Ebay problem-you gus got to read-Talk with Sikorsky Att. Mr. Pasulka

This is the information I received from Mr. Pasulka (Trademark council), for
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (SAC).
Recently, SAC has come to the conclusion that the company is losing
considerable revenue by the selling of non licensed products that they have
not endorsed. At this time they intend to pursue all companies involved in
the selling of these products. This includes models as well as spare parts
and other things. SAC considers Ebay as a worldwide company and is a major
visible outlet for there products. SAC has been searching the internet for
certain groupings of words, Sikorsky, helicopter, sale,etc. This is how they
found my auction. They intend to go up the line to distributors and
importers, as well as the US Customs service to prevent the import of
un-licensed models. That is all SAC models at this time. They say they will
and do intend to do this soon.
SAC says at this time that they have no agreements with "any" model
manufacturer to produce any plastic (kits) models of their products. They
have for the last few months been trying to contact Revell by letter and
have had no positive response. In their words, Revell is ignoring the
requests to work things out.
I think I need to discuss the legal issue as far as the right to sell
something like a model. Again, according to SAC every contract to build a
military item is different. For instance the name "Black Hawk". As explained
to me, the name Blackhawk was used by Sikorsky personnel to talk about the
helicopter under development. The military decided they liked the name and
received from SAC permission to use the name. However SAC has final say so
on how it is used. An agreement between the government and say General
Dynamics on the F-16 might be totally different on the use of the Fighting
Falcon name or the likeness of the aircraft. The point is that there is no
consistency to all the planes, tanks, ships that have been produced for the
government and the ability of Monogram,Tamiya or Italeri to build a replica
of it. The only way for sure is to explore the contract word for word.
According to SAC, they have been trying for years to reconcile this
situation (with Revell), and have now decided to get serious. They said they
would be happy to license the product if Revell would talk to them. SAC said
that it would cost 12-25 cents for an item that sold for $10.00 retail and
wholesaled for around $5.00. They charge fees on the wholesale price, not
the retail.
I unfortunantly think this is a trend as companies look for new forms of
revenue. Well, that's the world. What do you guys think.
Steve
Reply to
Steve Jahn
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Quite frankly it looks like it's an issue of principle. There's nothing more deadly to a situation than the moment someone decides "it's a matter of principle." At that moment it isn't unusual for common sense and reason to exit together.
Assuming that total sales of scale models bearing a manufacturer's name number one million units per year. That's a total of $ 250,000 in additional revenue if they take a quarter per unit. I have no idea what the volume of scale model production and sales is worldwide, but the amount to be gained via royalties is hardly noteworthy. Then again, neither is the extra quarter for a ten dollar model.
Does anyone know what the market volume might be?
Cheers!!!
BobbyG
Reply to
Bobby Galvez
I suspect you are right about this being another way for companies to screw consumers. Er.. I mean of course pursue legitimate business interests and maintain standards of principle. Principle as worthy as that of the Catholic Church's one time sale of pardons (thus leading to a wide range of religious wars).
I will say, it is an incredibly sad comment on Sikorsky. I really wonder how fast the founder is spinning in his grave. I somehow doubt he would support such a low-life corporate attitude.
I wonder, if this is taken to an extreme....
Two car guys are discussing a car, they use verbal and hand motions to describe a Ford Model T (or whatever), will they have to pay penalties?
More practically. As I recall, for real trademark violations, there must be substantive evidence that using the same/similar symbol or name must cause others confusion as to what is actually being sold.
If that is essentially correct, I doubt any rational person could ever be confused with the sale of a toy/model vs. a real helicopter etc.
Of course, the time, money and effort of court cases often stops even legitimate activities.
Anyone think a letter campaign would help?
Reply to
SamVanga
Nope. It sure didn't stop the wolfpack at GM or Chrysler from beating up the car model companies. They just don't care if you threaten to never buy one of their junkers again. There just aren't enough of us around to make a dent.
Bill Banaszak
Reply to
Bill Banaszak
Perhaps the kit manufacturers should charge Sikorsky for the excellent publicity they have provided the company for years. Many of the people who are making the billion dollar decisions built these models.
Let's see what we can do to get Mr. Pasulka either promoted or fired. He doesn't know squat about good press.
Reply to
Bill Price
My opinion is that I don't need Sikorsky helicopters in my collection any more.
Bill Banaszak
Reply to
Bill Banaszak
shades of AMT's beech staggerwing?
Reply to
KONDA24
I think Bell should get the DoD contracts from now on.
WmB
To reply, get the HECK out of there snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net
Reply to
WmB
Promoted might be the ticket - he won't be able to do near as much damage there..... If we fire him, he might just start all over again at Bell/Textron - how many Hueys and Cobras do YOU have in your stash?
RobG (the Aussie one)
Bill Price wrote in message
Reply to
Rob Grinberg
For further reading on corporate legal defense success:
formatting link
A cautionary brochure for program managers and acquisition types.
