Stylin Online T-Shirts
 
Hobby Link Japan TFSource Big Bad Toy Store Robot Kingdom ToyArena Captured Prey

Harmony Gold Sues Hasbro over SDCC 2013 Jetfire Skystriker

Posted on 07-24-2013 at 02:30 PM by Sol Fury under Other News
SDCC-GI-Joe-Transformers-2013-1_1372153156
Courthouse News reports that Harmony Gold, owners of the Robotech IP and by extension Macross in the USA, have filed a complaint that Hasbro's recent SDCC 2013 exclusive G.I. Joe VS Transformers Skystriker Jetfire has infringed on their IP. The action, submitted to the US District Court, seeks injunctive relief and damages from Hasbro.

The action against Hasbro by Harmony Gold originates with the earliest origins of the Autobot Jetfire and the US licensing rights of the series from which his toy originated, Macross. Hasbro in 1984 licensed the VF-1 Valkyrie toy for use in Transformers as Jetfire, while during the same period, Harmony Gold licensed the rights to Macross from Tatsunako, including merchandising rights. This was one reason, in the original Generation 1 Transformers cartoon, for Jetfire featuring a much different design on screen and being phased out of the series early in the second season.

What Harmony Gold alleges is that Hasbro's G.I. Joe VS Transformers Jetfire Skystriker toy infringes upon Harmony Gold's rights to the marketing of Macross, including merchandising rights, outside of Japan, based on the resemblance of the toy to the Veritech VF-1 Valkyrie. They allege that the SDCC exclusive toy has caused, and continues to cause, financial damage to their company. As a result Harmony Gold are seeking the withdrawal of the G.I. Joe VS Transformers Jetfire Skystriker toy from sale, seizure of all remaining stock (including Hasbro to "recall from any person or entity known to them who purchased or received... any unauthorized toys or other products based on [Harmony Gold's] copyrighted works"), Hasbro to pay all profits made on the set to Harmony Gold, in addition to damages, legal fees and "exemplary damages in an amount sufficient amount to punish and make a public example of Hasbro, and deter wrongful conduct in future".


Short version for those who do not wish to read the long wall of text: Harmony Gold is taking action in the courts against Hasbro due to the resemblance of the G.I. Joe VS Transformers Jetfire Skystriker, and what they are seeking is:
1) Remaining toys to be removed from sale;
2) Unsold stock to be turned over to them (& a possible recall);
3) Lots of $ in damages.


View the original report on Courthouse News here, and a copy of the complaint lodged with the United States District Court here.
Views: 8,526 / Credit: sokutai of the 2005 Boards!
Pravus Prime
Okay, that seems like a really dumb move.
Furyan
In other news SDCC "lawsuit" Jetfire prices to skyrocket
Shatterpoint
So is Harmony Gold suing over Jetfire or GI Joe vs Transformers?

The article seems to imply the latter...
Ra88
For a moment I thought this would be about Whirl's gerwalk mode.

Interesting situation though.
OptmiusPrime
The court filing is stupid. Yes i definitely can see how damaging it could be for someone to release a toy resembling a character from a tv show that has not been relevant for 3 decades. This is just a money grab pure and simple.
OptmiusPrime
Honestly i dont even think sdcc jetfire looks anything close to robotech
Ra88
Quote:
Originally Posted by OptmiusPrime View Post
Honestly i dont even think sdcc jetfire looks anything close to robotech
Both vehicles are based on the same jet and have the same kind of pack attached to it. And it's made in likeness of a G1 character, NOT the cartoon version, but specifically the toy one....Which WAS a Macross/Robotech valkyrie.

They've got grounds to fight this on.

What remains to be seen now is how Hasbro defends themselves, but they should be able to win fairly easily. It's not an exact replica and it's made in the likeness of their own G1 character which WAS used legally, and is not meant to tie in to it's parent property.
Dolza_Khyron
does harmony gold even own any copyright licensing for macross? i mean, when they did that robotech movie. they avoiding using ANYTHING from macross.
OptmiusPrime
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ra88 View Post
Both vehicles are based on the same jet and have the same kind of pack attached to it. And it's made in likeness of a G1 character, NOT the cartoon version, but specifically the toy one....Which WAS a Macross/Robotech valkyrie.

