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New Legal Twist

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  • davexblanc <DaveXBlanc@aol.com>
    Adding to the many legal ambiguities that already surround the design, production and distribution of 18xx games, Union Pacific Railroad has recently announced
    Message 1 of 14 , Feb 2, 2003
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      Adding to the many legal ambiguities that already surround the
      design, production and distribution of 18xx games, Union Pacific
      Railroad has recently announced that it will begin managing the use
      of its trademarks through a licensing program. According to the
      March 2003 issue of Trains magazine, "[UP]will require a licensing
      agreement for commercial or non-profit use of any current or historic
      trademark of UP or its constituent roads." The artical also states
      that "... the licensing agreement will include everything down to
      coffe mugs, patches and model railroad equipment." The article does
      not specify UP's terms for licensing its logos.

      It seems to follow that 18xx games with stock certificates,
      corporation mats and station tokens that bear the marks of Union
      Pacific, Southern Pacific, Texas Pacific, Missouri Pacific, Western
      Pacific, Denver and Rio Grande, Chicago and North Western, Cotton
      Belt, and others could possibly be affected.

      Lets just hope that the other three major US railroads don't choose
      to follow this precedent.

      Dave Blanchard
    • David G.D. Hecht
      As any railfan can tell you, UP has always vigorously maintained control of its own logo. Dunno about its various acquisitions fallen flags though. ... From:
      Message 2 of 14 , Feb 2, 2003
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        As any railfan can tell you, UP has always vigorously maintained control of
        its own logo. Dunno about its various acquisitions' fallen flags though.

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <DaveXBlanc@...>
        To: <18xx@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2003 9:08 PM
        Subject: [18xx] New Legal Twist


        > Adding to the many legal ambiguities that already surround the
        > design, production and distribution of 18xx games, Union Pacific
        > Railroad has recently announced that it will begin managing the use
        > of its trademarks through a licensing program. According to the
        > March 2003 issue of Trains magazine, "[UP]will require a licensing
        > agreement for commercial or non-profit use of any current or historic
        > trademark of UP or its constituent roads." The artical also states
        > that "... the licensing agreement will include everything down to
        > coffe mugs, patches and model railroad equipment." The article does
        > not specify UP's terms for licensing its logos.
        >
        > It seems to follow that 18xx games with stock certificates,
        > corporation mats and station tokens that bear the marks of Union
        > Pacific, Southern Pacific, Texas Pacific, Missouri Pacific, Western
        > Pacific, Denver and Rio Grande, Chicago and North Western, Cotton
        > Belt, and others could possibly be affected.
        >
        > Lets just hope that the other three major US railroads don't choose
        > to follow this precedent.
        >
        > Dave Blanchard
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
      • Tom M
        From what little I know when UP ate SP they re in the process of re-painting/numbering the engines to the UP yellow/gray standard. It seems that when they
        Message 3 of 14 , Feb 2, 2003
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          From what little I know when UP ate SP they're in the process of
          re-painting/numbering the engines to the UP yellow/gray standard. It
          seems that when they 'merge' with a company they make it disappear. UP
          also doesn't seem to do much in the way of PR.

          Tom

          --- "David G.D. Hecht" <Barzai@...> wrote:
          > As any railfan can tell you, UP has always vigorously maintained control
          > of
          > its own logo. Dunno about its various acquisitions' fallen flags though.
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: <DaveXBlanc@...>
          > To: <18xx@yahoogroups.com>
          > Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2003 9:08 PM
          > Subject: [18xx] New Legal Twist
          >
          >
          > > Adding to the many legal ambiguities that already surround the
          > > design, production and distribution of 18xx games, Union Pacific
          > > Railroad has recently announced that it will begin managing the use
          > > of its trademarks through a licensing program. According to the
          > > March 2003 issue of Trains magazine, "[UP]will require a licensing
          > > agreement for commercial or non-profit use of any current or historic
          > > trademark of UP or its constituent roads." The artical also states
          > > that "... the licensing agreement will include everything down to
          > > coffe mugs, patches and model railroad equipment." The article does
          > > not specify UP's terms for licensing its logos.
          > >
          > > It seems to follow that 18xx games with stock certificates,
          > > corporation mats and station tokens that bear the marks of Union
          > > Pacific, Southern Pacific, Texas Pacific, Missouri Pacific, Western
          > > Pacific, Denver and Rio Grande, Chicago and North Western, Cotton
          > > Belt, and others could possibly be affected.
          > >
          > > Lets just hope that the other three major US railroads don't choose
          > > to follow this precedent.
          > >
          > > Dave Blanchard
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.
          > >
          > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          > This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >


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        • Maisnestce@aol.com
          In a message dated 03/02/03 02:09:43 GMT Standard Time, DaveXBlanc@aol.com ... As David Hecht said, UP have always been at least moderately aggressive in
          Message 4 of 14 , Feb 3, 2003
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            In a message dated 03/02/03 02:09:43 GMT Standard Time, DaveXBlanc@... writes:

            Adding to the many legal ambiguities that already surround the
            design, production and distribution of 18xx games, Union Pacific
            Railroad has recently announced that it will begin managing the use
            of its trademarks through a licensing program. 


            As David Hecht said, UP have always been at least moderately aggressive in defending their trademarks.  In fairness, at least part of this is forced on them by US trademark law, which states, more or less, that if someone (mis)uses your trademark, and you know about it and do nothing, you can lose the trademark.  However, they're not forced to be quite as aggressive as they've become over the past couple of years.

            Under UK law, if you don't use a trademark you can lose it.  If that's true of US law I'm surprised that their "historical" marks can be defended.  I would also be surprised had UP managed to register any of their trademarks in the UK (since they don't operate over here) so UK kit production, such as it is, shouldn't be threatened.

            Steve Thomas         maisnestce@...
          • William W. Jaffe
            I m playing in an e-mail 1856. I opened the LPS, having bought the St Clair private, and opened it at $100 with 2 shares. I bought 2 2 trains and now am
            Message 5 of 14 , Feb 3, 2003
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              I'm playing in an e-mail 1856.
              I opened the LPS, having bought the St Clair private, and opened it at $100 with 2 shares. I bought 2 '2' trains and now am running them both.
              In the last ORs, I borrowed the cash to buy the St. Clair, and now have $286 and the priority deal as the Stock Round opens.
              Now, here's my question for the accumulated list wisdom:
               
              Option 1: Buy 2 shares of LPS at $100, and 1 share of someone else's road.
              Option 2: Open the CA, who's home base is built by the GW, heading for his destination, I'd need 3 shares to float so 90 start, to get it going.
              Option 3: Open the CV, home base was upgraded by the GT, again could go with 3 shares at 90, or 4 shares at 65.
               
              The CA could help to build with the LPS, certainly a good thing. The CV has good runs initially, and can really flourish. However opening new railroads hastens the demise of the LPS '2' trains.
               
              I haven't played enough 1856 to be really sure whether aggressive company openings are better than building the base railroad.
               
              Opinions are welcome.
               
              Oh by the way, I'm sure the other players may be on here as well, but since I've got the priority...
            • William R. Dixon
              ... There has been a large discussion about this on rec.model.railroad. Perhaps to forestall any serious legal problems we should make sure to indicate in our
              Message 6 of 14 , Feb 3, 2003
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                "davexblanc " wrote:
                >
                > Adding to the many legal ambiguities that already surround the
                > design, production and distribution of 18xx games, Union Pacific
                > Railroad has recently announced that it will begin managing the use
                > of its trademarks through a licensing program.

                There has been a large discussion about this on rec.model.railroad.

                Perhaps to forestall any serious legal problems we should make sure
                to indicate in our games who the logos we are using (without permission)
                belong to. I am going to do this in my game rules.

                Worst case scenario might require a modest fee to register use of
                the logos.

                Best case would be requirement to ask for permission to use the
                logos in our games

                Not sure if or when they might get around to us, but I would expect
                that it would effect commercial publication of games more than
                it would game kits.


