Union Pacific Sues Athearn & Lionel

Yes, and KFC does a good job of defnding their TMs. With a trademark, not like copyrights, you must show you *use* and *defend* your trademarks. A copyright is yours no matter what. You don't have to defend it to be a copyright and be valid.
With a trademark, you must show that you use the mark and have been using it and that you have defended that mark since you started using it.
The UP has failed at the defend part. It could easily be shown that UP never defended their marks from toy manuf. until 2004. They let anyone make things, since model trains were invented.
I think many of hte people on this board keep confusing the specifics of trademarks with copyrights. While you end up with a piece of property you created, there are differences in getting to that point and keeping it.
Charles
Reply to
Charles P. Woolever
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With corporate Trademarks, it is 100 years before it becomes public domain.
I know this because I put out a line of Public Domain movies on DVD. Public Domain used to occur 28 years after a work was produced, unless the creator applied for an extension, which put it to 50 yeras. The Sonny Bono act of the mid-90s extened that to 75 years. Disney is trying to extend it again. Right now some films are PD even though they were done in the 1960s, while some have been protected for years.
Corporate Trademarks are valid for 100 years, this is why Disney has trademarked Mickey Mouse his first toons were made in 1928, and hence are PD right now. WB did the same thing with Bugs Bunny, Daffy, Porky and all their "stars", they are now trademarks of WB and protected for another 100 years. So the only Trademarks that would fit into the PD would be those of companies that went out of business before 1904 and were not picked up by a new company.
Reply to
<Will
wrote in message >
You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!
"dire straits"????
Why because it will cost you $1.00 or $2.00 more per part with a corporate trademark on it?
The Model Railroad Industry will only be in dire straits if it's current user base shrinks.
I still think what manufactures should do is put out units with "data info" only and then sell decal sets of dry transfer sets of the particular roads and allow the model railroader to customize his own cars. That would be a whole lot easier for the manufacturers and distributors and LHS. They would stock ONE kind of each unit, and have a drawer of decals/transfers. I go in and pick up an unbranded piece of rolling stock and a set of decals for whatever road I am modeling.
OR, in my case (and many other serious modelers I know) pick up the rolling stock and bring it home and custom letter it.
Reply to
<Will
Here is my two cents....I have two small companies...The Great Scale Model Train show and the Piermont Division. If Lionel, Athearn, or whoever wants to put my company logos on their products, I'll go over to their headquarters and make them all breakfast every day for five years and to their homes at night and tuck them in bed. I'll even read them "The Little Engine That Could" before turning out the lights. When asked if I fear the terrorists.....my reply was....."To some degree, but my real fear is the thousands upon thousands of lawyers the law schools are turning out each year"!!!!! Spam time.....don't forget our summer Timonium show in Maryland, June 19/20.
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for details HZ
Reply to
Howard Zane
I can tell from this that you have created nothing in your life Charles. If you have created anything, it is your property. You have the right to use it. you have the right to give others permission to use it.
Others do not have an implied permission to use it, they need specific permission. Just because UP has not legally defended their right of intellectual claim on the trademarks that their company pocesses does not negate their right to defend the trademark.
Please, at least open a book on corporate law (maybe even read it) before you start commenting and making yourself look foolish.
Reply to
<Will
Oh, so close Charles, but you don't win the prize.
The ONLY difference between a Trademark and Copyright are "What They Protect".
Reply to
<Will
Not entirely.
"Not only have Lionel and Athearn failed to license use of Union Pacific's historic trademarks"
That appears to include the fallen flags, though it's a little vague.
Mike Tennent "IronPenguin"
Reply to
Mike Tennent
Please, spare me the conspiracy theories!! Comparing an extortion scheme (Buy my meat or I'll blow up your restaurant) to this lawsuit is ridiculous!! Maybe UP is concerned about their trademark, because most of Athearn and Lionels merchandise is made in China, and China leads the world in producing knock off and bogus stuff. If we take the paranoid perspective of the Harmon article to heart, maybe UP is afraid that China will start a UP railroad of there own!! Think it wont happen? Maybe it will! There, I just said it, so it might be true, no wait, it is true!!!! Why oh why, would UP care if a manufacturer created a locomotive that hasn't been used in 50 odd years? Because it's not modern? What the heck is that? If UP wants to start dictating which models that a manufacture can produce, couldn't the manufacture say "forget it, we're not going to produce any more UP stuff"?
