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News: Paul Reiche and Fred Ford want to continue the story they started when they created Star Control II — The Ur-Quan Masters. «Happy days and jubilation!» «But wait!» «There is something wrong here... something which makes my sheath retract and my talons ooze.» «Please, Captain, we need your help!»

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Author Topic: My take on Stardock  (Read 50807 times)
rosepatel
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #795 on: May 17, 2018, 10:17:45 pm »

Quote from: Brad Wardell
...but I can't help but feel the effort at coexistence has been a one way street.

Sounds like he may have been hitting a brick wall somewhere.

Unless Stardock is leaving some emails out, Paul and Fred's next reply was this:

Quote from: Fred Ford
It is important that our players are not confused about which game they are getting, so we need to clearly distinguish our respective projects. That separation should fall along our respective rights, Stardock having purchased the Star Control trademarks and Fred and I owning all the IP rights to the works we created.

I probably would have tried a phone call -- that goes for both sides. But it looks like a pretty decent plan for coexistence.

SC1+2 Copyright = P&F
SC Trademark, SC3 derivative Copyright = Stardock

Which, funny enough, is very similar to what Stardock has said about the IP splits since the lawsuit has been underway. They even took a big step in the right direction by stopping the sale of P&F's Copyrighted games. If they'd have never sold the games, then we'd have a perfect, clean, IP split, with no problem.

Of course they've taken some massive steps in the wrong direction by trying to Trademark more than they were ever sold by Atari, let alone more than what Trademark is even designed to protect.
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Lakstoties
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #796 on: May 17, 2018, 10:49:17 pm »

It strikes me that very very little changed as far as UQM is concerned when SD bought the Trademark from Atari...  with the exception of knowledge and awareness.  Atari may not have even been aware that this page existed whereas Brad has posted quite a bit in the past few years.

Atari knew about it, but The Ur-Quan Masters was titled as such to avoid the "Star Control" trademark they owned.  The Ur-Quan Masters project never titled/brand their product with the "Star Control" trademark to create market confusion.  Atari could do nothing to stop it, hence they never did.


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Even if the Trademark only covers the name of the end product or not, the open source project that UQM is modifying is Star Control and falls under the Trademark now owned by Stardock.
Trademark DOES NOT cover ANYTHING other than the mark itself.  Source code is copyrightable and is by Paul and Fred.  The Open Source license rides upon implied copyrights granted to Paul and Fred to allow others to use it in an agreed upon manner.

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Atari could have/should have made the same oversight claims that Brad is now making.

They could have.  But, they didn't because they knew the laws better.

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If you engage in commerce you are not protected as a fan project and could be shut down by the owner of the Trademark.

If you brand yourself and use the trademark ON your product, then yes.  You can be told to not use the confusing mark itself any further.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 10:51:57 pm by Lakstoties » Logged
Tas
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #797 on: May 17, 2018, 11:02:01 pm »

I beg to differ.

The trademark for The X-men covers the various characters involved under the Xman label.      This is why a special agreement had to be worked out between Disney/Marvel (the owner of the copyright and leaser of the trademark) and Fox (the leasee of the Trademark for motion picture adaptations of the X-men)  to allow the Scarlet Witch to appear in the MCU given her roll within the Avengers

The trademark covers the Thing that is sold   (Mind you.. I mean the complete thing that is sold.   I do not mean each individual part of the thing that is sold as the parts of the whole are far more likely to be part of the Copyright IP)  But the finished Game that was sold as a whole was Star Control II so use and distribution of that game falls under the Trademark.

the copyright covers the story, characters, and unique settings        

Rant all you want but not even Fred and Paul are disputing this.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 11:20:57 pm by Tas » Logged
Lakstoties
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #798 on: May 17, 2018, 11:28:22 pm »

I beg to differ.

The trademark for The X-men covers the various characters involved under the Xman label.

