking to the blue prints. Not the aircraft itself. If sombody built an aircraft using N.Grum.'s blueprints they would probably have an action. Copywrites last about 90 years for a corporation.

But copywrites would only cover the blueprints. I doubt Oleg needed the actual made by N.Grum in the 1940's to model an airplane. There are plenty of third party documentation to go off of. But maybe they will be needed for BoB.

Under Trade Mark in the United States. This includes the name and image of the object.

A trademark must be used in trade, Congress has the power to regulate trademarks in the United States under the Commerse Clause. If the mark is not used in Commerse, then N.Grum. may be said to have abandoned the mark. How often where the trademarks used in commerse from 1948 to 1989, I doubt that they were used very much. Maybe they were used to licence the "airplanes" to toy manufactures.

Name, this is probably thier strongest suit. Republic even has used the Thunderbolt name twice, p-47 and the A-10 (a.k.a. warthog) And Republic has made fequent use of the thunder- prefix (think McDonalds, McThis, McThat, McGriddle, McCrap) F-105 Thunderchief, XF-91 "Thunderceptor.

However there exists the concept of nominative use, you are allowed to use just as much of a name as necessary for identification purposes. A porn star can say she was a playboy playmate tm but she can not use the bunny logo. You do not have to say, the basketball team in chicago that used to be so good", you can say the bulls.

I think Oleg can clearly use the name P-47 under the theory of nominative use(or fair use), And a judge may even let him use the name thunderbolt, but not the font that N.Grum. has used for thier logo.

The core test of TM law is the likely hood of confusion. Would anyone think that Olegs WW2 fight simulator was actually endorsed by N.Grumm., would the average consumer think, "Oh I thought I was buying a quality product from N.Grumm." when they find out the truth? Has N.Grumm ever made any motions towards entering the WW2 flight sim market? And would it be fair to enforce the trademark? Would this lead to an unfair/anti-competive practice in the market place?

Finally, something true of both Trademarks and Copywrites, it can not be something useful. Anything useful falls under the domain of patents (which in U.S. have a much shorter life of 20 years.) So is a flight simultor a useful use of an image (even if every consevable angle of the P-47 was registered as a trademark) or is it art.

Patents

There does exist a design patent, even though it would of expired in 1962. Design patents only cover ornamental designs, the wings on a caddy, the grill, the hood ornament. The P-47 looks pretty utilitarian to me.

Anyway, I think N.Grumm. is full of themselves. Just becaue companies and lawyers say that they have the exclusive right to something, doesn't necessarily make it so.

Endrju
01-27-2005, 05:04 AM
Thanks guys for your posts. Actually, I hoped that among the answers I find some up-to-date information e.g. posted by someone connected with 1C:Maddox Games. However thanks for the contribution.
I personally think that fulfilling such claims like the Northrop/Grummans's, may lead to a practice that producers of: cars, tanks, guns, missiles etc. will demand fees from game developers of: simulator, FPP's, strategies, and so on... It would be an absurd situation.

WOLFMondo
01-27-2005, 07:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by M-o-a-b:

Anyway, I think N.Grumm. is full of themselves. Just becaue companies and lawyers say that they have the exclusive right to something, doesn't necessarily make it so. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree 100%. No one has the rights on History. Those machines go as far as helping form who we are and what we think. Without them today would be much different.

WB_Outlaw
01-27-2005, 06:05 PM
It's a trademark issue and they own the trademark fair and square. End of story. Even if you fight it in court and win you still lose b/c it will cost MUCH MUCH MUCH more to do that then it would to ante up royalties or just make some changes to get around the issue.

It's not a part of history nor does it belong to the government.

-Outlaw.

Stiglr
01-27-2005, 09:36 PM
C'mon, guys. YOU know this is all BS. I know this is all BS.

TAGERT.
01-27-2005, 11:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stiglr:
C'mon, guys. _YOU_ know this is all BS. _I_ know this is all BS. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I WISH it was BS

WUAF_Co_Mantis
01-28-2005, 01:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ElAurens:
I believe that on the Northrup Grumman website they specifically mention the _images_ of their aircraft as being protected material. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If i drew a picture of a Northrop plane due to copy right I would own that picture/image of the plane.

