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Re: [z_scale] Re: Train show this weekend in Pomona

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  • ztrack@aol.com
    Loren, Yes, the UP is requiring licensing. They are approaching manufacturers and will pursue legal action as necessary. I have heard the MT is in the process
    Message 1 of 25 , Mar 1, 2004
      Loren,

      Yes, the UP is requiring licensing. They are approaching manufacturers and
      will pursue legal action as necessary. I have heard the MT is in the process of
      becoming licensed with the UP. AZL is fully licensed by the UP. AZL was
      actually one of the first companies to do so. Did this affect pricing? Yes it did.
      The prices of AZL locos did go up in order to reflect fees paid back to the UP
      and preparation for additional licensing requirement from other railroads.

      Interesting enough, the largest debate is not the licensing of the UP name,
      but the forced licensing of the fallen flags.

      The ethics of this is interesting and one I have mixed feelings on. As the
      owner of a company, I would do what ever it takes to protect the business
      identity. But, the railroads are going after their biggest supporters. No matter
      what, we will all be paying a little more for UP licensed products. We now must
      wait and see what the other railroads do.

      Rob Kluz

      Ztrack Magazine, Ltd.
      6142 Northcliff Blvd.
      Dublin, OH 43016
      Phone/Fax (614) 764-1703
      www.ztrack.com


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Edward Scullin
      I see a simple solution to the UP flap, (Sorry Jeffery) DON T BUY UP. Ed Scullin ... __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Search - Find
      Message 2 of 25 , Mar 1, 2004
        I see a simple solution to the UP flap, (Sorry Jeffery) DON'T BUY UP.
        Ed Scullin


        --- ztrack@... wrote:
        > Loren,
        >
        > Yes, the UP is requiring licensing. They are approaching
        > manufacturers and
        > will pursue legal action as necessary. I have heard the MT is in
        > the process of
        > becoming licensed with the UP. AZL is fully licensed by the UP. AZL
        > was
        > actually one of the first companies to do so. Did this affect
        > pricing? Yes it did.
        > The prices of AZL locos did go up in order to reflect fees paid
        > back to the UP
        > and preparation for additional licensing requirement from other
        > railroads.
        >
        > Interesting enough, the largest debate is not the licensing of the
        > UP name,
        > but the forced licensing of the fallen flags.
        >
        > The ethics of this is interesting and one I have mixed feelings on.
        > As the
        > owner of a company, I would do what ever it takes to protect the
        > business
        > identity. But, the railroads are going after their biggest
        > supporters. No matter
        > what, we will all be paying a little more for UP licensed products.
        > We now must
        > wait and see what the other railroads do.
        >
        > Rob Kluz
        >
        > Ztrack Magazine, Ltd.
        > 6142 Northcliff Blvd.
        > Dublin, OH 43016
        > Phone/Fax (614) 764-1703
        > www.ztrack.com
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >


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      • jim_manley_alpha_six
        Hi Loren, There was an extensive thread on this topic in this group a few months ago, as well as probably every other modeling group on the WWW. It s a mixed
        Message 3 of 25 , Mar 1, 2004
          Hi Loren,

          There was an extensive thread on this topic in this group a few months
          ago, as well as probably every other modeling group on the WWW. It's
          a mixed bag so far, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
          has recently notified UP that it's issuing final refusal status for
          several of UP's applications for trademarks for road names it's
          acquired, but allowed others to continue in the process for approval.
          The reason is that each application can be handled by a different
          USPTO examiner, and they vary widely in their experience and knowledge
          of the law and prior art (the most common career path is (1) get a
          shiny new law degree, (2) go to work at the USPTO as an examiner for a
          few years and battle your way up the ladder to be assigned significant
          applications, (3) approve applications for companies you'd like to
          work for someday, and disapprove those of companies not likely to be
          able to keep you in the lifestyle to which you'd like to become
          accustomed, (4) jump ship from the USPTO to the highest bidder, and
          (5) live wealthily-ever-after easily defending cases for said
          highest-bidder, since the USPTO is left with the lawyers who no
          corporations wanted on their payroll either because they were
          principled or, more likely, just incompetent). Yes, this is somewhat
          jaded, but borne out by personal experience spending 4.5 years to get
          a patent and trademark awarded, and successfully defending them for
          the remaining time left (12 years remaining on the original
          application, plus another 17 years on the one renewal that's allowed).
          It's not a job, it's an adventure!

