Conan Plans Unveiled - Deepest Apologies

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Amaril
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Postby Amaril » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:10 pm

Demetrio wrote:There is a difference between trademark and copyright. But although Conan is trademarked, Hyborian Age (for instance is not.

Thus an Atlas of the Hyborian Age would be free of trademark violation and also, so long as it drew on exclusively PD material, would not infringe anyone's copyright (in fact it probably wouldn't infringe copyright anyway. Unofficial guides to Middle-earth have been published, using Tolkien's names). As it seem's to me, only the branding of the product as Conan would be a trademark violation.
Right, so you can't publish a Savage World of Conan to match the title of the other REH-based work Savage World of Solomon Kane.
Demetrio
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Postby Demetrio » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:12 pm

But I think you could publish

Savage Hyborian Age!
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Postby RosenMcStern » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:23 pm

All this discussion about REH stories copyright is really interesting. And in fact it is very likely that the case could hold in court: you can easily produce a game without stepping on the trademarked content, just do not say the magic words (Conan, Thulsa Doom etc.) and maybe your are ok.

However, even in case of victory, a lawsuit for copyright/trademark infringement is something that a company that lives on intellectual property cannot afford. Mongooses's reputation would be damaged by a legal battle, just for the fact of being suspected of stealing someone else's IP (okay, we have an example of this being untrue in the gaming industry - FASA and Robotech - but that is an exception). So the trademark holders' decisions have to be respected. Sad but true.
warzen
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Postby warzen » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:37 pm

Based on the french trademark website, the Conan trademark has been temporarily rejected in Japan and South Korea.

For those who can understand it (and partly in french):
Enregistrement 2006-07-11 (Gazette 2007/11 du 2007-04-19)
Protection Granted Opposition Period pour Communauté européenne 2007-04-30 (Gazette 2007/18 du 2007-06-07)
Refus partiel pour Singapour 2007-04-25 (Gazette 2007/19 du 2007-06-14)
Refus partiel pour Australie 2007-04-25 (Gazette 2007/19 du 2007-06-14)
Refus partiel pour Turquie 2007-09-19 (Gazette 2007/39 du 2007-11-01)
Période d'opposition pour Singapour 2007-12-10 (Gazette 2008/3 du 2008-02-21)
Refus total provisoire de protection pour Japon 2007-12-27 (Gazette 2008/2 du 2008-02-14)
Refus partiel pour Chine 2008-01-07 (Gazette 2008/12 du 2008-04-24)
Refus total provisoire de protection pour Corée du Sud 2008-01-29 (Gazette 2008/5 du 2008-03-06)
Octroi de protection pour Communauté européenne 2008-02-04 (Gazette 2008/6 du 2008-03-13)
Refus partiel pour Russie 2008-02-15 (Gazette 2008/9 du 2008-04-03)
Période d'opposition pour Australie 2008-07-15 (Gazette 2008/30 du 2008-08-28)
Période d'opposition pour Corée du Sud 2008-07-24 (Gazette 2008/31 du 2008-09-04)
Infirmation finale de refus pour Singapour 2008-07-31 (Gazette 2008/34 du 2008-09-25)
Infirmation finale de refus pour Russie 2008-10-17 (Gazette 2008/44 du 2008-12-04)
Autre décision finale non publiée pour Japon
Autre décision finale non publiée pour Australie


info based on:
Déposant : Conan Properties International LLC, 8484 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 870 Beverly Hills, CA 90211, US

Mandataire : SETTERWALLS Advokatbyra AB, P.O. Box 4501 SE-203 20 Malmö, SE

Numéro : 915453

Date de dépôt / Enregistrement : 2006-07-11

Date prévue pour le renouvellement : 2016-07-11

"Hyboria" has also been trademarked (info from the US trademark office)

W.
PrinceYyrkoon
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:20 pm

Who has the copyright to the name 'Conan'? A trademark is a specific 'sign', not an ownership of the word. A trademark is something a company trades under. Copyright is outright ownership of the term. Conan is just a name, you cant copyright a name.

Id be intersted also, if anyone can claims rights to 'Tarzen'. Im sure Disney will claim that they have the ownership, but they still think they own Mickey Mouse, which, Im sure, they cant anymore.
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:21 pm

Sorry, 'Tarzan'.
Amaril
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Postby Amaril » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:26 pm

PrinceYyrkoon wrote:Who has the copyright to the name 'Conan'? A trademark is a specific 'sign', not an ownership of the word. A trademark is something a company trades under. Copyright is outright ownership of the term. Conan is just a name, you cant copyright a name.

Id be intersted also, if anyone can claims rights to 'Tarzen'. Im sure Disney will claim that they have the ownership, but they still think they own Mickey Mouse, which, Im sure, they cant anymore.
"A trademark is a type of intellectual property, and typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements."
PrinceYyrkoon
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:31 pm

Amaril wrote:
PrinceYyrkoon wrote:Who has the copyright to the name 'Conan'? A trademark is a specific 'sign', not an ownership of the word. A trademark is something a company trades under. Copyright is outright ownership of the term. Conan is just a name, you cant copyright a name.