They've got grounds to fight this on.

What remains to be seen now is how Hasbro defends themselves, but they should be able to win fairly easily. It's not an exact replica and it's made in the likeness of their own G1 character which WAS used legally, and is not meant to tie in to it's parent property.
if anything, Hasbro releasing a G1 Jetfire reissue would probably do generate more interest in Robotech than anything Harmony Gold has done in a while. Harmony Gold should BEG Hasbro to do this because they've done nothing but take a crap with the Robotech license
Dolza_Khyron
you know who really should be suing harmony gold over copyright issues? Grumman.
MrFX
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolza_Khyron View Post
you know who really should be suing harmony gold over copyright issues? Grumman.
EXACTLY!
Sideswipe1954
If I am understanding the legalise of the complaint, Hasbro released a NON Transforming jet that is similar to the original Robotech Jetfire, and Harmony Gold feels they have a say over it?!?
bonewire
Maybe because its like those shitty Mattel Robotech non transforming Valkyries from the 80s. I love Robotech, but talk about an under used property.
Aernaroth
Ahahaha, Harmony Gold, don't ever change.
Knightdramon
F*ck Harmony Gold.

Theirs is one of the worst, if not the WORST handling of licenses [regarding "Robotech"] that I've seen.

Essentially all they're doing is keeping every macross product outside the US while producing nothing on their own.
Angelwave
Wow....you just have to last laugh at this.

I'm was surprised that Harmony Gold was even still around, when I heard that they (finally) were releasing a follow up to the Shadow Chronicles (which oddly enough released yesterday).

But damn....if they want to have a cash flow, why not do something (ANYTHING) with the freaking IP they have. And I don't mean just releasing a movie twice a decade.
spartan 3764
Tekkaman Blade
They are very very limited in what they can do. Bandai hates them, and won't let them use anything, I am not even sure of the full rights they have anymore, they lost a lot of rights in a recent legal battle. Mostly what they have is trademarks on names (only in the us) like UN spacey that keep Bandai from releasing product over here. They make most of their money these days by pulling stunts like this and releasing crappy comics and videos so they can hold on to the license by their teeth. Mostly you just hear about them suing people.
Anguirus
Welp, expect a new US Jetfire/Skyfire toy on the fifth of never. Transformers seems pretty legally conservative on the whole.
Dirge121
Oh Harmony Gold, you so crazy. This is a surprisingly effective way of making money. Squat on a license, release the bare minimum required to keep license and sue anyone trying to actually do something good with it.
jamspeed
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anguirus View Post
Welp, expect a new US Jetfire/Skyfire toy on the fifth of never. Transformers seems pretty legally conservative on the whole.
They are fine with Skyfire, just not Macross/Robotech like Valkrie/Veritech designs.
Anguirus
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamspeed View Post
They are fine with Skyfire, just not Macross/Robotech like Valkrie/Veritech designs.
They are suing over a white Skystriker with a teeny red thing on it.
MECHADOOM
You know, if this case goes in Harmony Gold's favour, I shudder to think of what that could mean for Whirl's release.
eriku
Quote:
Originally Posted by MECHADOOM View Post
You know, if this case goes in Harmony Gold's favour, I shudder to think of what that could mean for Whirl's release.
It wouldn't mean anything, as Whirl is based on a toy that was a repurposed Dorvack toy and has nothing to do with Robotech, Macross or Harmony Gold.
shibamura_prime
Harmony Gold just wants Hasbro to send them a bunch of the SDCC sets as compensation so they can sell them on Ebay and finally get some income.
jamspeed
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anguirus View Post
They are suing over a white Skystriker with a teeny red thing on it.
OK, I just clicked on the other images. Yea, they have a case as Hasbro made a Skystriker look like a Robotech fighter. Hasbro probably only has the rights to the transforming G1 Jetfire. This might be a close one, I hope Hasbro wins of course.
SPLIT LIP
Oh, I'm sure this will totally work out in Harmony Gold's favour.
Sideswipe1954
I have to ask though, how is a Skystriker LIKE a Robotech fighter? Don't Robotech Fighters, I don't know, TRANSFORM?!?
e3nine
The SDCC Jetfire's paint scheme is pretty close to the Valkyrie's detailing.
- wing stripe w. circular badge
- paint to fake the air ducts next to the cockpit
- striping behind the cockpit

