Legalities of third party Transformers toy makers

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by major revolt, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. major revolt

    major revolt rogue theory

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    I was wondering since some of you may be lawyers working in patent rights and trademarks , what could be the legal consequences facing small U.S.
    owned third party designers if Hasbro or Takara or both start to notice
    that alot of their property has been given the upgrade ( design and packaging wise that is) of their product without their knowledge or permission?
    I would mention one recent product but won't.

    Would any of the designers and custom builders on TFW2005 be
    A. Extremely honored if a third party toy maker mass produced your designs
    or even used it on their packaging to sell a product you designed but you gave no permission to produce and sell?
    Or B. would a free sample keep you quiet and away from calling your lawyer?( Some people can't refuse.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  2. Gryph

    Gryph Action Master

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    C. Don't be an asshole.
     
  3. QmTablit

    QmTablit Disguise: Check. Robot...

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    The... top half of your post is completely unrelated to the bottom half.

    To discuss the first half, Hasbro and Takara aren't blind. They're well aware of FansProject, BTS, and iGear's works. So until the begin to infringe upon the mass market with appropriated designs, there is no issue.

    And about the second half. If I were to design and scratch-build a custom that was then taken line for line by a "Third Party" company, yes I'd be pissed. But, to answer:

    A: I would in fact be honored that someone thought that highly of my work, however they still stole the design. Maybe something could be worked out, but not likely as stealing the design in the first place tells that I probably shouldn't trust in any legalities with them.

    B: Why would I need a free sample if I have the original piece I created to begin with?
     
  4. Tigermegatron

    Tigermegatron Banned

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    to answer the top half. since I'm not hasbro nor takara I could care less about the coping & law suits involved with these 3rd party companies. I've got enough of my stuff in my life to worry about. why would I care,get involved & worry about stuff that has zero to do with me.

    It's been stated over & over,those 3rd party companies like igear,fanprojects are hard to catch. because their over seas & the laws are different there. also those 3rd party companies probably use so many aliasis,differenrt addresses & contacts,it'll be like trying to find a needle in a hay stack.

    About the 2nd part of your thread. IMHO ,fans who alter TF molds most of the time don't do it for huge profit amounts. most of the time they alter TF toys to make them better & more appealing to their unique taste.

    the average TF fans who alters toys for profit on ebay. is no where near the high volume of the 3rd party companies like igear,fan projects & so forth.

    Technically altering TF toys & selling them on ebay for profit is ILLEGIAL. as it alters the toy & make might it a hazard to potential buyers. as it hasn't passed any safety test. it also alters the design of a liscensed hasbro product that might either embarrass or look better than the liscensed version.

    IMHO,Once a altered TF toy is put up for sale on ebay. there is no patent or copy rights. so legally anyone can copy that design & mass produce it if they chose. after all one takes a risk when they put something up on-line for the world to see.

    Do I agree if a 3rd party toy company copies a fans toy design without permission?
    I honestly don't care as it has nothing to do with me. I'll simply focus on my stuff instead of sticking my nose where it clearly doesn't belong.
     
  5. Roufuss

    Roufuss Shots

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    Doesn't the FP stuff in particular just drive up the sales of Hasbro's already released figures?

    It seems that without the FP Protector armor, many people wouldn't care all that much about Classics Rodimus (who is getting a re-release in the US the same month as the FP armor... what a coincidence.)

    It seems like, in some of these situations, it's a win / win.

    I'm shocked Hasbro hasn't re-released Classics Ultra Magnus somehow, haha.
     
  6. exomega255

    exomega255 Emerald Green

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    I am not a customizer but I can say that I will be pissed if say, an awesome radicon design here got copied without the owner's approval, and at least asked if he/she wanted to share in part of the profit.
     
  7. Wollstone

    Wollstone Banned

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    Getting a free sample would just add insult to injury.

    "Thanks for doing the hard work for us. Here's a free sample of the thing you made, but will be making us money that you will never see."
     
  8. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 "No Mas" My Wallet

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    okay I am not a lawyer, but there is a reason none of the KO makers are based in a country where there exists a reasonable chance of Has/Tak winning a judgment against them. ( that is setting aside numbers of the offending figure sold aside) They are all in China ( correct me if i am wrong here) where the government has done very little to curtail any kind of counterfeiting of products.

