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Made in gb
[DCM]
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Updated Summary (by Manchu): Games Workshop sent a cease and desist letter to War Banner, essentially claiming that the name was too close Wrahammer. War Banner announced it would rebrand as Dark Peak Games but immediately received another C&D letter from a company called Peak Games. War Banner, which owns Footsore miniatures, is now called Footsore Miniatures & Games.
Announcement: War Banner to become Dark Peak Games




As of the 1st April 2019 War Banner Limited will become Dark Peak Games Limited, this is no April fools day joke.

On the 1st March 2019 Games Workshop Limited (GW) requested the withdrawal of our trademark WAR BANNER as in their opinion it bears significant similarity to GW’s registered trademark WARHAMMER with our registration being sought in relation to the same classification of goods which GW sells under WARHAMMER.

In their defence GW has used its trademark WARHAMMER to sell sculpted miniatures, publications and accessories for tabletop wargaming since the release of ‘Warhammer 1st Edition’ in 1983. Over the years, GW has amassed considerable goodwill and reputation in this mark through its widespread and consistent use.

After seeking legal advice Mark Farr and Andy Hobday decided to comply and have worked with GW to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

Going forwards the use of War Banner will cease across all digital platforms from the 1st April 2019. Alongside this we are also currently in the application process with Companies House to change our name to Dark Peak Games Limited as well as making other changes wherever it is needed; this will take time, so please bear with us during this transitional period. We believe by the 1st of June 2019 we will have made all necessary changes to comply.

Our printed products will continue to carry the War Banner mark for the next three months or until sell-through whichever comes first. Mortal Gods and Gangs of Rome have been granted a longer sell through as they are recent products.

Why Dark Peak Games? The Dark Peak is a favourite walking place for Andy and Mark, and it was on Mam Tor when they first decided to embark on this adventure. We have looked to incorporate Mam Tor one of the most dramatic viewpoints in the Peak District and one-time hill fort in our new logo.



If you have any questions regarding these changes please contact us.




I'd not considered War Banner as being similar to Warhammer, but I guess I can see how people might be confused and with the War Banner name becoming more prominent recently (a lot of their stuff was previously just Footsore Miniatures) so we probably need to put this down to sensible GW (just try a search for "Warbanner Miniatures" there are plenty of recent hits) instead of the crazy spots the space marine stuff of the previous management


This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2019/04/12 19:26:44


 
   
Made in si
Steady Stonecleaver







Absolutely ridiculus bullying.

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Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka






Glasgow, Scotland

I was going to post about this in the War Banner: Modern thread over the weekend (though that one hasn't been updated in a while). Its a shame that thread's now going to have a third title in under a year. :/

However, this may not be so malicious. Trademark law is fairly awful in how its practised, and this isn't exclusive to Games Workshop.

If a trademark is used without the owner's consent for a period of time it becomes generic. Tangentially something which is similar to that trademark could potentially cause confusion, and eventually lead to the two becoming interchangeable, which may also have an affect on a trademark.

At least theoretically. In practice these lawsuits against similar trademarks don't hope to win in the courts. They're their to show that the holder is defending their brand to the fullest (and beyond that), so that later someone else can't dispute the trademark. Of course companies do this to also just crap on competitors, but well, lawyers.

War Banner could have fought this in the courts and won. They may have lost as well. By bowing out now they save the legal fees at least. The company has gone through a lot of change recently, so if there was a time to change the brand name which would cause the least damage this is it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/03/29 14:35:30


 
   
Made in fr
Hallowed Canoness





 OrlandotheTechnicoloured wrote:
Over the years, GW has amassed considerable goodwill and reputation in this mark through its widespread and consistent use.


Ahah yeah sure, GW has only ever amassed good will about their brand of the year!
Not really though, not really .

 H.B.M.C. wrote:
And I suspect people have been complaining about people complaining for almost as long.
 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





It makes sense. Warhammer and War Banner sound pretty similar if heard out loud, and they operate in the same industry. It'd be kind of like starting a company called His Knee that did animated versions of children's fairy tales.Though in my opinion, it'll probably negatively affect War Banner more than Games Workshop.
   