The shape of the jet is vastly different though.

Hate to say it, but Harmony Gold has a legit case.
MECHADOOM
Quote:
Originally Posted by eriku View Post
It wouldn't mean anything, as Whirl is based on a toy that was a repurposed Dorvack toy and has nothing to do with Robotech, Macross or Harmony Gold.
You're not quite picking up what I'm putting down.

The original design of Whirl is owned by Bandai, who licenced it to Hasbro. I'm not entirely sure if that licence had an expiry date, but if it did, it's possible that Bandai could prevent the release of Generations Whirl, based on what they observe in this court case. It's also possible that based on this lawsuit, Hasbro may re-evaluate their usage of designs that have origins in other companies.

But I'm just an outside observer, and I have no idea if Hasbro has already cleared this with Bandai, or if they would even have to.
WhiteMocha
Psssh..... I told them they should have done Powerglide instead. Serves them right.
Starfire22
LeoPrime
My question is this:

Where the fuck was Harmony Gold when Classics Jetfire came out, then?
When Hasbro releases a Transforming toy that's obviously inspired by the VF-1S right down to paint apps and FAST packs, they sit idly by and do nothing.

When they redo a *non-transforming* toy from 1983 (long before there was ever a Robotech) in the same colors though, THAT'S worth suing over? Really?
Starfire22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anguirus View Post
Welp, expect a new US Jetfire/Skyfire toy on the fifth of never. Transformers seems pretty legally conservative on the whole.
I wouldn't be so sure. The classics Jetfire/Skyfire mould is okay. (Imo)
Lion
I'm not quite in the know like most of you seem to be, but why hasn't the titanium, and classics jetfire had any legal problems? Is it the design themselves?? (Sorry, I noticed someone above me asked the same question)
Tekkaman Blade
It's the design, because it's closer to the original Valkyrie toys jet. Classics and others don't look like that jet.
They could even get away with the jet, basically harmony gold is suing over the backpack add on used with the jet, if they had used the same backpack on a modern jet it wouldn't be an issue. Harmony Gold is gong after a technicality. It's how they make 90% of their money now suing people and holding on to dear life anything Robotech they still can. Even though they seem to have lost most of it.

Hasboro announced it months ago, if they really had an issue they could have stopped it then. But they waited till it sold, so they could pull this. As I said they make most of their money in lawsuits these days. They are basically a trademark troll these days.
jamspeed
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion View Post
I'm not quite in the know like most of you seem to be, but why hasn't the titanium, and classics jetfire had any legal problems? Is it the design themselves?? (Sorry, I noticed someone above me asked the same question)
I think those were different enough, and they transformed. Remember there was a large non transformable robotech fighter sold in the 80's that was similar to the Skystriker. The thruster pods on the SDCC set look too much like the Robotech ones.
eriku
Quote:
Originally Posted by MECHADOOM View Post
You're not quite picking up what I'm putting down.

The original design of Whirl is owned by Bandai, who licenced it to Hasbro. I'm not entirely sure if that licence had an expiry date, but if it did, it's possible that Bandai could prevent the release of Generations Whirl, based on what they observe in this court case. It's also possible that based on this lawsuit, Hasbro may re-evaluate their usage of designs that have origins in other companies.