    FP and other companies that solely create there own original figures and add on accessories for existing Has/Tak figures are fine by me. and I would think Has/Tak by in large approves of them as they can help move their products.

    as for your questions, I am not a customizer ( unless you count using a sharpie to make improvements to coloring on two weapons and building weapons for my Cybertron Metroplex out of legos) but i would be more angry that flattered my design was stolen, and i agree that if you made it and assuming you did not sell your custom that you already had it.
     
  9. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    Asking for free legal advice is asking for poor legal advice.
     
  10. Wollstone

    Wollstone Banned

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    It also makes people very suspicious of you.

    "Say guys, hypothetically speaking, could a fella like me go to jail for beating an old man unconscious with a poodle? Hypothetically speaking of course!"
     
  11. CZ Hazard

    CZ Hazard Sons of Unicron PTT

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    Quick, change the subject. Look, a bee!

    The way I look at it, Hasbro aren't stupid, the designers are evidently fans of the product, they too frequent message boards albeit somewhat anonymously, so...
    don't rub their faces in it by talking about it online.

    And don't bring it up at the Hasbro panel at Botcon, because while 4 of the panel might be designers / fanboys, guaranteed at least one of the Hasbro reps has no vested interest in Transformers past their next pay check, and if they think the company they potentially own shares in is losing money, they're the type to look into the potential actionability of a lawsuit.

    While I am all for encouraging debate in all walks of life, I definitily think this is a don't ask / don't tell situation.
     
  12. Red Alert

    Red Alert Security

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    A.If you are US based you are getting sued and/or your ass kicked

    B.You're getting your ass kicked.


    Now if you paid for said design or give a percentage to the artist/radicon then there wont be a issue.
     
  13. CookSux

    CookSux Infectious Veteran

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    Ebay:
    Wont' beat a dead horse on the first subject.

    Second subject:
    If an idea is good enough, someone else is bound to have the same one. Person A is not and cannot be the only person to have designed and executed something specific for it to really be a blatant copy. At least that's what can be said until said person files a trademark or copyright... any customizers going out and doing that? Who are you going to sue if Hasbro/Takara aren't even bothering? You aren't making any loss in profits if someone 'borrows' your idea anyway, since you aren't a toy maker.

    This thread is stupid.
     
  14. prowl26

    prowl26 Well-Known Member

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    The thing that always got me about the whole question of legality was why everybody took every chance to ask Hasbro what they thought, instead of leaving well enough alone.
     
  15. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    Because people are dumb.
     
  16. Thenames9

    Thenames9 D-d-d-d-duel!

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    Hasbro aren't idiots you know (well, you know what I mean), they know Fansproject is using their products as addons. Remember TFCon a few years back with the City Commander addon? In fact, Fansproject is helping Hasbro with sales of products. Just looks how much Universe Magnus costs
     
  17. ssjkazer

    ssjkazer mr dyslexia

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    part 1

    they honestly dont care there not selling in a big enough scale to care now if they turn up at your local kmart then the shit will hit the fan

    but while its online basicly only they shouldnt care

    part 2

    if a company like fans project or even hasbro takes what i have done as a custom and mass produce it for the public i would be honnerd that they think so highly of what ive done of course if its absolute uniq mold that i make myself ill ask them plan and simple if i could work for them designing molds lol

    and yes 3rd party accessory push up sales alot

    sorry about spelling
     
  18. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 "No Mas" My Wallet

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    Bingo same goes for ROTF Superion and Bruticus.
     
  19. QuinJester

    QuinJester T. Bison

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    It should be pointed out that these products do not, in fact, bolster Hasbro's sales in any way. These add-ons have all been for items which are no longer in production, and Hasbro doesn't get a penny of aftermarket sales so ebay costs of toys like UM and Classics Rodimus are a non-issue.

    Knowing, half battle, etc...
     
  20. Chaos Convoy

    Chaos Convoy Dai Gurren-Dan member

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    If designs being similar to each other was worth being sued over, Hasbro and Takara would've gotten sued a few years ago for their Classics Jetfire toy by Harmony Gold or Bandai. Because there's no mistaking that it was very blatantly ripping off the Valkyrie/Veritech look. That toy, in and of itself, is the reason I don't think Hasbro or TakaraTomy would ever go after FP for Defender or anything else they or any other 3rd party company has produced.

    Except IGear's Faith Leader and all it's variants. Those, I'm surprised they didn't get sued over.
     

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