Okay...  Here's ONE of the oldest registrations for "X-Men":  http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=73240045&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch

In that federal registration...  Is there ANY information that relates to characters within ANY product.  Is there a list?  Is there an additional data field that shows what elements of products the trademark is related to?  If you are to receive federal protection for something, you have to not only inform the federal government what it is... You have to commit to a good faith effort to inform the public.  So... WHERE IS THAT INFORMATION?

Let's take a look at the specimen of use:
http://tsdr.uspto.gov/documentviewer?caseId=sn73240045&docId=SPE20090305155302#docIndex=8&page=1

Interesting...  Does it show any of the characters consistently?  First, example shows Spiderman, but up in the corner there's an X-Men logo.  The next example on the next page, does it show any core elements within the product?  Or... Is it just literally logo, mark, icon, etc... ON THE PRODUCT ITSELF.

IN FACT, with the USPTO's own guideline to determine if the trademark is registrable or not there's an interesting clause:  
https://tmep.uspto.gov/RDMS/TMEP/Oct2012#/Oct2012/TMEP-1200d1e2735.html

"Marks that merely identify a character in a creative work, whether used in a series or in a single work, are not registrable."

And the USPTO's AND INTA's guidelines for the strength of a trademark show that more cognitively separate the trademark is FROM the products it is to be put on... MAKES IT BETTER.

USPTO Video explaining how to choose a mark:  
https://youtu.be/z4jmtzR4_NU

International Trademark Association Fact Sheet for Trademark Strength:  
http://www.inta.org/TrademarkBasics/FactSheets/Pages/TrademarkStrengthFactSheet.aspx

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l you want but not even Fred and Paul are disputing this.

Incorrect.  They are disputing this by seeking cancellation of the trademark.


So, you are incorrect.  You have gotten bad information.  Go to the United States Patent and Trademark info site.  Read the documentations and watch the videos:  
https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/trademark-basics

And here's some more resources talking about trademarks and what infringement IS in the rest of the world:
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/question-trademark-infringement-use-company-name-28198.html
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226140
https://revisionlegal.com/trademarks/trademark-infringement-test/
http://cyber.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/domain/tm.htm
https://www.robinsonandhenry.com/2017/10/what-to-know-if-youve-been-charged-with-trademark-infringement/

Various trademark cases:
https://www.business.com/articles/5-trademark-cases-and-what-you-should-learn-from-them/
https://www.trademarknow.com/blog/9-nasty-trademark-infringement-cases-and-how-to-avoid-them
http://fortune.com/2017/08/23/new-balance-china-infringement/
https://www.yahoo.com/news/harley-wins-biggest-ever-trademark-135840134.html
http://www.mondaq.com/india/x/666168/Trademark/Castrol+Wins+Trademark+Infringement+Case



So... Show me the resources and examples that show Stardock's concept of trademark has ANY validity.  I'd like to see them.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 11:31:36 pm by Lakstoties » Logged
Tas
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #799 on: May 17, 2018, 11:45:09 pm »

Pretty sure the Star Control trademark is still on display in the splash screen when you launch UQM

Also trying to cancel the trademark is not the same thing as disputing what the trademark does.       They are wanting to prove the trademark is invalid.    If this happens then SD has no say whatso-ever about anything older than SC:O       if Fred and Paul cannot cancel the trademark then the game SCII would still be under StarDock's trademark.

so my point that this doesn't change anything other than awareness from Atari days to now, still stands  until or unless Paul and Fred win their case.
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WibbleNZ
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #800 on: May 17, 2018, 11:47:42 pm »

The trademark covers the Thing that is sold 

No it doesn't. It goes on the thing. The same way "Aquafina" or "Dasani" go on bottles of water, and do not give PepsiCo or Coca-Cola any exclusive rights to use water. Trademark law does not suddenly start to care about the contents of a product because a product is a creative work. Copyright law does.
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WibbleNZ
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #801 on: May 17, 2018, 11:52:01 pm »

Pretty sure the Star Control trademark is still on display in the splash screen when you launch UQM

Why be pretty sure when you can check? https://imgur.com/a/cEcjZoq
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Lakstoties
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #802 on: May 18, 2018, 12:04:03 am »

