Friday, December 31

Lawyer up!

For those of you who didn't hear yet about the legal suit that is currently happening between Chapterhouse Studios and Games Workshop I wanted to post a little ditty here about my thoughts regarding this whole affair.  For those of you who do know about it and have an opinion, post some comments in the comment field.

GW claims - Chapterhouse studios is a third party maker of bits which compliment the GW hobby, particularly 40k. Their own web page states, "Specializing in custom sculpts and bits for Warhammer 40,000 and Fantasy." Which gives the idea that they have consent to make parts FOR GW IP  Many of their products have GW ip in the titles of their bits "Eldar, Tyranid, Farseer, etc." Recently Chapterhouse changed this to say "Space Elves and Space Bugs, etc."   Chapterhouse has also created entire vehicles and models that look very similar to GW IP as well (SXV-141 Super-Heavy Assaut Walker SAW) Which is obviously of Tau design and inspired by the little blue guys.  The main claim GW is leveling is simply that Chapterhouse is making products which compete directly with their IP and thus lose them money by using their IP.

Chapter house claims: Chapterhouse is arguing that they on'y make parts that compliment their main line and that they do not compete directly with GW.  Their argument is that their pieces are similar to an IPod case which says "Case for Ipod," or like a company that makes parts that fit on a honda, but isn't honda motors.

Legal issues: If GW doesn't defend their trademarks and Intellectual property it could be taken away from them and could be considered "abandoned,"so from their standpoint they are protecting not only their profits, but their ability to do this again in the future with cases of precedence.

All in all I wish there could be some kind of middle ground.  Some way in which places like Chapterhouse could exist without the big dog of GW barking down their throats, but maybe this just isn't going to happen in this industry.

Right now, GW is one o the elite members of a Oligopoly in the miniature wargaming industry.  It is already hard enough for new entrants to enter into the field simply due to the high cost of capital that is inherent in making plastic/metal moulds.  This only makes it harder when a new entrant has a very thin line to walk in fear of infringing on GW's Intellectual Property.

The main question I have is:
- K&N makes air filters for BMW's even though BMW makes them too.
- Turner Motorparts makes Grills, spoilers, Front Spoilers, Trunk Lids and all sorts of Body parts for BMW and is not BMW itself.
- Iskin makes cases for Iphones and even uses the "Ixyz," format made popular by products like Iphone, Ipad, Ipod...etc.
- Ihome makes charging stations for ipods/iphones
- All sorts of people make charging plugs and such

I wonder if GW's problem is things like Rhino doors which compliment the Rhino kit much like the list above, or if it is things like the Super Heavy Assault Walker which doesn't compliment anything GW makes.

Only time will tell... for now lets watch the suits battle it out like it was the heresy!



  1. I'm sure part of the problem stems from use of their names in selling product: Space Marine shoulder pads = bad. Space Knights Pauldrons = good! And some of those pads are complete rips off of existing GW pads as well.

    Of course, you've surely heard all of the arguments for and against. I'd personally like to see companies like this find a way to operate within the law and stay in business... but I don't have high hopes for Chapterhouse. :(

    Happy New Year!

  2. Your spot on, it's more about them not being careful enough and making stupid mistakes... For goodness sakes they named things after SM chapters. However I have a feeling that "space knight pauldron," isn't "good" in gws eyes, if they could I have a feeling they would pressure that too.


  3. in my opinion GW is a bit over protective at their ip and trademarks. Even online retailers are not allowed to use the painted models from them on their sites.

    on the otherhand, if ChS renamed their product lineand especially their descriptions into "fits on most of your favorite tabletop models" or something like that. the problem would be solved.

  4. I am not totally convinced that would have solved the ChS problems. They were pretty outright copying GW images and such. I do think that GW could lighten up in a lot of areas, in fact movies would be a great example. I would love to be in their bored meetings for a few months just to hear what line of though they re having...