                Regards
                Bill Dixon
              • Dave Mitton
                ... While the UP is, in fact, still repainting their acquired locomotive fleet to their standard Armour Yellow and Grey, they consider that trying to present a
                Message 7 of 14 , Feb 3, 2003
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                  On 2/2/2003 10:46 PM -0800, Tom M wrote:
                  > From what little I know when UP ate SP they're in the process of
                  >re-painting/numbering the engines to the UP yellow/gray standard. It
                  >seems that when they 'merge' with a company they make it disappear. UP
                  >also doesn't seem to do much in the way of PR.
                  >
                  >Tom

                  While the UP is, in fact, still repainting their acquired locomotive fleet
                  to their standard Armour Yellow and Grey, they consider that trying to
                  present a consistent public appearence.
                  They still do own all the heralds and reporting marks of their acquired
                  companies.

                  You may note that rolling stock reporting marks are not repainted, and the
                  UP has several purposefully active cars in service with Mopac, SLSF, TP and
                  even DG&RW heralds on them, so that they can claim continued use.

                  Dave.

                  UP loco fans track the progress of repaints (and patches), and the
                  additions to the fleet. (Yahoo list UPlocomotives) It's amusing to note
                  that they started temporarily renumbering some locomotives as Western
                  Pacific recently, just to free the UP number for reassignment.

                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uplocomotives

                  Family Tree of North American Railroads
                  http://www.spikesys.com/Trains/fmly_tre.html
                • John David Galt
                  ... This may be true, but two questions are certainly somewhat open legally: 1. Do the historic trademarks (for instance, SP) still exist even though no
                  Message 8 of 14 , Feb 3, 2003
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                    "David G.D. Hecht" wrote:
                    > As any railfan can tell you, UP has always vigorously maintained control of
                    > its own logo. Dunno about its various acquisitions' fallen flags though.

                    This may be true, but two questions are certainly somewhat open legally:

                    1. Do the historic trademarks (for instance, SP) still exist even though no
                    product or service is marketed using them any longer?

                    2. Are any of UP's names or logos - "UP" in particular - well enough known
                    worldwide to be in the class of trademarks that have legal protection against
                    all use, rather than only against use by firms in direct competition with UP?
                    (Counterexample: Sun Oil is much older than Sun Microsystems but was not
                    able to forbid its use of the name.)

                    My guess would be definitely "no" to #1, and "maybe" to #2. But if anyone
                    pays a lawyer to find out for sure, it won't be anyone in the game industry,
                    unless UP decides to get so vindictive against, for instance, Alan Moon
                    (over the "Union Pacific" card game) that it becomes cheaper for him to
                    fight than to settle. Let's hope it doesn't happen.

                    It would be interesting to know if the two classes of trademarks to which #2
                    refers exist in other countries. Certainly the US has disregarded other
                    countries' trademark rights when it was convenient (for instance, "aspirin"
                    is a common word in the US but is still Bayer's trademark everywhere else).
                  • Maisnestce@aol.com
                    In a message dated 03/02/03 22:15:42 GMT Standard Time, Billj@patriot.net ... Simple, straightforward, and probably correct. You ll refinance your company so
                    Message 9 of 14 , Feb 4, 2003
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                      In a message dated 03/02/03 22:15:42 GMT Standard Time, Billj@... writes:

                      Option 1: Buy 2 shares of LPS at $100, and 1 share of someone else's road.


                      Simple, straightforward, and probably correct.  You'll refinance your company so you can buy a 3-train, and probably another 3- or 4-train soon.  You're unlikely to lose the LPS accidentally doing this.  Take care which other share you buy since you don't want to finance someone else's private company purchase, either directly or by allowing them to take more loans.

                      Option 2: Open the CA, who's home base is built by the GW, heading for his destination, I'd need 3 shares to float so 90 start, to get it going.


                      The main advantage of doing this is that the CA and LPS can arrange to help each other with track.  The main disadvantage is that you'll probably have one of the two companies taken from you, if not this stock round then in the next one.  Added to that you won't be able to take more loans with LPS unless someone else invests.

                      Option 3: Open the CV, home base was upgraded by the GT, again could go with 3 shares at 90, or 4 shares at 65.


                      I can't seen any advantage in doing this over option 2.  Four shares at $70 would probably be better.