Sigh...
Reply to
Kevin McCollough
Maybe they need all the money they can get, since they don't seem to be able to sell the S-92 to anyone...
Matt
Reply to
killfile
Write the guy back and ask him if he's ever heard of the doctrine of laches. Then ask him how he feels about modelers starting a class action in federal court against Sikorsky and him personally for restraint of trade for attempting to assert alleged rights that have lapsed due to willful inattention. While you're at it, remind him that Sikorsky is using a comic book company's service mark or trademark with Blackhawk, and they probably owe the publisher a fortune for infringement.
This is almost bad enough to chase me back into the practice of law. Almost.
Mark Schynert
Reply to
Mark Schynert
Yeah, what he said! ;-)
OK... what's the skinny on this doctrine of laches? The rest I got, especially the Blackhawk reference.
WmB
To reply, get the HECK out of there snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net
Reply to
WmB
Another way to aproach this matter is to contact the Sikorsky Public Relations Department and ask for the Director and ask his comments on a story being made available that states Sikorsky's position as related in Mr. Pasulka's comments being made available to the public press.
Bad PR is worse than no PR at all.
Nat Richards
Reply to
Richa5011
Try telling that to Michael Jackson right about now...
Reply to
Jay Beckman
Both sad and frustrating on several levels.
Reply to
SamVanga
This sounds like history books in the not-to-distant future will talk about Abraham Lincoln's xareer in the militia as the Blackhawk?© War.
This is 100% pure Bulls__t. Time to execute the lawyers.
-- John ___ __[xxx]__ (o - ) --------o00o--(_)--o00o-------
The history of things that didn't happen has never been written - Henry Kissinger
Reply to
The Old Timer
ROTFLMAO!!! THat reminds me of an ad I saw, years ago done up by Stan Freeburg. The item being pushed was Jeno's Pizza Rolls, a small pizza burrito that was sold frozen. Anyway, the ad was a parody of a previous Lark cigarette commercial, where a couple of people on the back of a flat-bed truck were tossing out samples of the pizza rolls to anyone thawanted them (and of course, everyone did), all to the tune of the "William Tell Overture" (just as the earlier Lark commercial passed out free packs of cigarettes to the same music) The commercial ends with a guy in a dark suit (a lawyer?) stopping them and declaring; "I want to talk to you about your theme music." as he pulls out a pack of Larks and starts to light one up. Then a gloved hand taps him on the shoulder and you see the Lone Ranger (Clayton Moore) and Tonto (Jay Silverheels). The Lone Ranger looks at him and says; "Funny, I wanted to talk to YOU about the same thing!" Thanks for the memory.
-- John ___ __[xxx]__ (o - ) --------o00o--(_)--o00o-------
The history of things that didn't happen has never been written - Henry Kissinger
Reply to
The Old Timer
The problem of intellectual property of the full scale manufacturer vs. the model industry is not just limited to Sikorsky or car models. I also build model trains and right now the Union Pacific RR is demanding a license fee for all models marked for the UP or any of the railroads it has gobbled up in mergers.
In the early 1950's, the Santa Fe and New York Central RR's actually PAID the Lionel company to place their railroad names on Lionel's new F-3 diesel model. It was a great marketing ploy as it got the Santa Fe and New York Central into homes all across America.
I wish the MBA's and Lawyers that run the major manufacturers would come to some common sense and see that instead of a revenue it is actually free advertising.
Gene DiGennaro Baltimore,Md.
Reply to
Gene DiGennaro
As far as your case goes, it should only matter if they did when the kit was produced. In the old days, sometimes permission was enough.
Years? Perhaps they need better lawyers. Revell is paying other AC companies.
As far as you- its a bummer they are taking it out on you. Thank you for sharing it with us.
As far as the bigger picture- Its here guyz. Logos and representations of images and products has exploded in the past few years. The trademark/copyright business is *never* going to be relaxed or back down. Given tooling costs and declining market, it would be extremely foolish for anyone these days to design and tool a subject without permission in hand. Copyright entitles the owner to decide if, where, when and how copys of their work may be used. I don't think it unfair those responsible for the subjects of our affection to be rewarded. They could simply say no and sic the lawyers on the model companies, and that would cause us far more grief.
Many have said the model companies won't make kits if they have to pay royalties. This is flawed in two ways. First- many have been paying them. Second- ultimately they don't pay it, we do. They need only pick subjects that offer a reasonalble chance of success, which is their goal even without royalties. Given the nature of their business, forming good business relationships should be desirable for long term viability.
12-25 cents a kit? Hell, R-M monogram raised their prices 30% over two years a few years ago, and they are still a great deal. I pay more than that on a kit in local option sales tax. Someone has joked model paint is $500 a gallon when bought in the tiny jars. I'm not going to say its absurd. Royalities insure stability, reduces the risk of something being halted after the big bucks are spent on tooling, and often results in cooperation and a better "approved" product.
Tom
Reply to
Tom Hiett

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