But I'm just an outside observer, and I have no idea if Hasbro has already cleared this with Bandai, or if they would even have to.
Eh, Bandai isn’t known to get their feathers ruffled over other toys bearing a slight resemblance to their toys, whereas Harmony Gold makes a living out of it. I wouldn't worry about it.
WhiteMocha
You know, it's funny, for all we talk on this board about intellectual property theft, and licenses, and who has the right to what (be it in regard to 3rd Party figures, automobile company licenses, old G1 toys whose molds were bought from smaller companies, etc.) I feel like this is one of the only times I've ever actually heard of some legal proceedings being attempted. It's sort of interesting in an academic sense.
Shin-Gouki
The only reason Harmony Gold exists is the squeeze as much money out of the licenses they've held onto with a death clutch since the 80's and make money suing anyone that makes anything remotely Macross outside japan.

I hope Hasbro Fights This, Wins and it costs HG so much money they go bankrupt.
sokutai
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shin-Gouki View Post
The only reason Harmony Gold exists is the squeeze as much money out of the licenses they've held onto with a death clutch since the 80's and make money suing anyone that makes anything remotely Macross outside japan.

I hope Hasbro Fights This, Wins and it costs HG so much money they go bankrupt.
me to but harmony can tie it for years (decades) one thing they seem to have is lawyers who will go the distance
Soundwave9
Related news from Brian Savage. The leftover sets from SDCC will be sold to club members via a lottery.

"There is some very exciting news!

We have been allocated a very limited number of the 2013 Comic Con GI Joe and Transformers “The Epic Conclusion” Vehicle/Figure sets from Hasbro. We are offering this set to our club members, both Transformer and GI Joe, but in order to be fair to everyone due to the limited number we received, we have decided to have a lottery drawing for the opportunity to purchase this set. If you want to be included in this lottery drawing, you must send an email to Lottery@FunPubinc.com ONLY. Send only one email with “LOTTERY” as the subject.

Please do not contact our office or email any other email addresses regarding the lottery. Multiple emails will void your entry. These items are limited to 1 item per membership if you are selected in the lottery drawing. You must be a current active member to participate. The email that you send does not guarantee that you will get an item; this just includes you in the lottery drawing. The price on this item is $150+shipping. The cutoff for sending your email will be Friday, July 26, 2013 at 9am central time. We will not accept any emails after this time. Once the names have been drawn from the emails received, you will be contacted by email and given further instructions on how the order will be processed.

Again, please DO NOT contact our office for any reason regarding this lottery drawing! Thank you and good luck!

Thanks!

Brian


-------------------------------------------------
Shin-Gouki
Quote:
Originally Posted by sokutai View Post
me to but harmony can tie it for years (decades) one thing they seem to have is lawyers who will go the distance
Except that they are a tiny company and Robotech is really all they have. Hasbro could drag this out for years and as a result HG coule have to drop it due to legal costs or they could lose and in the end loose everything as the costs of a losing case against Hasbro would be catastrophic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundwave9 View Post
Related news from Brian Savage. The leftover sets from SDCC will be sold to club members via a lottery.
http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/transf...sale-tfcc.html
Takeshi357
I'm convinced at this point that Harmony Gold are just trademark equivalents of patent trolls.
gakken85
They don't produce anything or actually want to make their fans happy.
They just leech like a parasite and prevent other companies from releasing good toys.

I hope hasbro takes them to court and wipes them out.
pfcparts
Seems like they might have something with the top positioned booster packs...

Do these things get settled by juries or judges? If by jury anything could happen. I've seen some really really really stupid shit as a juror and alternate...

Shame. How big would Macross have been if HG wasn't involved?

Plus was one of the coolest anime ever. Bowman .
Takeshi357
They got away with it with the Classics Jetfire, and this one doesn't even transform! What chance do they have!?
PlanckEpoch
Oh Harmony Gold...you never change!
MACRAPTRON
Take that, Hasblow.

Continue: Harmony Gold Sues Hasbro over SDCC 2013 Jetfire Skystriker Discussion on the 2005 Boards!

 
Hobby Link Japan