Made in ca
Eternally-Stimulated Slaanesh Dreadnought





Hamilton, ON

 lord_blackfang wrote:
Absolutely ridiculus bullying.


Or standard practice in this area of the law, regardless of your ignorance of it.

Spots the Space Marine was "ridiculus" bullying. This is not.

The Fall of Kronstaat IV
Война Народная | Voyna Narodnaya | The People's War - 2,898pts* painted (updated 11/01/20)
Волшебная Сказка | Volshebnaya Skazka | A Fairy Tale (updated 29/12/19, ep10 - And All That Could Have Been)
Kabal of The Violet Heart (updated 02/02/2020)
* as of Chapter Approved: 2018. Not a typo.

All 'crimes' should be treasured if they bring you pleasure somehow. 
   
Made in si
Steady Stonecleaver







 Excommunicatus wrote:
 lord_blackfang wrote:
Absolutely ridiculus bullying.


Or standard practice in this area of the law, regardless of your ignorance of it.


I suppose it comes down to a person's level of literacy and how interchangeable they find "Banner" and "Hammer" to be.

Posters on ignore list: 33

40k Potica Edition - 40k patch with reactions, suppression and all that good stuff. Feedback thread here.

Gangs of Nu Ork - Necromunda / Gorkamorka expansion supporting all faction. Feedback thread here
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





 lord_blackfang wrote:
 Excommunicatus wrote:
 lord_blackfang wrote:
Absolutely ridiculus bullying.


Or standard practice in this area of the law, regardless of your ignorance of it.


I suppose it comes down to a person's level of literacy and how interchangeable they find "Banner" and "Hammer" to be.


To be honest it sounds really, really similar.

   
Made in ca
Eternally-Stimulated Slaanesh Dreadnought





Hamilton, ON

Nope. It comes down to the rules on patents, trademarks and copyrights.

There does not need to be any real confusion between the two, merely the potential for confusion.

The Fall of Kronstaat IV
Война Народная | Voyna Narodnaya | The People's War - 2,898pts* painted (updated 11/01/20)
Волшебная Сказка | Volshebnaya Skazka | A Fairy Tale (updated 29/12/19, ep10 - And All That Could Have Been)
Kabal of The Violet Heart (updated 02/02/2020)
* as of Chapter Approved: 2018. Not a typo.

All 'crimes' should be treasured if they bring you pleasure somehow. 
   
Made in au
Ork Boy Hangin' off a Trukk





It happens frequently I suppose. When I worked in a law firm for a while I remember glancing at an email regarding a claim from Toy'R'Us against a small sextoy company who cheekily named themselves Sextoys'R'Us. Always makes me chuckle.
   
Made in us
Powerful Phoenix Lord






As long as they keep their mits off my paperwork for my Hammerboner IP, we'll be fine.

 
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

Wait, you mean the $5000 order I put through to War Banner wasn't for Warhammer stuff?

Oh God!!!

I thought they were the same thing!

   
Made in us
Near Golden Daemon Caliber





Affton, MO. USA

 H.B.M.C. wrote:
Wait, you mean the $5000 order I put through to War Banner wasn't for Warhammer stuff?

Oh God!!!

I thought they were the same thing!

Really? You thought warhammer was all of a sudden shipping you stuff FROM ENGLAND without gaking you on the price?

PS, I know you were joking.

LOL, Theo your mind is an amazing place, never change.-camkierhi 9/19/13
I cant believe theo is right.. damn. -comradepanda 9/26/13
None of the strange ideas we had about you involved your sexual orientation..........-Monkeytroll 12/10/13

I'd put you on ignore for that comment, if I could...Alpharius 2/11/14 
   
Made in us
Revving Ravenwing Biker




Hanoi, Vietnam.

I'm impressed at the professionalism and good manner with which this whole episode appears to have been resolved. Kudos to both companies, and I wish for the best of success for Dark Peak. Their new title and logo are much cooler anyway.
   
Made in gb
Stone Bonkers Fabricator General




We'll find out soon enough eh.

 Excommunicatus wrote:
Nope. It comes down to the rules on patents, trademarks and copyrights.

There does not need to be any real confusion between the two, merely the potential for confusion.