What Oleg is doing is just a Virtual picture of the planes which his company owns the copy right to the virtual pictures.

I wish it was that simple

FA_Whisky
01-28-2005, 02:03 AM
this is a great example of madness for very little cash!!!
This is the American way. Welcome to america, can we have all your cash first pls??
I don't hear our dutch company like Fokker complain about the FW190. There is also no mercedes benz wanting cash for us using their names and engines in a computer game. Grumman and northprop should be proud that their planes are still popular and used for games.

raisen
01-28-2005, 07:47 AM
The thing to remember, is that there is now a small but significant faction of corporate law practitioners making their money from running to large companies and saying, for example, "have thought about your Intellectual Property portfolio, and how to make money off of it". At this point the lawyer offers the depending on local laws to take the onerous task of running around and slapping speculative suits on people. A good example of this is the SCO vs IBM case.

Old time Unix vendors SCO are in the process of trying to sue IBM for "devaluing Unix" and giving away SCO source code in Linux. In parallel with this, SCO run around all of the big customers that they lost to Linux and offer them a lisence.... if they don't cough up the money, SCO's reps then threaten to sue....
At first sight it doesn't look like the same issue, but it is.... it's all a big fishing expedition, with money the prize.

Companies indulging in these practices don't have to make any products, companies now change hands on the basis of no products, but unexploited IP.

Companies threatened with such suits can't do anything but take a choice as to whether or not they can afford to (effectively) play poker in a court room. Settle now, without running up an enormous legal bill, or settle in possibly years, with a legal bill that would make even the most rapacious greedhead vomit, and take whatever damages the judge/jury (delete as applicable) hands down, plus the oppositions legal costs.

In short it's a relatively low risk tactic for large companies, to beat up on, small companies.

Incidentally, in the above example, SCO v IBM, it would appear that SCO may have launched their suit before checking whom the code actually belonged to (possibly Novell, who have no problem with its inclusion in Linux). If anyone is interested in IP then check out the full story at www.groklaw.org (http://www.groklaw.org) (I think).

raisen
01-28-2005, 07:49 AM
oops.... the website covering SCO v IBM is not www.groklaw.org (http://www.groklaw.org) (domain name squatters).... it's http://www.groklaw.net/ .

Raisen

DRB_Hookech0
01-28-2005, 08:40 AM
I fear it has gotten much worse. This is off a topic in the Sim-Outhouse linked from a model builders forum. It seems that Tamiya has gone and done the one thing that model kit companies have been doing their ****edest to avoid. Paying a licence fee.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> THE SKY HAS FALLEN, FOLKS!

By: Tom Cleaver

News flash: the new Tamiya 1/32 F-16, which is being marketed as the €œLockheed-Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon,€ is the product of a licensing agreement between Tamiya and Lockheed-Martin, as stated on the first page of the kit instructions.

Folks, there€s no need for me to run around yelling €œThe Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling!€

It€s fallen.

This agreement by the World€s Largest Maker of Plastic Model Kits is the precedent the aircraft manufacturers have been waiting for. Up to now, all the kit manufacturers were united in refusing to deal with the airplane companies on this issue. Whether they might have prevailed in court if pressed was always a question no one could know, but now we do know. With this precedent, any aircraft manufacturer operating under U.S. Copyright Law will only need to serve papers on any kit manufacturer commanding them to cease and desist or appear in a U.S. Federal Court - and they win.

This really does signal the end of the limited-run kit industry and the aftermarket industry, not to mention the small eastern European companies - at least as regards the production of models of airplanes originally designed and built in the United States.

It€s not because of the cost of the licensing fees. That they could deal with.

It€s the insurance.