Pretty sure the Star Control trademark is still on display in the splash screen when you launch UQM
No.  Download the game, load it up, and watch the intro for yourself.  It is in no way titled "Star Control".  It shows up and says plainly, "The Ur-Quan Masters"

Here's a picture of what immediately shows up upon start, just captured it myself for you:  
https://imgur.com/a/omBIXIy

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Also trying to cancel the trademark is not the same thing as disputing what the trademark does.       They are wanting to prove the trademark is invalid.    If this happens then SD has no say whatso-ever about anything older than SC:O       if Fred and Paul cannot cancel the trademark then the game SCII would still be under StarDock's trademark.
Okay...  Yes, trying to cancel the trademark is not the same disputing what it does.  So, yes, they aren't disputing what trademark does because they are going off of the definition the USPTO, INTA, and most other business in the known world use.  No one else uses Stardock's warping of trademark law.  The "Star Control" trademark LITERALLY AND ONLY covers the mark itself, by the very definition from the USPTO itself, the organization that regulates these laws:

https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/trademark-basics/trademark-patent-or-copyright

"A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others."

That's it.  The only thing a trademark is associated with IS THE COMPANY THAT USES IT.  That's what it is for.  It's something you stamp ON a product to let everyone know it is coming from your organization.

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so my point that this doesn't change anything other than awareness from Atari days to now, still stands  until or unless Paul and Fred win their case.

If you've been going off of Stardock's definition...  The info from the sources will change EVERYTHING for you.  Holy hell, people.  It's NOT hard to find this info, really!  There's websites dedicated to it!  The USPTO even has cheesy, poorly acted videos to present it all.
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Lakstoties
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #803 on: May 18, 2018, 12:20:43 am »

The trademark covers the Thing that is sold  

No it doesn't. It goes on the thing. The same way "Aquafina" or "Dasani" go on bottles of water, and do not give PepsiCo or Coca-Cola any exclusive rights to use water. Trademark law does not suddenly start to care about the contents of a product because a product is a creative work. Copyright law does.

Indeed!  If fact, if you just look at the product range that Samsung and LG ALONE have... and the fact they use the same trademarks "Samsung" and "LG" on ALL of it, shows that the trademark doesn't care about the product itself...  just the fact it is ON the product.

I mean, seriously get a load of the Goods and Services section of one of Samsung's trademarks, it's insane all the things they stamp that mark on:
http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=86095016&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch
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Elestan
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #804 on: May 18, 2018, 03:23:47 am »

There is a saying that goes something like ignorance is bliss...
Would you rather know something and have that burden, or not know something and be surprised by it?

Hi Tas...welcome to the UQM forums!  I'm guessing that this is the person with a similar handle I've been trying to find time to answer on the Stardock forums?  In any case, glad to have you here.

As to your above question, I'd rather know than not know...but I'd even more prefer to find that I'm not in any danger at all.

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Even if the Trademark only covers the name of the end product or not, the open source project that UQM is modifying is Star Control and falls under the Trademark now owned by Stardock.

I've got to disagree here,  Think of how generic medications work.  You can have, say, Crestor, which is a cholesterol medication with a trademarked name.  But the patent ran out, so now the only thing protecting it is the trademark.  Which means that it is now perfectly legal for other companies to sell pills of Rosuvastatin, which is the exact same medication, as long as they don't call it 'Crestor'.

UQM is like generic Star Control:  Just as effective, but cheaper.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 03:26:04 am by Elestan » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #805 on: May 18, 2018, 03:51:31 am »

UQM is like generic Star Control:  Just as effective, but cheaper.

UQM is better than Star Control II in just about every conceivable way.

Not many "generic" brands can say that.

Cities Skylines I guess.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #806 on: May 18, 2018, 04:39:31 am »

I've got to disagree here,  Think of how generic medications work.  You can have, say, Crestor, which is a cholesterol medication with a trademarked name.  But the patent ran out, so now the only thing protecting it is the trademark.  Which means that it is now perfectly legal for other companies to sell pills of Rosuvastatin, which is the exact same medication, as long as they don't call it 'Crestor'.