You do understand that people can have an opinion on a practice that they understand perfectly well and accounts for the fact they think that "the rules on patents, trademarks and copyrights" are moronic garbage, right? "It's legal" covers a myriad of things that quite a lot of people consider everything from daft to outright unethical. Also, those rules didn't form out of the ether as dewdrops on an angel's wing, they're the result of a century of intense lobbying and legal bullying to establish precedent, and that process will only be reversed if people oppose its use whether it's presently "legal" or not.

"You can't use the name brand we use for [thing] in the market segment that sells [that thing]." is a sensible, fair, reasonable law in the context of a capitalist economic system.

"There does not need to be any real confusion between the two, merely the potential for confusion." is utter madness outside of the wonko-world of lawyers and corporations, especially in cases like this where the words only vague sound the same, and the "infringing" term is one that any random person might arrive at as the name for a tabletop wargames company/model range.

I need to acquire plastic Skavenslaves, can you help?
I have a blog now, evidently. Featuring the Alternative Mordheim Model Megalist.

"Your society's broken, so who should we blame? Should we blame the rich, powerful people who caused it? No, lets blame the people with no power and no money and those immigrants who don't even have the vote. Yea, it must be their fething fault." - Iain M Banks
-----
"The language of modern British politics is meant to sound benign. But words do not mean what they seem to mean. 'Reform' actually means 'cut' or 'end'. 'Flexibility' really means 'exploit'. 'Prudence' really means 'don't invest'. And 'efficient'? That means whatever you want it to mean, usually 'cut'. All really mean 'keep wages low for the masses, taxes low for the rich, profits high for the corporations, and accept the decline in public services and amenities this will cause'." - Robin McAlpine from Common Weal 
   
Made in gb
Slippery Ultramarine Scout Biker





Stevenage, UK

Seeing as I'm sure Andy Hobday used to work for GW and I'm guessing the other chap did too, I'd imagine this was dealt with pretty amicably.

Obviously the usual hate brigade are spewing bile as per usual over something that has no impact on their lives.

Rik
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

War Zone, Wargames Foundry, Urban War and Warpath had better watch their backs!

Meanwhile I'm proud to announce the launch of my new game Battleaxe in the 401st Century!

 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





West Michigan, deep in Whitebread, USA

Screw Games Workshop. Dark Peak Games and the accompanying logo sounds cooler, anyway.



"By this point I'm convinced 100% that every single race in the 40k universe have somehow tapped into the ork ability to just have their tech work because they think it should."  
   
Made in gb
Bane Thrall






 Kid_Kyoto wrote:
War Zone, Wargames Foundry, Urban War and Warpath had better watch their backs!

Meanwhile I'm proud to announce the launch of my new game Battleaxe in the 401st Century!


Battleaxes is what my dad always used to call my minis back in the day. He is fun like that.

...and you will know me by the trail of my lead... 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






I guess when GW fail at bullying children's book authors into false trademark claim submission they revert back to those within the same industry.

   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

Just for postherity sake...

Space Marines, a game from 1977
[Thumb - s-l1600.jpg]


 
   
Made in gb
Quick-fingered Warlord Moderatus




United Kingdom

 Kid_Kyoto wrote:
Just for postherity sake...

Space Marines, a game from 1977


Wasn't Spots more about the trademark for electronic products?

Also, Dark Peak Games is no more...
[Thumb - footsore.jpg]

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






At this point, the guy should just randomly jam on the keyboard for the next name and hope he doesn't end up with something that will get a C&D from DC Comics.

   
Made in ca
Eternally-Stimulated Slaanesh Dreadnought





Hamilton, ON

 Yodhrin wrote:
 Excommunicatus wrote:
Nope. It comes down to the rules on patents, trademarks and copyrights.

There does not need to be any real confusion between the two, merely the potential for confusion.


You do understand that people can have an opinion on a practice that they understand perfectly well and accounts for the fact they think that "the rules on patents, trademarks and copyrights" are moronic garbage, right? "It's legal" covers a myriad of things that quite a lot of people consider everything from daft to outright unethical. Also, those rules didn't form out of the ether as dewdrops on an angel's wing, they're the result of a century of intense lobbying and legal bullying to establish precedent, and that process will only be reversed if people oppose its use whether it's presently "legal" or not.