In the weeks since I first published my editorial here on this topic, I have been Receiving An Education on the subject from a number of knowledgeable sources. The most knowledgeable of them all is a guy whose name you would recognize were I to publish it here, a guy who has had an impeccable reputation for his beautiful limited run kits for a long time. Since he has requested I not use his name (since he doesn€t want to draw attention to himself by the corporate legal departments), you€re going to have to trust my journalist€s judgement that he is indeed a model industry €œDeep Throat.€

As he explained it to me, when a company like Lockheed-Martin comes calling and offers a licensing agreement, the licensee also agrees to obtain Product Liability Insurance. Not for the licensee, for the licensor!! This is in order to protect the huge deep-pockets corporation and hold them harmless when Little Johnny decides to find out if the pieces in Mr. Licensee€s kit are edible or not and gets a scare when Mommy and Daddy have to take him to the Emergency Room to have his stomach pumped.

As €œDeep Throat€ explained it to me, the licensing fee is no problem - it adds cost, but not a prohibitive sum. But product liability insurance is nearly unobtainable nowadays, and it€s definitely unobtainable at a price a small company can afford without pricing themselves out of business trying to cover the additional cost.

For the World€s Biggest Plastic Kit Manufacturer, the liability insurance is No Big Deal. For Classic Airframes, for MPM, for Roden, for all the others, it€s going to be another matter entirely.

This is not just a problem for those of us who build little plastic model airplanes. It has killed the limited-run car model business. It has put a stop to the guy who likes playing the €œPacific Fighters€ Flight Sim game and wants to write his own program for an airplane. In fact, €œPacific Fighters€ has stopped publishing any upgrades that include Northrop, Grumman, Boeing, North American, Curtiss, Chance-Vought, Lockheed or Martin aircraft - which makes it pretty hard to play €œPacific Fighters€ indeed.

I guess I€m lucky that I like British airplanes, since British Aerospace isn€t covered (yet!) by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But as far as American airplanes are concerned...

Personally, I€ve just bought my last Tamiya kit. And no, that€s not an invitation or a suggestion that any of you might want to come to a similar conclusion, since that would mean I was Advocating A Conspiracy In Restraint Of Trade under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Disclaimer: the commentary in this and other articles is that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the management. Please direct comments to the author or the Forum.


Previous editorial:

EDITORIAL: TIME TO STEP UP AND DEFEND THE CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF YOUR HOBBY

By: Tom Cleaver

For the past several years, the scale model hobby has been under an assault that is powerful enough to lead to its complete destruction, though many participants are not aware of the problem.

I first became personally aware of this when I was hired to do a project for Revell-Monogram back in 1999. This involved getting some information on airplanes, so I decided to go to the source - the aircraft manufacturers - and ask for their material. When I called Northrop-Grumman, I was referred to the Legal Department, where a not-so-friendly attorney launched into a long and not-so-friendly discussion of how it was that the hobby industry was stealing the intellectual property of the companies by making unlicensed models of their trademarked products. After a few minutes of this, I decided to bail out of the conversation by claiming ignorance and the fact that I was in no position to influence the policies of Revell-Monogram. The next call was to Boeing, where I was quickly referred to the €œlicensing administrator,€ whose conversation was limited to informing me that the licensing fee for obtaining the information was one and a half percent of anticipated profits from the line of models the project involved. I used the same parachute I had used at Northrop-Grumman.

My next call was to the executive at Revell-Monogram who had hired me, to ask just what in hell was going on. I learned that since at least the mid-1990s, companies like Boeing and Northrop-Grumman have been attempting to impose licensing fees on model companies, for the privilege of making €œrepresentations€ of their €œtrademarked intellectual property,€ i.e., the airplanes they produced.

Since I make my living by the sale of my intellectual property and have a general understanding of this issue, and most of you have never considered the question of copyright and trademark law, let me explain this situation, and what it means to you and your hobby.

Basically, since the outset of the hobby 50 years ago, the makers of model kits were free to design and construct replicas at will, providing playthings, toys, educational products and model kits to the public. The manufacturers of the original items - where they paid attention to the model industry at all - considered these items to be free advertising. Perhaps the fact that many of their employees (at least it was true in aerospace) also built models and were participants in the hobby meant that there were people in decision-making positions who had a personal stake in the continued existence of the hobby.