UQM is like generic Star Control:  Just as effective, but cheaper.
Generic medicine can even say on the box "compare to Nyquil" (for example), so long as they also have a notice saying this is not manufactured by Vicks, the makers of Nyquil. I'm not saying it's directly analogous to anything in the case, but it is an example of a way you can use someone else's trademark.
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Tas
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #807 on: May 18, 2018, 05:20:11 am »

I've got to disagree here,  Think of how generic medications work.  You can have, say, Crestor, which is a cholesterol medication with a trademarked name.  But the patent ran out, so now the only thing protecting it is the trademark.  Which means that it is now perfectly legal for other companies to sell pills of Rosuvastatin, which is the exact same medication, as long as they don't call it 'Crestor'.

UQM is like generic Star Control:  Just as effective, but cheaper.
Generic medicine can even say on the box "compare to Nyquil" (for example), so long as they also have a notice saying this is not manufactured by Vicks, the makers of Nyquil. I'm not saying it's directly analogous to anything in the case, but it is an example of a way you can use someone else's trademark.

Trademark x is owned by company y...  or something similar.    

Had Paul and Fred simply put that little disclamer on their initial release I think a lot of this fight would have never happened.

So anyway, Hello Elestan.   I am over at the other forum, but possibly not the person you are thinking of.  I'll leave it at that.

WibbleNZ, I'm also quite sure that directly after your second screen shot the words  Based on the Source Code Of Star Control II  (Star Control Is a Trademark of Atari)         perhaps you can check again and verify for me?

Look, the Trademark is an international trademark type 026 which falls under games and toys.   the Sourcecode is covered under the copyright and was given by Paul and Fred, but the distribution of that can still be covered under the trademark if it misleads people into thinking you are the holder of that trademark, which is WHY you have the bloody splash screen that says "Star Control is a Trademark of Atari)  so as to NOT confuse people.  The  next revision of the UQM might need that to be updated to say Stardock. but then that really depends a lot on what happens in court.

Again, I'm not parroting the StarDock position.   I find all the subsequent filings of TM for the racial names rather distasteful.   They are playing dirty pool.     However  blame them for what they ARE doing, not what they might possibly maybe perhaps do.

as long as you guys don't scrub all reference from SC from the game and have the disclaimer of who owns it then SD can do bumpkis to you... and this is also why my original statement that the trademark holder COULD have and SHOULD have pointed out the non commercial stuff from the get go.. cause it would have still applied.

seriously, people act like they've never read any of the fine print anywhere....   it's FULL of those sorts of disclaimers.





« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 06:10:03 am by Tas » Logged
WibbleNZ
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #808 on: May 18, 2018, 05:56:18 am »

WibbleNZ, I'm also quite sure that directly after your second screen shot the words  Based on the Source Code Of Star Control II  (Star Control Is a Trademark of Atari)         perhaps you can check again and verify for me?

That is true. It's clearly nominative and not being used in commerce, as a shorthand for the game created by Paul and Fred (which is the very next thing it says). It would be completely reasonable for Stardock to ask that to be updated.

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I find all the subsequent filings of TM for the racial names rather distasteful.

They appear to not only be distasteful, but invalid due to the lack of specimen. I don't see where Stardock is going to get specimens, unless they plan to update the applications to 'Intent to use' and start selling the aliens as DLC packs - which sounds legally valid but a PR nightmare - and still wouldn't prevent P&F from using them in their game. Otherwise they are just going to be declined - but not for at least 6 months.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #809 on: May 18, 2018, 06:15:43 am »

Intent to use is probably easy to prove.        they just need to show design specs for DLC      They don't even need to sell the DLC it could be free DLC but as long as they are unique DLC it would fit the use/distribution clause

PR nightmare   yes

Also I  cannot think of how they can possibly do this without running into copyright issues unless they make major changes to the appearance and lore which would really make the use of the racial names even more questionable.
It is clearly being used more to prevent Paul and Fred from making their game without bending to SD's will than anything else.
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