                      Steve Thomas         maisnestce@...
                    • Brian Yeomans
                      hmmmm, First off you need to decide what you plan on doing with the LPS in the end game. Do you plan on trying to keep it or fold it in to the CGR? Starting
                      Message 10 of 14 , Feb 4, 2003
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                        hmmmm, First off you need to decide what you plan on doing with the LPS in the
                        end game. Do you plan on trying to keep it or fold it in to the CGR? Starting
                        with a $100 par is alot of cash to throw at the LPS if you do decide to fold it
                        into the CGR. I usually start my first railroad in 1856 with a par of $75 and
                        try to keep $300 or so I can buy 4 shares. The company will get the same amount
                        of cash whether its a par of $100 or $75 but I get the extra share for dividens.
                        I usually plan on loading my first company with a lot of debt and folding into
                        the CGR when the 6 trains come out. Has any one else bought any LPS? It sounds
                        like it is strapped for cash. I don't know if I would start a second company
                        this SR. Its still early. The second company starting so early could become
                        low on cash by the end game. A second compay coming out early may mean ending
                        up with a 5 or 6 permanent train insted of a diesel.

                        So if you want to save the LPS go with option 1.

                        If you plan on dumping the LPS or folding it into the CGR

                        a) if any body else has bought shares I would buy enough to retain control
                        and load it with debt.

                        b) if nobody else has bought shares I would buy at least one share. That will
                        allow you to borrow cash on both rounds of the next OR if only 3 shares are out.

                        I think both options 2 and 3 will be hard because it will be difficult to keep
                        both companies with capital with both of their par values so high.

                        Good Luck,

                        Brian


                        On Mon, Feb 03, 2003 at 05:14:54PM -0500, William W. Jaffe wrote:
                        > I'm playing in an e-mail 1856.
                        > I opened the LPS, having bought the St Clair private, and opened it at $100
                        > with 2 shares. I bought 2 '2' trains and now am running them both.
                        > In the last ORs, I borrowed the cash to buy the St. Clair, and now have $286
                        > and the priority deal as the Stock Round opens.
                        > Now, here's my question for the accumulated list wisdom:
                        >
                        > Option 1: Buy 2 shares of LPS at $100, and 1 share of someone else's road.
                        > Option 2: Open the CA, who's home base is built by the GW, heading for his
                        > destination, I'd need 3 shares to float so 90 start, to get it going.
                        > Option 3: Open the CV, home base was upgraded by the GT, again could go with
                        > 3 shares at 90, or 4 shares at 65.
                        >
                        > The CA could help to build with the LPS, certainly a good thing. The CV has
                        > good runs initially, and can really flourish. However opening new railroads
                        > hastens the demise of the LPS '2' trains.
                        >
                        > I haven't played enough 1856 to be really sure whether aggressive company
                        > openings are better than building the base railroad.
                        >
                        > Opinions are welcome.
                        >
                        > Oh by the way, I'm sure the other players may be on here as well, but since
                        > I've got the priority...
                      • David G.D. Hecht
                        ... From: John David Galt To: Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 1:16 AM Subject: Re: [18xx] New Legal
                        Message 11 of 14 , Feb 4, 2003
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "John David Galt" <jdg@...>
                          To: <18xx@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 1:16 AM
                          Subject: Re: [18xx] New Legal Twist


                          > "David G.D. Hecht" wrote:
                          > > As any railfan can tell you, UP has always vigorously maintained control
                          of
                          > > its own logo. Dunno about its various acquisitions' fallen flags though.
                          >
                          > This may be true, but two questions are certainly somewhat open legally:
                          >
                          > 1. Do the historic trademarks (for instance, SP) still exist even though
                          no
                          > product or service is marketed using them any longer?
                          >

                          This seems to have been addressed by the earlier post regarding their
                          maintaining a few freight cars under each name and registry, precisely for
                          thsi purpose.

                          > 2. Are any of UP's names or logos - "UP" in particular - well enough
                          known
                          > worldwide to be in the class of trademarks that have legal protection
                          against
                          > all use, rather than only against use by firms in direct competition with
                          UP?
                          > (Counterexample: Sun Oil is much older than Sun Microsystems but was not
                          > able to forbid its use of the name.)
                          >

                          I expect the problem is not so much the name, which is a conjunction of two
                          ordinary words, but the logo and the livery.