About 15 years ago, the corporate legal departments realized that all those car models represented a possible revenue stream, and that none of the makers of car kits was big enough to take on General Motors, Ford, or any of the others in a long-term legal battle over trademark infringement. In fact, the companies had a case, since their designs were their original products, and were identifiable and known to the public as Fords, Chevys, Caddies, etc. Thus, the auto companies decided to demand licensing and royalty payments from those making replicas of their cars and within a few years most makers of car replicas were licensed and paying those royalties.

This was followed by the train hobby, with various railroads demanding licensing for use of their logos and names on the cars, and in the area of race cars where even decal makers were required to obtain licenses to produce decals with company logos as seen on the cars.

In the case of the car model hobby, the production runs of mainstream kits are still sufficiently large that the licensing is affordable to the manufacturer. However, for the resin kit cottage industry, it was the kiss of death - nobody who was going to make 100 kits if the mold held out that long was in a position to meet the demands. Thus, you haven€t seen too many resin car models produced in the past ten years.

And just in case you were wondering, you have paid these licensing fees, since the cost was passed on by the manufacturer, and you haven€t built too many cars lately that are subjects the mainstream wouldn€t produce.

Starting since at least 1996, major aircraft makers have begun to jump on this bandwagon, and here is where the problem gets personal for those of us who frequent sites like Modeling Madness and build airplane models.

Companies like Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Sikorsky and others are demanding licensing and royalty payments for military aircraft replicas. Not only that, but several Air Forces are now asking for licensing payments to make decals of their insignias!

The model kit industry argues in response that military equipment, including ships, tanks, aircraft and the like have all been paid for by public funds, i.e. the taxes we pay the U.S. Government. Given that these aircraft makers would certainly not be making these subjects without a government contract and a guarantee of a sale for every piece they make, they are not €œproprietary,€ particularly since an aviation historian can cite instances where a company designed something in response to a government request for proposals, and then lost the production contract to another company without recompense or where more than one company built the product at government direction without any payments being made to the original company. While the companies who built €œFlying Fortresses,€ €œLiberators,€ €œMustangs,€ €œHellcats,€ etc., may well have had significant input into the choice of name, the name was in the end designated by the government entity purchasing the aircraft, so the names cannot be privately trademarked.

Sounds reasonable to me, but then I€m not some 20-something drone in the back of the law library of the legal department at Boeing, with a student loan debt of $100,000 and a desperate need to gain favorable notice from the employer by economically justifying my existence.

The big model companies are fighting this and holding off the manufacturers by not answering the letters and phone calls, because even they don€t have the resources to make the kind of fight all the way up to the Supreme Court that it would take to legally establish this bit of common sense.

It doesn€t take an MBA to know what the result would be if Jules Bringuer were to pick up his phone some morning and hear a posh Brit accent say, €œMr. Bringuer, this is British Aerospace (owner of the €œtrademarks€ for Hawker, Supermarine, Avro, deHavilland, Gloster, Sopwith, Blackburn, Westland, etc., etc.) and I am very sorry to tell you this, but you owe us $200,000 for all the kits you€ve illegally produced of our trademarked products.€ Bye-bye Classic Airframes, MPM, Eduard, Roden and every other company in Eastern Europe.

So, what to do?

Mike Bass, who heads up Stevens International, the North American importer of Trumpeter kits (among others), has this past year taken up this cause with a letter-writing campaign to members of Congress. Mike has recently informed me that he has received a call from his representative, Congressman Robert Andrews, who has stated that he will take up this issue in the new Congress that takes office on January 20, 2005, and will undertake an investigation, and if necessary will offer legislation ending the licensing of these public-domain subjects.

Folks, this isn€t a left/right, liberal/conservative, Republican/Democrat issue. It€s our ox that€s being gored by these Corporate Bulls!

You can play an active role in stopping this in its tracks. Of the thousands of daily visitors to Modeling Madness, a majority of them seem to be from the United States. That€s a lot of American modelers whose enjoyment of this hobby is at risk if this attempt by the aircraft manufacturers is successful.

What can you do? You can write Mike€s congressman at this address:

Congressman Robert Andrews
2439 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Trust me, if he gets thousands of letters from modelers in the United States asking him to take action, Action Will Be Taken.

