Monday, February 27, 2012

Games Workshop vs. Chapterhouse Studios Lawsuit Update




The lawsuit by Games Workshop against Chapterhouse Studios and Paulson Games has been news for over a year now.  For those of you who are new to this news, Games Workshop sued Chapterhouse Studios, and Jon Paulson.  No one seems to know why they sued Jon Paulson since he didn't have anything to do with Chapterhouse, though he did do resin casting.   GW claims that both Chapterhouse and Paulson Games violated GW copyrights.

You can download the original legal filing by Games Workshop here

Games Workshop last month announced that they had settled with Jon Paulson.  They made the announcement on their Investor Relations page.  My guess is they just dropped him from teh suit since there was no connection with Chapterhouse.  Nice going GW, suing someone for no reason. 
January 6, 2012

Games Workshop and Paulson Games are pleased to announce the settlement of the copyright litigation commenced by Games Workshop in federal court in Chicago.  Paulson Games and Games Workshop have agreed on the range of products Paulson Games is permitted to sell without violating Games Workshop’s claimed rights in its Warhammer 40,000 characters and have agreed to terminate the litigation between them.  Games Workshop’s case against Chapterhouse Studios continues.

So with Paulson out of the lawsuit, Chapterhouse is now front and center. 



StraightSilver from Warseer posted the latest news (or rumors) about the GW lawsuit.  As an attorney myself, I find always find this stuff interesting. Certainly the timing of the the new Nid and Space Wolves releases has caused a lot of speculation about how this may be tied into the lawsuit. None the less, here is what StraightSilver had to say:

Concerning the Chapterhouse lawsuit, I would be the person concerned who first bought it to light.
Unfortunately my original comments were cut and pasted from DakkaDakka and spread like wildfire, and in many cases I was misquoted.

Essentially I was told over a year ago, by a very, very reliable source (who shall remain unnamed) that certain kits were being held back by GW as there were concerns regarding the Chapterhouse lawsuit.

GW had been advised that because they had not released physical representations of Thunderwolves, Tervigon, Tyrannofex, Doom etc that third parties who already had could contest ownership.

GW have never released a Thunderwolf model, they have released Canis Wolfborn, and as such own the rights to a model caleed Canis Wolfborn, but had not yet released Thunderwolves.

There was a fear that releasing these models after other third party manufacturers (not just CHS) would weaken their case against Chapterhouse.

The most contentious of these models being the Doom of Malantai, Tervigon and Thunderwolves.

However it is no coincidence that several months ago GW hired a new IP lawyer, who now advises them on exactly these kind of issues, and it is obvious that their legal advisors have said it's ok to release these models.

It's not a coincidence that Thunderwolves and the Tervigon have been released simultaneously just before the case against Chapterhouse goes to trial. 





So there is a summary of where we are at he moment.  I will continue to keep my ear to the ground and have contacted both Nick at Chapterhouse and Jon Paulson for comments if they care, though Nick of course, doesn't want to say too much for now.

5 comments:

Sir Tainly said...

Just one thing, Paulson didn't create the walker.

BlueRonin said...

Sir Tainly... you beat me to it... :)

Sir Tainly said...

Here's the thread where the walker creation was documented, the author is 'mangozac' from Australia.

http://advancedtautactica.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=8367&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

Loken said...

Ah! Will correct.

Loken

Anonymous said...

Notice that Chapterhouse's Website has all the usual legal blurb at the bottom of the website, (not officially endorsed etc)
have the settled out of court and been allowed to continue trading ?, they are still offering products with GW style namings

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