UP trademarks for aquired railroads

The UP is serious about protecting the current logo(s) in addition to
some of the railroads they aquired. If you want to see how serious
they are read further:
Chicago & Northwestern Railroad trademarks:
The trademark had expired and the UP refiled for the trademark on
December 31, 2002 for several applicable categories including:
Ornamental pins; watches; rings being jewelry; Pens; playing cards;
post cards; hand-held paper fans; brochures about tourism; maps;
calendars; rulers; coasters; stickers; Mugs; plates; cups; plastic
water bottles sold empty;Hats; t-shirts; Sport balls; model train
sets; Matches.
The trademark is currently held by the Union Pacific Railroad Company
The attorney of record was: Denise C. Mazour
The same applies for:
Southern Pacific Lines
MKT Railroad
Missouri Pacific
Western Pacific Feather River Route
Cotton Belt
They do not currently hold trademarks for the following railroads
which I believe all eventually became a part of the UP system:
Denver & Rio Grande
Rio Grande Southern
Chicago Great Western
Central Pacific Railroad
Chicago Galena & Union
Oregon Shortline
Denver & Salt Lake
Alton & Southern
Pacific Fruit Express
The funny thing is many of these could be or could have been obtained
assuming there was no challenge to the application for the trademarks.
Oddly enough the Rock Island trademark is held by Maytag Corporation
CORPORATION DELAWARE 403 West Fourth St. North Newton IOWA 50208. It
is a live trademark and available to use on toys, namely, miniature
railroad engines and cars.
After looking into this I am convinced the Union Pacific is looking at
this as a money making opportunity, i.e. they want a cut of sales.
They also want to protect their trademarks from use by people
marketing products with their logos.
Charles Bix
Reply to
Charles Bix
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Alright let's examine that one.
I don't model the UP, SP, CNW or any of the other railroads or buy anything with their logos on it so for me the boycott angle is out. However I would encourage others to do so, but you know how that goes. Boycotts generally do not work unless the UP starts killing baby seals or they sink an oil tanker in Alaska. Particularly in this type of situation because the price increase is relatively small. My guess is most of the more serious model railroad community (250K+) is not aware of the licensing issue. Someone did point out that the magazines seem to be rolling over on this.
I am not affiliated with a manufacturer who produces product with the logos of any of the railroads on it so fighting it this way is out. Again, many manufacturers seem to have rolled over thinking it is either not a winnable fight and that the UP would win any legal action, OR they just believe it is easier to just pass the fee along to customers.
Also if you remember as soon as I got my Mainline Modeler over a month ago I posted my thoughts on this and other newsgroups. It's not that I am rolling over, the more I explore the facts of the situation as it pertains to the Union Pacific's right to do this it does take some of the "this isn't right!" emotion out.
The real solution would be for the UP to realize there is little to no money to be made here and the best PR move would be to license the trademarks for a dollar a year per manufacturer or some such arrangement. Its still unsettling to me that a railroad would do all this but I do understand they want a piece of the pie. Hoping the piece of the pie is not very large is a double edged sword. If it is small ten what does that say about the strength of our hobby? And if it is large the other railroads will do this as well. That is what really concerns me. Prices in this hobby are high enough already.
Reply to
Charles Bix
So what should we do, other than buy no product with their logo, as Mr. Bix has promised?
Are you going to organize the Million Modeler March to Omaha?
Reply to
If 'twere me, and if I lived in the US, I'd ring a few papers and ask to speak to a reporter who might use it as the basis for a story. News media love to bash other large orgs (kickbacks, tie ups, nepotism, etc, excluded, of course) along the line of "Uncaring RR Giant Causes Distress To Veterans". If one of the syndicates picks it up and runs with it, you'll have the screens full of grovelling UP flack. This may not result in the withdrawl of the licensing fee, but it could make Uncle Pete squirm. And cause others thinking of this to reconsider.
Of course, it may also have no effect whatsoever, but if you don't ask, you don't get.
Steve Newcastle NSW Aust (Happily modelling the Farr, Kwitt & Dikkedd Rwy in On30) (Well, actually, it ain't got a name yet)
Reply to
Steve Magee
Ah, but the research I did into this, which barely scratched the surface legally, began because I was looking for a convincing arguement as to why the UP should not do what they are doing. Unfortunetly I did not find a solution.
The reason I said a dollar a year is because IF their concern is the use of the trademark for model railroad items and the MISUSE of their trademark on websites like UnionPacificSucks.com and they need the legal liscensing of the trademark to prevent people from misusing their trademark that's why they would liscense it for a dollar a year to companies they authorize to use it. Doing so could prevent unauthorized websites and anti-UP concerns from using their trademarks without their permission. I know that blows my "their in it for the money" theory out of the water but right now they could be doing both, first to safegaurd their trademarks and secondly make that process pay for itself and perhaps even profit a little.
I could stand up and shout about this but I can see both sides. If it is JUST about the money then emotionally I'm ticked off because it really is chump change at the expense of us, the train fans. And it opens the door for others to do this. From the UP's perspective if it is about the protection of their trademarks then I am more understanding.
Either way I think they have the right to do this as much as I dislike it. That's where I have a problem with the do what is right scenario. I guess that is why I have spent time on this because it does hit a sore spot. It's not going to be a good trend for the hobby is this works.
Besides I'm still working through this. If I could find a legitimate arguement I would take it to the next level. Your posting does make me think however, thanks.
Reply to
Charles Bix
So they can go after people that make the "P**s on UP" t-shirts, windshield decals, etc. I think that may be the primary reason. The secondary reason is so they can wring money out of the model industry.
