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December 14, 2019, 04:22:38 am
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News: Paul & Fred have reached a settlement with Stardock!

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16  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: My take on Stardock on: April 19, 2018, 04:58:15 pm
Stardock acquired both the trademark and the copyright to Star Control 3 in which Accolade is listed as the sole author.  That is all of the IP that existed as far as the federal court is concerned.

What IP Paul and Fred actually have is unknown.

The examples you provided above are not applicable here anyway as the rationale is to prevent someone from acquiring a trademark to use for something unrelated.   But consider the implications of your argument, it would make the case that Stardock absolutely must include all the aliens. You said earlier you didnít want this but now argue, in effect, not having them would weaken our claim.  

The new Star Control game certainly fits into the various uses that the Star Control games of the past. A ScI Fi video game developed by the people who own both the trademark and copyright.

Itís pretty disappointing to see people who claim to be fans grasping at straws in the hopes of stopping a new Star Control game. You guys keep wrongly assuming Paul and Fred have a whole bunch of valuable IP.  I used to think that too.  

But the bottom line is that 100% of the registered Star Control IP was transferred to Stardock. Copyright and trademark. Paul, Fred, Riku, Dan, Erol, etc. may have various common law rights but itís unknown and wouldnít prevent a new Star a Control game.

You should watch the new Lost in Space series on Netflix through the eyes of this discussion.

The 1988 agreement clearly states that all work and DERIVATIVE work reverts in the case of bankruptcy or lack of sales. You yourself have admitted that the 1988 contract lapsed and it pretty clearly states what happens when it does. The  agreement makes it pretty clear you bought a lemon.
17  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: My take on Stardock on: April 18, 2018, 09:08:51 pm
Right. So Brad seems to say that since Stardock owns the Star Control trademark, it also automatically owns all names for all the unique characters that have ever appeared in products that were released under that trademark, even if the copyright to the lore of SC1 and SC2 is owned by Fred and Paul. Is that true? Because if it is, then it's yet another proof of how F&P did not realize the full value of the SC trademark and did not buy it from Stardock when they had the chance. And it also means that all hope of F&P being able to use their characters' names independently of Stardock is gone forever - there is literally no way for them to use those names except by entering into a license agreement with Stardock. I wonder what the terms of that license agreement would be, just out of curiosity. And of course, F&P still need to provide the exact evidence that shows what part of the SC IP they own.

Of course, if the above is not true, then F&P need to oppose Stardock's registration of the trademarks for the classic SC races as soon as possible.

Yeah, IP law doesn't work that way. Trademarks are not recursive despite what Stardock may claim. F&P and by extension the UQM community has priority of use for all the named contained within the games. IP case law is pretty clear on that.
18  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: My take on Stardock on: April 16, 2018, 06:14:52 pm
To be clear: the suggestion to google was in response to the continued misunderstand so e people here have on what copyright is and isnít.

The reason Elastan gets annoying isnít that heís onto something but because he is completely wrong on even the basics. As an example, he keeps implying that a word can be copyrighted. It canít.  And then goes on into the realm of fantasy on how trademarks canít be transferred based on some good will argument. And this in defense of someone whoís day job, right now, is literally working on a Re-master of Spyro the Dragon, something that only possible because of the same IP laws that some on this forum now lament.

I donít think heís intentionally being dishonest. I think he wants a certain legal outcome and is grasping at straws to make something that isnít that complicated into it.

As a reminder, Paul and Fred had the opportunity to acquire the Star Control IP and declined. They got fortunate that the IP holder was, for years, willing to voluntarily not exploit that IP fully in deference to their wishes. But as I told Fred, if they are going to create a competitor and not cooperate with us then it makes sense for us to use all our IP rights which goes well beyond the trademark for just Star Control. 

We only began to register the marks for the aliens, AFTER they started implying they may have some rights to Galactic Civilizations, a game and universe Iíve spent my entire adult life on while simultaneously trying to cancel our Star Control trademark. Itís not about retaliating, it is about making very clear what our IP rights are and to eliminate confusion on who has what rights.

Btw, did you see this article? https://io9.gizmodo.com/star-trek-discoverys-version-of-the-enterprise-had-to-1825276401/amp It provides an example of what level of change it takes not to be ďsubstantially similarĒ (not much).

You do realize that all Atari sold you was a name and a questionable right to distribute. Everything else would have reverted back to them based on the 1988 agreement by your own admission. Also they have "priority of use" on all of the non common names used in the canon as they have been using them in commerce since 1992 and gave an implied license to the open source community to use them long before your attempt at registration. Your lawyer should have made that quite clear to you.