          I Am Not A Lawyer (IANAL), but ultimately, if the model makers are
          able to pay for good enough lawyers (at least equal to UP's, who
          probably won't be very imaginative, because that's how you get when
          you're in a big, cushy corporate job like that), the model makers
          could prevail. The key fact that UP has to prove is that their
          business is being damaged by the use of their logos on model trains
          and equipment, primarily due to confusion on the part of their
          customers in the transportation marketplace. Now, there are some
          pretty detailed railroad models out there, but I don't think that
          anyone in a Fortune 10,000,000 company is going to be calling up MTL
          or Marklin to arrange for the pickup of a few million tons of coal to
          be transported from mines to power plants, transport of automobiles
          from Detroit to distribution lots all over the continent, or delivery
          of Space Shuttle boosters from Utah to Cape Canaveral, etc. In fact,
          if the model makers' lawyers are smart enough, they may be able to
          find evidence that UP is actually benefitting from the exposure, and a
          case can theoretically be made for the model makers charging UP for
          advertising exposure! Now, if UP decides to get into the model
          railroad manufacturing business, that could be a whole different story
          (except that model railroading has been around for well over a
          century, so there's plenty of precedent for their trademark being
          allowed to be used in the public domain already). Welcome to the
          arcanities of The Law (it makes sub-atomic physics look positively
          simple! :)

          Unfortunately, the legal defense process usually takes years, and
          hence, lots of lawyer dollars, which companies like MTL, or even
          Marklin, may not have cranked into their business models (pun fully
          intended). They may just throw in the towel and agree to pay a
          licensing fee to UP (if they haven't caved already, which some other
          model makers have done for some road names). Reportedly, UP recently
          announced that they will not require royalty payments from any
          manufacturer making less than $3,000 (annually?) which, if true, means
          that the paperwork isn't worth their effort as they will gross less
          than $100 from such manufacturers, and that's just not enough money to
          light a lawyer's, or executive's, cigar.

          Note that hobbyists are theoretically (and, in practice, if you
          believe in the substantial amount of fair-use case law precedents)
          free to do whatever they want in the way of making their own decals,
          and painting the UP name and logos on their model trains and equipment
          (to be perfectly legal, you're supposed to include the "TM", but even
          UP has forgotten to do that on a lot of its own equipment, so make
          sure you reproduce the prototypes accurately!). You can even sell
          such items to other individuals on a one-time basis (in other words,
          you can't make and sell the same version of a loco or piece of rolling
          stock to more than one individual, or to the same individual more than
          once).

          Here's a good one that's been making the rounds for quite a while. If
          you think the model manufacturers have it bad, consider this:
          Reliable sources report that Otis Elevator has received a "Cease and
          Desist" order from the Union Pacific attorneys for copyright
          infringement for using the "UP" logo in all their elevators. Otis is
          having to consider relabeling their buttons "Down" and "Not Down". :)

          All Z BeZt,
          Jim


          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Loren Snyder" <ljsnyder@c...> wrote:
          >
          > A hobby shop owner told me that UP was involved with a law
          > suit against one of the model train manufacturers because the model
          > manufacturer wasn't paying UP any royalities ...
        • Loren Snyder
          ... From: To: Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 5:28 PM Subject: Re: [z_scale] Re: Train show this weekend in Pomona .
          Message 4 of 25 , Mar 1, 2004
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: <d.f.avila@...>
            To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 5:28 PM
            Subject: Re: [z_scale] Re: Train show this weekend in Pomona
            . It is a copyright item and with the laws as screwy as they are becoming,
            the copyright owner is not going to let go 1/220th of an inch. May be a
            case of buy it NOW or soon everything will be unmarked. ...the advantage of
            living in a very litigous society...

            Don, I think I will copyright my name and everything else about me, of
            course it will only apply to lawyers, (no offense to any lawyers who are
            also Zers), I can see the owner's point, but the issue is so Zmall in some
            respects. Can't stand much more of this sanity?????
            Loren
          • zbendtrack@aol.com
            ... Gee, Jim. I m not sure about that. Here s a photo someone shared with me, allegedly taken in their front yard after they made their own decals.
            Message 5 of 25 , Mar 1, 2004
              Jim:

              > Note that hobbyists are theoretically (and, in practice, if you
              > believe in the substantial amount of fair-use case law precedents)
              > free to do whatever they want in the way of making their own decals,
              > and painting the UP name and logos on their model trains and equipment
              >

              Gee, Jim. I'm not sure about that. Here's a photo someone shared with me,
              allegedly taken in their front yard after they made their own decals.