Id be intersted also, if anyone can claims rights to 'Tarzen'. Im sure Disney will claim that they have the ownership, but they still think they own Mickey Mouse, which, Im sure, they cant anymore.
"A trademark is a type of intellectual property, and typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements."
I think a trademark infringement has to have a similar [/i]appearance to the original. Copyright is ownership of intellectual property. I wouldnt trust Wiki for legal advice!
Amaril
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Postby Amaril » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:32 pm

PrinceYyrkoon wrote:I think a trademark infringement has to have a similar [/i]appearance to the original. Copyright is ownership of intellectual property. I wouldnt trust Wiki for legal advice!
I wouldn't trust forums for an RPG publisher for legal advice, either.
PrinceYyrkoon
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:41 pm

Amaril wrote:
PrinceYyrkoon wrote:I think a trademark infringement has to have a similar [/i]appearance to the original. Copyright is ownership of intellectual property. I wouldnt trust Wiki for legal advice!
I wouldn't trust forums for an RPG publisher for legal advice, either.
Well, no. Im not a legal advisor. There are a few on here who seem to be. Im just intersted to know what the legal standing is for Conan and other Howard properties.

Anyone know for sure what the situation is?
Demetrio
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Postby Demetrio » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:49 pm

Well it's pretty clear that the writings of REH are in the public domain, bar a few of his works that were not published until very recently.
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and wrote my will across the sky in stars
warzen
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Postby warzen » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:53 pm

PrinceYyrkoon wrote: Anyone know for sure what the situation is?
Time to contact the patent buster ?
http://w2.eff.org/patent/wp.php

:)

W.
PrinceYyrkoon
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:12 pm

Demetrio wrote:Well it's pretty clear that the writings of REH are in the public domain, bar a few of his works that were not published until very recently.
Does this necessarily mean, though, that individuals can make material based upon this character? Games, books, models, etc., without the threat of legal action?

Im unclear on this. I think warzen is right, time to do some research.
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Postby ScottOden » Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:36 pm

I did a brief search at the US Patent and Trademark Registration Office. As far as I could tell, Paradox owns about 17 Conan related trademarks (not counting any that might be pending), including the name, likeness, etc. of Conan. Most of the nation names would be hard to trademark, as they're historical (the Greeks would likely object to someone trademarking "Argos" or "Corinthia", for example). "Hyboria" was trademarked, but "the Hyborian Age" wasn't, or at least it's not been approved yet.

As far as the stories go, you very well could release a new edition of REH's PD tales, but with Del Rey and others already beating you to the punch, why bother? But, because (in the US, at least) Paradox is recognized as the "heirs" of REH, writing new stories based on Conan, using identifiable parts of REH's IP without their permission, would probably be rejected outright by most publishers and land you in some legal troubles. IP law isn't about right or wrong, it's about who has the most money and can afford to bring legal cannons to bear. Defending an IP case in the US runs into the hundreds of thousands, or so I'm told (though IANAL).


Best,

Scott
"There is no literary work, to me, half as zestful as rewriting history in the guise of fiction. Every page of history teems with dramas that should be put on paper . . ."
-- Robert E. Howard
Demetrio
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Postby Demetrio » Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:36 pm

Not without the threat, no. Big companies essentially can and will threaten legal action because they know that even if their action is entirely without foundation, the mere threat will make most people back down.

There was a post higher up which suggested a way round that, but it does hinge on being a practising lawyer (to avoid legal fees...), with time to commit to one's own defence.

You say 'based on this character'. If you mean Conan, then it's more complicated becasue Conan is trademarked.

But if you mean based on the PD works of REH (ie set in the Hyborian Age) then my answer above stands.

Paradox tried to assert rights to Red Sonja and lost. So it's not always the case that fighting is futile. Just potentially expensive and not worth the bother.
I loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands
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Radioactive Ape Colin
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Postby Radioactive Ape Colin » Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:05 pm

Yep, it all comes down to intimidation tactics, ultimately, not who's right or wrong. This is the company that used the same legal intimidation tactics on fans of Conan in New Zealand (where Conan was definitely PD). Yet they are (for obvious reasons) not able or willing to do that to Project Gutenberg (or if they did, they quietly failed). Any guesses why they haven't tried the intimidation tactic with Gutenberg?

Colin
Demetrio
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Postby Demetrio » Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:52 pm

Gutenberg make no money from their online publishing and only 'reprint' copyright lapsed works. they're not producing new Conan material.
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beeber
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Postby beeber » Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:56 pm

my condolences, matt & co. :cry: i would've snapped up any MRQ conan stuff (or the atlases) in a heartbeat!
"saving a life, though regrettable, is a small price to pay for a whole lifetime of unfettered killing." --belkar's conscience, order of the stick
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Postby Strom » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:04 pm

Radioactive Ape Colin wrote:Yep, it all comes down to intimidation tactics, ultimately, not who's right or wrong. This is the company that used the same legal intimidation tactics on fans of Conan in New Zealand (where Conan was definitely PD). Yet they are (for obvious reasons) not able or willing to do that to Project Gutenberg (or if they did, they quietly failed). Any guesses why they haven't tried the intimidation tactic with Gutenberg?

Colin
Howard died on June 11, 1936 and since then the rights to his work has been bought, sold, protected and sold by companies/people and their lawyers. That is how it works - no one has been "right" since June 12, 1936. Even Howard's father's claim to his rights were disputed. Man, if you have the cojones take on CPI and their lawyers - otherwise get out of the way. That is how it works. CPI isn't breaking new ground here.

If your using a Windows based computer your as guilty as anyone. Right and wrong? :lol:
Last edited by Strom on Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Demetrio
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Postby Demetrio » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:09 pm

It's not actually about who own rights as such. It's what is covered by those rights. Which is entirely different.

And also whether the legal system can be abused to 'protect rights' that do not in fact exist (and quite clearly it can and frequently is)
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