I think you should talk to an actual IP attorney before making legal conclusions.

Well till I do so I will leave you a bit of reading. https://www.fr.com/news/prior-user-vs-federal-registrant-whose-mark-is-it-anyway1/
19  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: My take on Stardock on: April 16, 2018, 03:19:58 pm
To be clear: the suggestion to google was in response to the continued misunderstand so e people here have on what copyright is and isnít.

The reason Elastan gets annoying isnít that heís onto something but because he is completely wrong on even the basics. As an example, he keeps implying that a word can be copyrighted. It canít.  And then goes on into the realm of fantasy on how trademarks canít be transferred based on some good will argument. And this in defense of someone whoís day job, right now, is literally working on a Re-master of Spyro the Dragon, something that only possible because of the same IP laws that some on this forum now lament.

I donít think heís intentionally being dishonest. I think he wants a certain legal outcome and is grasping at straws to make something that isnít that complicated into it.

As a reminder, Paul and Fred had the opportunity to acquire the Star Control IP and declined. They got fortunate that the IP holder was, for years, willing to voluntarily not exploit that IP fully in deference to their wishes. But as I told Fred, if they are going to create a competitor and not cooperate with us then it makes sense for us to use all our IP rights which goes well beyond the trademark for just Star Control. 

We only began to register the marks for the aliens, AFTER they started implying they may have some rights to Galactic Civilizations, a game and universe Iíve spent my entire adult life on while simultaneously trying to cancel our Star Control trademark. Itís not about retaliating, it is about making very clear what our IP rights are and to eliminate confusion on who has what rights.

Btw, did you see this article? https://io9.gizmodo.com/star-trek-discoverys-version-of-the-enterprise-had-to-1825276401/amp It provides an example of what level of change it takes not to be ďsubstantially similarĒ (not much).

You do realize that all Atari sold you was a name and a questionable right to distribute. Everything else would have reverted back to them based on the 1988 agreement by your own admission. Also they have "priority of use" on all of the non common names used in the canon as they have been using them in commerce since 1992 and gave an implied license to the open source community to use them long before your attempt at registration. Your lawyer should have made that quite clear to you.
20  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: My take on Stardock on: April 15, 2018, 02:37:27 am
Keep in mind, Stardock is operating as if the 1988 agreement has expired.

So, it seems like this makes the question raised by huhlig's observation significant:

Quote
Because consumers rely upon trademarks to identify products and as a representation of a product or serviceís quality, the party who sells a trademark must ensure that the new owner upholds those expectations. This concept is known as assigning goodwill to the trademark, and the court must determine if the sale also transferred goodwill to the new owner. In many cases, the former owner must also transfer all assets used to create trademarked items to the new owner to guarantee that standards of quality and production donít take consumers by surprise because of the transfer.
[also]
Assignment or transfer of a trademark must occur in conjunction with the transfer of goodwill represented by that mark. An assignment without transfer of goodwill is invalid. When an assignment occurs without goodwill, the trademark is in effect abandoned.

It seems (to my non-lawyer eye) that there's at least a plausible argument that Paul's IP was essential to "guarantee that standards of quality and production donít take consumers by surprise" when purchasing new "Star Control" products.  If so, then Atari's lack of a license to that IP would make it unable to transfer the goodwill associated with the original products, meaning that the sale of the "naked" Star Control mark to Stardock was invalid.  The argument on the race names would be even stronger; if the "goodwill" on the Arilou derived from Paul's IP (and this seems likely to me, because the main way you interacted with the aliens was through Paul's dialogue), then trying to assign just the name would be invalid.



Unfortunately, you are misrepresenting what the law actually is on this subject based on a cursory summary you found. The danger of a non-attorney stepping into legal analysis is that said individual "doesn't know what they don't know." A little bit of legal knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Your posts are really no different than me stating, "I am not a doctor, but based on this summary I found online, <point 1> and <point 2>  means I believe you likely have cancer." I have no real basis for making that determination. You have no real basis for what you have been posting. Your sprinkling in of legal terminology is implying a degree of knowledge that you actually lack.

I just want to remind everyone, again, that Elestan actually does not know the law. Simple summaries of specific areas of a legal subject matter are not inclusive enough to give one anymore than an extremely basic, general understanding of broad concepts. Such summaries are *completely* useless when trying to apply the law to the specific facts of a real dispute.