"You can't use the name brand we use for [thing] in the market segment that sells [that thing]." is a sensible, fair, reasonable law in the context of a capitalist economic system.

"There does not need to be any real confusion between the two, merely the potential for confusion." is utter madness outside of the wonko-world of lawyers and corporations, especially in cases like this where the words only vague sound the same, and the "infringing" term is one that any random person might arrive at as the name for a tabletop wargames company/model range.


Another brilliant collection of strawman arguments, fabrications and non sequiturs.

You're getting good at them!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/04/02 16:31:19


The Fall of Kronstaat IV
Война Народная | Voyna Narodnaya | The People's War - 2,898pts* painted (updated 11/01/20)
Волшебная Сказка | Volshebnaya Skazka | A Fairy Tale (updated 29/12/19, ep10 - And All That Could Have Been)
Kabal of The Violet Heart (updated 02/02/2020)
* as of Chapter Approved: 2018. Not a typo.

All 'crimes' should be treasured if they bring you pleasure somehow. 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka






I vote for a change to “Legally Distinct Tabletop Gaming Company”, or LDTGC.

"The Omnissiah is my Moderati" 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Maybe they can switch around the words? Banner of War isn't as close to warhammer as warbanner.
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

I'm willing to licence the Battleaxe in the 401st Century name.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
War Peak or Dark Banner would work too

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/04/02 17:47:51


 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Excommunicatus wrote:
Nope. It comes down to the rules on patents, trademarks and copyrights.

There does not need to be any real confusion between the two, merely the potential for confusion.


It likely comes down to cost of challenge. They likely consulted legal experts on how much it would cost to fight the claim, told how much it would be if they lost and that there was always a risk they could and decided that GW forcing them to live in cardboard boxes in the street wasn't worth it.

Not sure I've ever come across someone that can confuse "War Banner" and "Warhammer" though.

So in conclusion I can only assume legal experts and judges in these types of case law are a) illiterate; b) can't speak properly; c) not very bright to recognise that you can't use a war banner in the same way as a warhammer.

"Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. " - V

I've just supported the Permanent European Union Citizenship initiative. Please do the same and spread the word!

"It's not a problem if you don't look up." - Dakka's approach to politics 
   
Made in us
The Last Chancer Who Survived





Norristown, PA

How about Dark War Banner Peak?

Or Noname Games? It rhymes so that makes it good.

   
Made in ca
Eternally-Stimulated Slaanesh Dreadnought





Hamilton, ON

 Whirlwind wrote:
 Excommunicatus wrote:
Nope. It comes down to the rules on patents, trademarks and copyrights.

There does not need to be any real confusion between the two, merely the potential for confusion.


It likely comes down to cost of challenge. They likely consulted legal experts on how much it would cost to fight the claim, told how much it would be if they lost and that there was always a risk they could and decided that GW forcing them to live in cardboard boxes in the street wasn't worth it.

Not sure I've ever come across someone that can confuse "War Banner" and "Warhammer" though.

So in conclusion I can only assume legal experts and judges in these types of case law are a) illiterate; b) can't speak properly; c) not very bright to recognise that you can't use a war banner in the same way as a warhammer.


So, if you read the OP it explicitly says they took legal advice and then acquiesced to the request.

You can assume whatever you like, old love, but the fact is that actually IP law rests on the assumption that YOU (not 'you' you, 'you' as in the "man on the Clapham omnibus") are borderline non-functioning and would be confused by vaguely similar sounding names in similar markets.

And I look around at the world in which we live and find it very hard to disagree with that assumption.

EDIT - To have to go through this and not perform even perfunctory research on your new name is just asking for it. They couldn't spend the $90 or whatever it is to run a NUANS/local equivalent search? Didn't run it through google?

Idiotic.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/04/02 18:51:44


The Fall of Kronstaat IV
Война Народная | Voyna Narodnaya | The People's War - 2,898pts* painted (updated 11/01/20)
Волшебная Сказка | Volshebnaya Skazka | A Fairy Tale (updated 29/12/19, ep10 - And All That Could Have Been)
Kabal of The Violet Heart (updated 02/02/2020)
* as of Chapter Approved: 2018. Not a typo.

All 'crimes' should be treasured if they bring you pleasure somehow. 
   
 
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