And you can also write your congress-critter and tell them about this problem - let them know your concern for the future of this hobby and the continued good fortune of all those independent entrepreneurs running hobby shops and mail order companies and decal-makers and aftermarket companies and their employees who would be put out of their jobs, and all the points made above in the argument against licensing.

If you don€t know which critter is yours, go to http://www.house.gov/

Type in your Zip+4, and you will get your Congressman€s name and office address and office telephone number. If you€ve got an unlimited domestic long distance phone deal, call the Congressman€s office and talk to one of the staff - they pay attention to people who call. Send the Congressman or woman a letter. Trust me on this, when a Congressman gets thousands of letters in support of a particular issue, they sit up and take notice. When those are thousands of different letters, i.e., not €œditto€ letters from some special interest campaign, they take even more notice.

Be sure to cc: Congressman Andrews, so he and his staff will know who else in the House knows. Be sure to call or write your Senators, too.

This one isn€t hard: you€re asking them to defend small business, individual entrepreneurship, and the right of the people of the United States to have the full enjoyment of the property rights they have bought and paid for.

And yes, do tell all your modeling friends who don€t come to Modeling Madness and who aren€t on the internet about this. The more the merrier and the greater the likelihood of success.

Or do you not want new kits, decals, and aftermarket products at prices you can afford for the continuing enjoyment of the hobby that keeps you sane? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

PE_Tigar
01-28-2005, 08:59 AM
I'm sorry to have to say this, but all these annoying IP **** that's flying around the world is originating in the U.S. because of ******ed U.S. legal system that implements justice based on money, not law. United States of America are becoming nothing more than an ulcer on the world's behind with a lightning speed and this sly action by a greedy corporation versus small Russian game developer is one of the examples.

In this case, frankly, I don't even care what's going to happen in thios case because all legal actions that NG can take are limited to U.S. market. In other words, Oleg may be forced to forget U.S. market and concentrate on Russian and (maybe) European market. One more reason for me to learn better Russian, no big deal I speak it already. Also, Oleg may be forced to ditch Ubi which was dumb enough to pay up without checking the foundation of NG's claims, again I have no problems with that.

DINGHAO
01-28-2005, 09:12 AM
This may be a ploy by Lockheed to assert their TM rights in the area of marketing "model aircraft kits". This deal was probably done at very favorable terms to Tamiya.

However, I still believe that a computer representation of historical aircraft, given a proper trademark attibution and dislaimer of the source of the game, will be found to be fair use.

Trademark and copyright are two different things. You can copyright a creation, i.e. artwork, sculpture, written text. A computer software representation is not a copy of a work in another media, but rather is an independent creation of software in itself.

Trademark is a designation of the source of goods, and is limited by use and liklihood of confusion.

Fair use is a doctrine which provides a defense for using a portion of a copyright work or trademark for other than direct competition etc.

As long as you disclaim and make clear that the source of the goods is NOT xxxx company, and that the source of the goods is YOUR company, this should work. Especially in the realm of computer simulated games since the real goods or services is the computer software and not the physical aircraft itself.

The recent US Supreme Court ruling in Dec. 2004 places the burden of proof to show liklihood of confusion, even in a fair use defense, on the plaintiff (party seeking to enforce the TM) is a good decision. It supports the proposition that only an idiot would confuse the source of the computer aircraft in "Pacific Fighters" as being from "Northrup" or "Lockheed" etc...

IP used as extortion is not a new thing. It is a common business model. When challenged, they rarely follow through. Get your ducks in a row, place the proper dislcaimers, and you are good to go.

Happy landings!

BfHeFwMe
01-28-2005, 02:25 PM
Could always call them Nerdslop/Junkman airplanes, see what they think than. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

volkware.xyz
01-28-2005, 03:18 PM
Heh heh...

MoritzJGOne
01-28-2005, 06:29 PM
I would not get too excited by Tamiya' s playing it safe. They are probably the only company paying the royalties. The Revell exec told me that it is known the Tamiya pays and that is why their boxes are among the only ones which show the manufacturer's name.

Per my conversation with a Revell exec and a smaller, high quality American company, they are not paying royalties on military models as they believe that these are public domain. They do pay GM and Ford and others royalties on non government subjects.