My opinion.
Jay CNS&M Wireheads of the world, unite!
Reply to
I think doing this is protected under fair use doctrine.
Jay Cun"So they can go after people that make the "P**s on UP" t-shirts, windshield decals, etc. I think that may be the primary reason. The secondary reason is so they can wring money out of the model industry.
My opinion."
Reply to
I don't model the UP or predecessors either, not specifically. Nor do I advocate a boycott, because it's just not a particularly effective strategy.
And these manufacturers have made it more difficult for others to resist. In court UP can say "Look, these guys already signed up without complaining". Of course it's possible - even LIKELY that those companies signed modified forms of the agreement. Modifications which we are not privvy to. The terms may indeed be quite reasonable, but since they probably aren't going to talk about it, they create the impression to the rest of the world that they have "complied". In other words, it's sort of like a lie.
Nobody is disputing their right to do it. Other than usage of the fallen flags, in which case I do believe UP is out of line. Let's see them repaint some of those tunnel motors in SP Speed lettering, if they are going to claim ownership of the scheme and trademark.
Does the world today revolve only around the letter of the law? Lawyers seem to think so. The fact of the matter is, not even close, and a lot of what we perceive as "the way it is" isn't via a court decision or viable legislation at all - it's whatever the press tells us, or any other self-appointed legal expert (complete with "I'm not a lawyer but" disclaimer).
Well, I'm not a lawyer BUT, I don't have to be one to use a little common sense.
They need to have it realized upon them, rather than everyone simply waiting around for them to wake up. That's what this is about - do something, or do nothing and hope it turns out ok.
They are high enough without an entity which is a complete outsider to the hobby of model railroading - Union Pacific - demanding a slice of the pie and contributing NOTHING in return. Yes, I said NOTHING. The use of their logo is nothing. If they even provided camera ready art, or official access and plans for their equipment, or anything else, they'd at least be doing something worthy of compensation.
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- Pre-Interstate Urban Archaeology -----------------------------------------------------------
Reply to
Andy Harman
No, silly. There are only 4-5 modelers who care. The other 249,995 are ready and willing to be robbed. Ok, maybe not willing but acceptance without resistance, because they believe, and are told, that nothing can be done about it. Heaven forbid anyone should embarrass themselves by running against the legal pundits of this newsgroup. No, let's all stay safe.
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- Pre-Interstate Urban Archaeology -----------------------------------------------------------
Reply to
Andy Harman
Yes, but unless you are going to tell them you will be shipping your half a million tons on the BNSF instead of their railroad because of the liscensing issue they probably won't care.
Reply to
Charles Bix
Oh, good. So I can go ahead and make my
We don't care. We don't HAVE to care. We're Union Pacific.
UP yours!
t-shirt with a shield logo.
Reply to
E Litella
You could not be more wrong. There are a number of us who are working very hard on this issue.
Keep this in mind: If the railroad has the right to control the use of names, slogans and heralds on model railroad equipment, they'd also have the right to prohibit the use of those same names, slogans and heralds for model railroad purposes. Are you, for example, going to dispute their "right" if the UP someday decides that it no longer wants commercial models and decals of the "predecessor roads" to be produced and stops issuing "licenses" for those roads?
And what if the UP decides that it wants to grant an "exclusive" license to a favored manufacturer, meaning that no other manufacturer could produce models or decals of UP-owned railroads?
And here's something else to think about: There are well over 600 railroads that have been merged into the Union Pacific over the years (the UP actually claims that there are some 1800 altogether, but has declined to identify them). Of those hundreds of "predecessor roads", the UP has so far registered trademarks in various forms for precisely eight of them.
Many of these railroads are long-forgotten, but there are a number of road names that you'd recognize instantly -- you may even have equipment lettered for those roads on your layout right now. And, of course, there are dozens of other "fallen flag" railroads unrelated to the UP.
If someone files for trademark protection for any of these railroad names, are you going to concede that they have a right to charge an exhorbitant fee for (or prohibit) the manufacture of model railroad equipment and decals of that road?
Say goodbye to equipment lettered for the Chicago Great Western; the C&EI; Chicago, the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha; the Denver and Salt Lake; the Denver South Park & Pacific . . . (and those are just a few of the C's and D's).
Can't happen? For just one example, take a look at who holds the trademark on the name and logo of the Railway Express Agency.
JR Hill
Reply to
Jim Hill
Those were acquired by me. Thank you.
"Hey Donna."--------- Ray Pruit
Reply to
Ray Pruit
You are a dropkick.
Reply to
Mark Newton
It is probably a two fold plan for them 1)protect their trademarks form unauthorized use (UinionPacificSuck.com, etc) and 2) Profit potential.
Go to
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and search on their trademarks. Many of them they recently reapplied for. I cannot think of a logical reason they would reapply for a Katy or SP trademark to include mugs, t-shirts, etc unless they saw brand value in doing so. If it is true they have 600 railroads they could apply for then that could be a source of revenue for them.
Again don't get me wrong, I hate the fact they are doing this but I cannot hate them entirely for doing what they are doing. I've gone through the trademark process and I would not like it if someone used my logos to profit off of. It opens a new era for us the consumer of these products.
I hope there is a challenge to the trademarks issue by the manufactuers and MRIA. Or at least some kind of win-win compromise with them for their use that does not raise costs dramatically.
Reply to
Charles Bix
Luckily there's hundreds of thousands of rolling stock available for these roads on the used market. Let them stop new production. They can't stop garage sales and swap meets of old equipments.
Reply to
Rick Jones

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