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Games Workshop sues author for using the term 'space marine'


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#1 Werthead

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:03 PM

Games Workshop are trying to assert that they own the trademark on a term that was first used in print 51 years before they started using it.

Just...no.

#2 Poobah

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:39 PM

Yeah that's pretty fucking stupid.

But copyright/trademark/"we own this shit" lawyers and associated people are pretty fucking stupid.

Edited by Poobah, 06 February 2013 - 05:39 PM.


#3 Durckad

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:00 PM

Games Workshop being a bunch of dicks?

Say it ain't so!

#4 Jon AS

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:41 PM

I always wondered if something like this was ever going to happen, though my money was on them suing over the word "ork" instead of the even more generic term. /wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />

Does anyone know since when this is considered a registered trademark of theirs? The oldest published sourcebook I have to hand is from '94, and there "Space Marine" is already listed amongst the trademarked terms.

ETA: Amazon.com and .co.uk don't seem to have pulled the book in question, though. Maybe somebody in GW's PR department realised that this was a really bad idea?

Edited by Jon AS, 06 February 2013 - 06:47 PM.


#5 Francis Buck

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:19 PM

Ridiculous.

EDIT: Does this mean I can trademark the title "dark mage" for my new fantasy?

Edited by Francis Buck, 06 February 2013 - 07:23 PM.


#6 Reposado

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:51 PM

Ridiculous.

EDIT: Does this mean I can trademark the title "dark mage" for my new fantasy?


if you haven't done it yet, it's too late. (trademark pending on phrase)

#7 Lannes

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:35 PM

Space Marine, bah!!! Let them have it.

I prefer the original (that GW ripped off so much from) term- Mobile Infantry.

"Shines the name, shines the name...."

#8 JamieM

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:46 PM

They are probably still sore over the way Blizzard pretty much took their content, made strategy games out of it, and ascended to a way higher level whilst GW stood around slack-jawed watching...

The 'pick on the little guy' (girl) approach is pretty pathetic, and won't ultimately gain them anything more than derision and bad karma from the community they want to sell to.

Presumably they'll claim rights over the word 'Chaos' next.

Edited by JamieM, 06 February 2013 - 08:47 PM.


#9 Horza

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:54 PM

That's sad. Rather than chase after generic ideas that others have bettered Games Workshop should take pride in the concepts they did come up with, like uh, space dwarves.

#10 Darth Richard

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:40 PM

Dickmove.

#11 Corvinus

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:09 PM

I would like to see them try to pull this crap with Tolkien Estate about the name Eldar.
And while we're at it, why not take on the Catholic Church for the use of the terms Inquisition and Inquisitors.

#12 JamieM

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:12 PM

Meanwhile, we should try to come up with a better term than 'Space Marine', copyright it and SUE THE BALLS/OVARIES OFF anyone who tries to use it.

I'm going with: Stargonauts.

EDIT: Oh, it's taken /sad.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':(' />

Edited by JamieM, 06 February 2013 - 10:13 PM.


#13 Ser Scot A Ellison

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:20 PM

I should copyright the phrases "he said" and "she said".

#14 JamieM

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:54 PM

You're making me feel like I've never been born.

#15 Jon AS

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:45 AM

Presumably they'll claim rights over the word 'Chaos' next.


I only see 'Realm of Chaos' on the list. Oh, and 'Terminator'. Maybe they should sue Arnold Schwarzenegger?

#16 Bastard of Godsgrace

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 04:21 AM

I would like to see them try to pull this crap with Tolkien Estate about the name Eldar.


Yeah, I hope Tolkien Estate sues their ass over it. That would teach them a lesson.

#17 Werthead

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:36 AM

Apparently Amazon have backed down and restored the book. And several American SF authors have registered various 'space marine'-derived websites. Some have even made noises about writing a 'space marines' anthology and inviting GW to try to stop them. Update here about the whole thing.

Meanwhile, sales of the book in question through other venues have apparently shot up.

#18 SkynJay

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:52 AM

Meanwhile, sales of the book in question through other venues have apparently shot up.


Authors take care of their own it appears. My twitter feed blew up about this, with many authors saying they had just bought a copy and I should too! Glad Amazon backed off. Further proof (like the Applebees thing) that social media cannot be ignored anymore.

#19 mormont

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:54 AM

I should copyright the phrases "he said" and "she said".


That's what she said.

#20 TheEvilKing

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:17 AM

This is bullshit, I've been a space marine for years and I've never even though of taking Games Workshop to court.