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Guest IanP

Toys vs Weapons & Intellectual Property

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The gist of this topic relates to contractors (airplane manufacturers, etc) seeking compensation/fees from model manufacturers for using their name(s). As of now, they're not going to get it (the manufacturer's) but it's an interesting story and prompted me to think of the following:1. Anyone who has Ultimate Traffic knows that they must seek American Airlines logo from a source other than Flight1 because of an event a few years ago with a certain individual (expletives intentionally omitted)who wanted to secure exclusive rights to AA's name for his product.In view of this article (link below) do you now think that this would allow all software producers to use airline/mfgr logos without potential penalty or prior permission even though the topic relates to plastic models?2. In another situation could Dreamfleet now identify one of their "Greatest Airliners" the Boeing 737 rather than just the '737?'This a relatively short story that appeared in the local newspaper (Cape Cod Times) today but there was no link to it on their web site. It is an Associated Press release so I Googled it and here is their 'feeling lucky' response:http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/local/11822913.htm-GeorgeM at 5B6

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Do you have a title for the story? The link you posted solicits an email address and I usually don't provide that information when just browsing the news. If there's a title for the story or a few keywords, I can go directly to the Associated Press release.-John

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Very interesting--you never know what types of things will be tucked inside these bills. While it seems to apply to publicly funded projects, I suspect when it comes to commercial projects, mfrs will still try to grab licensing fees. Amazing given the free advertising such products offer.-John

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Quite simple: if you want to use someone's trademark in a commercial product you have to have permission.That's always been the case so nothing is changing.The AA case was a special case where an individual had signed a contract with a specific airline for exclusive rights to create commercial flight simulator addons representing that airline's livery, it has nothing to do with trademark law.

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Thanks for your comments, guys.I guess I agree with the comment that one person made in the article: "It's just greed. What else could it be?" If I owned the business I think I'd be quite pleased with resulting 'free advertising.' :D-G

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but if you had expensive lawyers who basically did nothing, they'd have to find something to do. Copywrite law is very popular these days.

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Not to mention the possibility of images of people flying your aircraft (or driving your cars) into buildings appearing on the net wouldn't be such great PR.Companies have gotten a lot more sensitive about such things in recent years after a few Arab nutcases did just that with real aircraft after ostensibly having used simulators to practice.

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There is a problem that, if a company makes no move to protect a trademark, they can lose control over it. That is in law in many places, has happened and is a very good reason for insisting that people using your trademarks do so in a proper way. There is a difference, however, between insisting that someone clears the use of a trademark with your legal team first (including, maybe, some compensation to cover the company's costs), such as some VAs are doing with their real-world counterparts, and demanding huge amounts of money from freeware developers for using them, as some lawyers and/or companies would like to do. Just because they haven't publicly done so yet doesn't mean that they wouldn't like to.I don't think anyone is going to say that companies shouldn't defend their trademarks, only that they show a little common sense in who they do and don't allow to use them and how.Ian P.

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