              http://www.members.aol.com/zbendtrack/UP-Police.jpg

              (its just web humor, folks)

              Bill K.
              Houston


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • jim_manley_alpha_six
              Hi Bill, Ha! That s got to be the lousiest paint job I ve seen on a vehicle of _any_ scale. I wouldn t even compare it to an Earl Scheib $29.95 slop job - it
              Message 6 of 25 , Mar 1, 2004
                Hi Bill,

                Ha! That's got to be the lousiest paint job I've seen on a vehicle of
                _any_ scale. I wouldn't even compare it to an Earl Scheib $29.95 slop
                job - it would be an insult to poor old Earl and his boys (yes, I
                realize it's actually the fault of the poser who hacked this up in
                Photoshop)!

                I'm going to see if I can bid on the contract to do the painting of
                UP's paddy wagons. I'll only charge them what they're making from the
                licensing program, plus "expenses" and interest!

                ;D

                All Z BeZt,
                Jim


                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, zbendtrack@a... wrote:
                > Gee, Jim. I'm not sure about that. Here's a photo someone shared
                > with me, allegedly taken in their front yard after they made their
                > own decals.
                >
                > http://www.members.aol.com/zbendtrack/UP-Police.jpg
              • de Champeaux Dominique
                ... see a simple solution to the UP flap, (Sorry ... Ed, I don t think UP headquarters have any mind about modelrailroading. It won t change anything to their
                Message 7 of 25 , Mar 2, 2004
                  --- Edward Scullin <sculline@...> a écrit : > I
                  see a simple solution to the UP flap, (Sorry
                  > Jeffery) DON'T BUY UP.
                  > Ed Scullin
                  >
                  >
                  Ed, I don't think UP headquarters have any mind about
                  modelrailroading. It won't change anything to their
                  business.... But on the other hand doing so should
                  drive a number of modelrailroading manufacturers to
                  bankruptcy.....
                  Cheers,
                  Dominique






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                • zbendtrack@aol.com
                  ... A quick look at www.up.com shows that AZL has signed up, but MicroTrains and Marklin have not yet signed up with UP. When that happens, I expect you will
                  Message 8 of 25 , Mar 3, 2004
                    ehayes24:

                    > I noticed that all of the locos are priced the same regardless of roadname,
                    >
                    > so are the buyers of locos for roads other than UP paying for the licensing?
                    >
                    > i s the cost split among all of the locomotives produced of each model of
                    > locomotive in the run?

                    A quick look at www.up.com shows that AZL has signed up, but MicroTrains and
                    Marklin have not yet signed up with UP.

                    When that happens, I expect you will see the difference in price for UP
                    roadnames. Plus, all the "stuff" in the distribution pipeline has to be sold at
                    the old prices.

                    At least that's what happened in other scales to date.

                    Hope this helps,
                    Bill K.
                    Houston


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • ztrack@aol.com
                    ... Simple answer yes, but not really... AZL is trying to keep pricing simple. Basically, AZL and Ztrack as the distributor are too small of companies to
                    Message 9 of 25 , Mar 3, 2004
                      In a message dated 3/3/04 3:38:26 PM, ehayes24@... writes:


                      > I noticed that all of the locos are priced the same regardless of roadname,
                      > so are the buyers of locos for roads other than UP paying for the licensing?
                      >

                      Simple answer yes, but not really... AZL is trying to keep pricing simple.
                      Basically, AZL and Ztrack as the distributor are too small of companies to
                      handle numerous variations in pricing. Simplicity is key to operations. The price
                      is determined by a complex formula of licensing, legal fees, time, etc on top
                      of research, production costs, etc. The UP is the focus of questions, but the
                      fallen flags that the UP owns also fall under the UP licensing. For instance,
                      under the SD40-2 and SD45 run, UP licensing covered the UP, Rio Grande, and
                      Southern Pacific roadnames. AZL is also licensed with Conrail. Did you know
                      that even though Conrail does not 'exist', it still retains an office for
                      licensing? So add Conrail to the list. To simply matters, AZL has come up with one
                      pricing structure. Additional funds are also used for legal fees to gain more
                      licensing and prepare for future costs. For instance, it is only a matter of
                      time before the BNSF requires licensing fees. I hope this answers your question.
                      It is a complex issue, but we are trying to keep it simple for the consumer.

                      Rob Kluz

                      Ztrack Magazine, Ltd.
                      6142 Northcliff Blvd.
                      Dublin, OH 43016
                      Phone/Fax (614) 764-1703
                      www.ztrack.com


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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