Is this copyright infrigement?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by capellamusic, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. capellamusic

    capellamusic Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I saw about this new product today and I was left wondering since the "autobot" name is a registered trademark by Hasbro if this is copyright infrigement:

    Mavizon Technologies - About Autobot

    This left me wondering how are they able to use this name on the product they're creating.
     
  2. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

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    It's spelled differently - not sure if that allows them leeway.
     
  3. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    It probably does.

    Autobot =/= AutoBot?
     
  4. capellamusic

    capellamusic Well-Known Member

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    The only difference I see is the capital B, the word remains the same... :|
     
  5. capellamusic

    capellamusic Well-Known Member

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    So, if I called my product DeceptiCon it would be ok too? :p 
     
  6. shibamura_prime

    shibamura_prime Jumpin' Jellyfish! Super Mod

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    Hasbro could probably make a case if they really wanted to. But I doubt they'll raise a fuss when you think about the court and legal fees they'd probably have to shell out to press the matter.
     
  7. Noideaforaname

    Noideaforaname Pico, let's go up to Zuma

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    There was fuss over "Airachnid" sounding too much like "Arachnoid," though.
     
  8. capellamusic

    capellamusic Well-Known Member

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    I don't know, autobot is such an important word for their Transformers franchise... when I saw that AutoBot product I was searching if it was associated with Transformers since it's the exact same word.
     
  9. shibamura_prime

    shibamura_prime Jumpin' Jellyfish! Super Mod

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    It's not like they're marketing a transforming robot toy. Again, it's all up to Hasbro.
     
  10. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    Nope, not copyright infringement since you can't copyright a word.

    It is indeed trademark infringement. Same thing happened with Google Droid. Instead of opting to change the name they payed fees to Lucas.

    Hasbro's court costs are minimal if the trademark is indeed registered (r in a circle is registered, tm is in process). They only need to send a cease and desist. If the company fails to cooperate they can be sued for all costs involved.

    The big B does not make a difference in a unique name/word
     
  11. Batman

    Batman The Dark Knight TFW2005 Supporter

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    Is it kind of sad that I want it?
     
  12. Insane Galvatron

    Insane Galvatron is not insane. Really!

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    Depends on why. If the product is something you're actually interested in, then no. If you have no interest in the product and only want it because of the name, then yes it is sad.
     
  13. Galva-Cannon

    Galva-Cannon Well-Known Member

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    I'm no legal expert, but I've read there's much more leeway with different companies using the same trademarks if they're operating in a totally different market. I.e. this company sells a gadget for real life cars, whereas Hasbro sells children's toys that sometimes turn into cars. They aren't competitors in the same market. I think the whole thing about trademark infringement is that it creates confusion for the customers as to whose product they're buying, but it's kind of hard to argue that somebody buying an "AutoBot" cellphone gadget for their car is going to get confused and think they're really buying a Transformers toy.
     
  14. Batman

    Batman The Dark Knight TFW2005 Supporter

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    I would say both. It seems like it is something cool to have, and it has a sweet name to go along with it.
     
  15. Shelfwarmercon

    Shelfwarmercon Well-Known Member

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    Not if they can make Mavizon pay all the legal expenses, on top of whatever financial compensation claims they would make.
     
  16. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Here you use the correct word.

    And here you use the wrong one. Why?

    Copyright refers to individual expressions of ideas (such as the content of a story, or the design of a toy or a character). Trademark refers to the names you use to advertise products (such as toys or comic books). Two very different things!

    Capitalization doesn't mean much. There's this whole concept in trademark law called "confusing similarity". CamelCase is an almost laughably minor difference in that regard.

    This is a very, very accurate summary. And yes, Hasbro have the word registered: In the "toys" field since 1985.

    This is true. However, especially with the live action movies, "Transformers" and some related names such as "Autobot", "Decepticon", "Optimus Prime" and "Bumblebee" are so well-known names that Hasbro might be able to argue with the overall popularity of their brand in favor of potential brand confusion. For example, Disney doesn't manufacture computers; but releasing a "Donald Duck Computer" would still cause trouble with Disney.

    It is a complicated issue, and not one solved on an internet message board. ;) 
     
  17. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    Not to mention Hasbro created the word Autobot. It doesn't matter if it's two unrelated fields or not. If it is not a common word it can't be used by multiple companies. Example. Mickey Mouse can not be used to name a Car line or a computer line. It's an original word that is synonymous with a specific brand.

    However

    Thor can be multi trademarked because it is a common usage word tied into myth. The only thing that cannot be used is the same designs for Thor taking into account the designs have been trademarked as well.

    They have held this since 1984 as a trademark search has shown me.

    Now Hasbro can be passive about this and not do anything but they'd prove themselves idiots at the chance for licensing fees. Lucas got a couple million from google.
     
  18. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    It may not matter if the two products are in the same field, but Hasbro would have to make a case that the one product could logically be confused for the other. So Autobot Ratchet the fictional space robot who fixes things could conceivably be confused for Ratchet the space video game hero who fixes things, hence "Autobot" Ratchet. It's less likely someone would confuse these two products. Hasbro could probably raise a stink, but since they're unlikely to be losing money off of this product, I don't see it being worth their while unless this Autobot system becomes really profitable or starts making sub products like an Arcee motorcycle controller or the Gutcruncher remote seat adjustment system.
     
  19. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Well, Hasbro could make a case about the other company using Hasbro's long-established, well-known trademark to profit from the popularity of the name.

    If I were to release "Mazda Computers", I'm not competing with the car manufacturer in the same field, but I'm trying to benefit from the reputation of the existing company.
     
  20. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    Bingo

    Not to mention, again, Hasbro invented the word and they have a sample in Lucas v. Google.

    The argument brought up is on established words vs. common use words. Autobot is not common use therefore it doesn't have a legal leg to stand on when used by another company.
     

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