Capta>
Reply to
Ken Hammer
On Wed, 02 Jun 2004 16:11:25 -0700, cat mumbled incoherently:
No, Edward is correct. Any added costs of business filters down the food chain and of course is paid for by the hobbiest. That's the bottom line. Personally, I wish that Athearn and Lionel would just drop the UP logo. There are plenty of decals out there or we could produce our own logos using modern printers.
Cordially, Ken (NY) Chairman, Department Of Redundancy Department® ___________________________________ email:
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Reply to
Ken [NY)
I'm only proposing that some users of UP marks could be accepted without much review: Lionel, Athearn, LifeLike, Kato, et al for use on models, decals, and advertising of those products. Those companies could even be required to sign a license agreement stipulating allowed and disallowed uses and giving UP the sole right to demand cessation of uses UP deems to be not showing UP in a good light. The cost to the users should be the actual cost of administering the program or free: it costs Up the same to approve a well known boutique manufacturer as it does to approve Athearn; in any case 5% or so of sales has nothing to do with UP costs.
Other users of more dubious reputation might be subject to stricter (and more costly) reviews, and they should pay for it.
To me the issue for UP is to legitimately protect their trademarks, etc.. They are a transportation company, not a media company (yet :-), and trying to turn logo licensing into a profit center may not be worth the cost to them. But as I've said in the past, their current logos are their property and they have every right to control them or charge for them as they see fit.
I suspect the reason that Athearn and Lionel have not signed the licensing agreement is that it specifies a payment schedule not only for the current logos, but for older UP logos and fallen flag logos which have been used freely for years. For all I know, A & L tried to negotiate inclusion of only current logos and failed. They may have decided to force the issue to court and agree to pay for current logos and exclude old ones. Maybe Athearn's or Lionel's lawyers will tell us what their defense is for using current logos without license.
Ed
in article KYAvc.78733$ snipped-for-privacy@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com, Mark Mathu at snipped-for-privacy@mathu.com wrote on 6/3/04 1:04 AM:
Reply to
Edward A. Oates
in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com, Ken [NY) at snipped-for-privacy@IsBelow.Text wrote on 6/3/04 7:42 AM:
The decals from Microscale at al are also subject to the UP licensing program. I've not found a decent homebrew decal system The inkjet stuff runs like crazy (haven't tried Epson Durabright, though) and don' t have access to an old Alps printer.
It would sure be interesting, though, for Athearn, et al, to sell models completely painted except for the protected logos and to provide blank decal sheets and printing instructions and/or kits to finish the job use the modeler's own artwork. Hmmmmmmm.
Reply to
Edward A. Oates
You folks are aware that part of the UP wording says that the companies will have to give UP all tooling etc. if UP disproves of the product. This is one of the big reasons the larger companies didn't sign up. If UP didn't like their boxcars for example and they had signed the contract then UP could ask for the molds etc. It's really much bigger than most people think. And the bottom line is not really protecting the marks (that's easy to do), UP really thinks (or corporate figures have argued) that they an really make money on this.
Reply to
Jon Miller
You wouldn't know what or whom they sued. You've got your head stuck up Jermartys ass and are totally occupied with your HO wienie trains.
Reply to
Marty Hall
Nothing to do with Trademarks. That is copyright you are talking about.
See:
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Trademarks and copyrights have TOTALLY different laws and rules.
That is why som many people are screwed up about this. They keep saying things that are technically about copyrights and not about trademarks. They are different, have different rules, and are done in different offices of the government.
Charles
Reply to
Charles P. Woolever
I've created much and have had things officially copyrighted (Library of Congress) and have worked with lawyers at my last place of employment on trademarking names.
As evidense from your Disney post, you are confusing trademarks and copyrights. They are different.
Just as corporate law is different than trademark law.
Charles
Reply to
Charles P. Woolever

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