                          > My guess would be definitely "no" to #1, and "maybe" to #2. But if anyone
                          > pays a lawyer to find out for sure, it won't be anyone in the game
                          industry,
                          > unless UP decides to get so vindictive against, for instance, Alan Moon
                          > (over the "Union Pacific" card game) that it becomes cheaper for him to
                          > fight than to settle. Let's hope it doesn't happen.
                          >

                          You have put your finger on the crux of the problem: all it's going to take
                          is the *threat* of litigation, and Alan Moon and company will have little
                          choice but to fold. I really don't see anybody in the games industry being
                          willing or able to undertake the costs of litigation involved, even if we
                          had an ironclad case.

                          > It would be interesting to know if the two classes of trademarks to which
                          #2
                          > refers exist in other countries. Certainly the US has disregarded other
                          > countries' trademark rights when it was convenient (for instance,
                          "aspirin"
                          > is a common word in the US but is still Bayer's trademark everywhere
                          else).
                          >

                          I was under the impression the aspirin thing was a product of wartime?
                        • Gregor Zeitlinger
                          IMHO you should make sure that the LPS can take a loan each turn so that you can afford a 3 train as soon as possible, preferrably even a second one (or a 4
                          Message 12 of 14 , Feb 4, 2003
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                            IMHO you should make sure that the LPS can take a loan each turn so that
                            you can afford a 3 train as soon as possible, preferrably even a second
                            one (or a 4 train). This second 3 or 4 train usually spells doom or
                            success in our games.
                            It seems to me, however, that the LPS is very unattractive now. It is
                            priced very high and has very low potential in the crutial mid-game. This
                            is because you've sucked it out for the sake of the private company. You
                            may be able to recover potential if you retain earnings for an OR or two
                            to buy the train combo I mentioned above. Ideally you do this as soon as
                            possible to get the most of your 3 trains.
                            So heres a possible scenario: buy an LPS share only if you can get an
                            additional train earlier than you might otherwise do. Invest the rest of
                            your money in shares with a better price-to-earnings ratio.

                            --
                            Gregor Zeitlinger
                            gregor@...
                          • Noel Leaver
                            ... Discovery of use as a drug was 1897 by a chemist at Beyer. Bayer were forced to give up their Aspirin trademark in US, UK, France, and Russia as part of
                            Message 13 of 14 , Feb 4, 2003
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                              >I was under the impression the aspirin thing was a product of wartime?

                              Discovery of use as a drug was 1897 by a chemist at Beyer. Bayer were
                              forced to give up their "Aspirin" trademark in US, UK, France, and
                              Russia as part of war reparations in the Treaty of Versailles (along
                              with "Heroin"!). However, Bayer bought back the trademark in the USA
                              from SmithKline Beecham for $1 in 1994. In the interim it has become
                              accepted as a generic name and not a trademark in the US, as is also the
                              case in the UK. It is still an enforced Bayer trademark in most other
                              countries though.

                              Noel
                            • David G.D. Hecht
                              I ll tell ya...you learn the most amazing things from other people on the web! THANX for that neat piece of history, Noel! :-) Cheers, dh ... From: Noel
                              Message 14 of 14 , Feb 4, 2003
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                                I'll tell ya...you learn the most amazing things from other people on the
                                web!

                                THANX for that neat piece of history, Noel! :-)

                                Cheers, dh
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "Noel Leaver" <noel.leaver@...>
                                To: <18xx@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 9:46 AM
                                Subject: RE: [18xx] New Legal Twist


                                > >I was under the impression the aspirin thing was a product of wartime?
                                >
                                > Discovery of use as a drug was 1897 by a chemist at Beyer. Bayer were
                                > forced to give up their "Aspirin" trademark in US, UK, France, and
                                > Russia as part of war reparations in the Treaty of Versailles (along
                                > with "Heroin"!). However, Bayer bought back the trademark in the USA
                                > from SmithKline Beecham for $1 in 1994. In the interim it has become
                                > accepted as a generic name and not a trademark in the US, as is also the
                                > case in the UK. It is still an enforced Bayer trademark in most other
                                > countries though.
                                >
                                > Noel
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.
                                >
                                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                >
                                >
                                >
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