Nor do you for that matter. The art of being a competent lawyer is all about out researching and out debating your opponent. There is nothing magical about passing the bar exam that magically makes you better than someone else. If you want to actually argue your point, feel free to cite case law and the civil statues where you feel someone is incorrect. It's exactly what any competent lawyer will do, especially when it comes to intellectual property and the law of obligations. Research, Cite, Debate. No lawyer knows the corpus of knowledge 100%, he knows what he needs to research, and what he has done in the past. That's it.
21  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: My take on Stardock on: April 14, 2018, 07:12:42 pm
Keep in mind, Stardock is operating as if the 1988 agreement has expired.

So, it seems like this makes the question raised by huhlig's observation significant:

Quote
Because consumers rely upon trademarks to identify products and as a representation of a product or serviceís quality, the party who sells a trademark must ensure that the new owner upholds those expectations. This concept is known as assigning goodwill to the trademark, and the court must determine if the sale also transferred goodwill to the new owner. In many cases, the former owner must also transfer all assets used to create trademarked items to the new owner to guarantee that standards of quality and production donít take consumers by surprise because of the transfer.
[also]
Assignment or transfer of a trademark must occur in conjunction with the transfer of goodwill represented by that mark. An assignment without transfer of goodwill is invalid. When an assignment occurs without goodwill, the trademark is in effect abandoned.


It seems like there's at least a plausible argument that Paul's IP was essential to "guarantee that standards of quality and production donít take consumers by surprise" when purchasing new "Star Control" products.  If so, then Atari's lack of a license to that IP would make it unable to transfer the goodwill associated with the original products, meaning that the sale of the "naked" Star Control mark to Stardock was invalid.

Isn't Intellectual Property (Trademark, Copyright, Goodwill, and Patents) fun! It makes *campers* *frumple* and lawyers have *fun parties* *below*.
22  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: My take on Stardock on: April 14, 2018, 06:51:36 pm
To me this discussion just sounds like a shining example of how broken trademark law is. If Stardock gets the trademarks to the race names, that basically means that they've trademarked names used in P&F's work, interfering with their ability to make a derivative of said work. That's not right. Trademarking a name used in an existing work, even if it wasn't a common-law trademark, should not be allowed.

The funniest part is that Atari had no ability to transfer the goodwill associated with the Trademark due to lack of Intellectual Property. I am very curious as to the accounting associated with the transfer. Given that Brad bought the Trademark at a bankruptcy auction. The entire valuation of the auction was 400k, however some of that valuation should have been for the goodwill of a trademark vs the trademark itself. There is actual accounting required for the value of intangible transfer of goodwill.
23  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: My take on Stardock on: April 14, 2018, 06:09:48 pm
Keep in mind, Stardock is operating as if the 1988 agreement has expired.  Otherwise, it would have included the SC2 ships and actual expressed versions of the aliens that Paul and Fred claim rights to.  Itís just too risky to operate any other way.

Moreover, as Iíve said elsewhere, at this stage we donít want to use any of Paul and Fredís IP. There might be some value in the ships,  But not enough to hassle with.  

Imo, itís better if Paul and Fred use their IP themselves, especially now that they seem motivated to do something with it.  But none of that use can relate to Star Control trademarks without permission.  


If you are operating under the assumption that the 1988 agreement has expired. I am curious, when do you think it expired?
24  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: My take on Stardock on: April 14, 2018, 12:18:33 pm
One additional thing to take into account is that Trademarks and Goodwill are technically separate assets. Goodwill is associated with a reputation of a service or goods NOT a name. A Trademark is a name that is associated with goodwill establishing a known source and by owning a trademark you prevent confusion within the market.
Quote
Assignment Without Goodwill Law and Legal Definition.
Assignment or transfer of a trademark must occur in conjunction with the transfer of goodwill represented by that mark. An assignment without transfer of goodwill is invalid. When an assignment occurs without goodwill, the trademark is in effect abandoned.
Additionally
Quote
Because consumers rely upon trademarks to identify products and as a representation of a product or serviceís quality, the party who sells a trademark must ensure that the new owner upholds those expectations. This concept is known as assigning goodwill to the trademark, and the court must determine if the sale also transferred goodwill to the new owner. In many cases, the former owner must also transfer all assets used to create trademarked items to the new owner to guarantee that standards of quality and production donít take consumers by surprise because of the transfer.
And
Quote
"Use of the mark by the [trademark] assignee in connection with a different goodwill and different product would result in a fraud on the purchasing public who reasonably assume that the mark signifies the same thingÖ Therefore, if consumers are not to be misled from established associations with the mark, [the mark must] continue to be associated with the same or similar products after the assignment.Ē Ė Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
Anyone who would recognize the Star Control trademark directly would associate it with the art created by Fred and Paul. By depriving the trademark of the assets created by Fred and Paul and intellectual property they created you strip the trademark of its inherent value.
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