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Reading the information on the Airfix website I noticed these words:

 

Produced under licensed. Boeing, Douglas, McDonnell Douglas, North American Aviation, A-4 Skyhawk, AH-64 Apache Longbow, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell, C-47, DC-3, F-4 Phantom, P-51 Mustang their distinctive logos, product markings, and trade dress are all trademarks of The Boeing Company.

 

What is the world coming to when Multi-nationals demand that kit manufacturers licence the Intellectual Property?  How much of the price of the kit is the royalty payment to Boeing? 

Dunlop recently refused to allow Airfix to mould the word Dunlop on the tyres of the Blenheim. 

 

Comments, anyone? 

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Greed I'm afraid, if they think there is money to be made

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This is an old subject and seems to get recycled every time someone reads a box top.  But I'm not sure what the complaint is.

 

Is the concern that the ownership is held by a multi-national?  Specifically by Boeing? That someone owns something and expects to be paid for its use?

 

Put another way, these companies put a lot of money and sweat into developing these products.  Why wouldn't they expect to be paid for the use of their designs?  Would company officers be at fault if they didn't protect the assets?Are their shareholders to be ripped off by freeloaders?  Are the model companies so strapped that they can't afford to pay for their raw material? 

 

How much are they being asked to pay anyway?  Or is it a means to assert ownership of the asset without cash actually changing hands?

 

Edited by RJP
clarity

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I can understand Boeing wanting to protect the IP associated with the design of aircraft in use and potentially in production. But the WW2 aircraft are obsolete and the IP has no value as the IP owner has no ability to make money from the design. 

Also, industrial design IP and Trade Marks remain protected for a limited time, no more than 25 years, provided the IP owner has maintained the license fees.

Copyright on a work of art endures for 70 years after the death of the artist, but I do not think a claim by Boeing that the P51 Mustang is a "work of art" would hold up in court. 

I do not believe the name or form or image of a P51 Mustang, B17 Fortress and so on have any protection under law. 

To the best of my knowledge we do not see Rolls Royce asking kit makers to licence the use of "Rolls Royce" on a Merlin engine cam cover, nor Bugatti seeking to licence the use of "Type 35"

 

I come from a world where my employer's Patient Lawyers took a predatory approach and sought smaller companies who would simply pay, rather than argue.

They would never take on a company with the resources to defend themselves. Which is why I am offended by any large Company that seeks to take advantage of something that is part of its history but for which there is no defendable commercial value. 

Basic bullying, in my view. 

 

 

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IP is IP.... If it’s for the latest thing or something you acquired via purchase and is decades old. 

 

So  if you have the IP you make a choice to exercise the rights you have as IP holder or not... Boeing choose to..

 

this link has more info...

 

https://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2014/01/article_0004.html

 

HTH

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Hello

I agree with 224 Peter. Let me remind you about a well-known story about Boeing: one of the key aircraft this company produced and that allowed for their post-WWI expansion was Boeing MB-3A fighter, née Thomas-Morse MB-3. In accordance with a WWI law, which allowed Army Air Corps to give production contract to a lowest bidder, Thomas-Morse got their prototype development and building costs reimbursed (three aircraft), and Boeing, with access to inexpensive timber, got order for 200 aircraft at cost of $1148 per aircraft. Boeing never paid a penny for MB-3 license or any other IP rights, neither to Thomas-Morse nor to US government. It did not matter then that the war was over as it was not until 1925 that the law in question had been nullified.

C'est la vie. And I am afraid attempts to extract finances from anybody on however shaky IP grounds are on the rise these days. Cheers

Jure

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2 hours ago, 224 Peter said:

Patient Lawyers

Hmmm.... spallchek I presume?

Yes, this topic has been raised before and the arguments look familiar. Unless you are a patent lawyer touting for business or offering your services for free there isn't much you can do about it.

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I think its disgusting. A pox on all their houses. Occasionally at airshows I see tacky trinkets like "Red Arrow" key rings, erasers and mugs etc., or generic "Bomber Command" tat. Presumably there is someone out there lacking in graphic art skills but sending sketches out to China and getting a container load of cheap crud by return. I don't consider it illegal, just in poor taste, but the way these corporations are monetizing designs so old sickens me. A Boeing Mustang? Pffft! Always puts me in mind of that slimy lawyer (not Lionel Hutz) that Krusty the Clown uses. 

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3 hours ago, 224 Peter said:

Dunlop recently refused to allow Airfix to mould the word Dunlop on the tyres of the Blenheim. 

Really don't see any reason why they'd do that...... It's not going to cost them anything, and if anything all it is is bad PR

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3 hours ago, RJP said:

This is an old subject and seems to get recycled every time someone reads a box top.  But I'm not sure what the complaint is.

 

Is the concern that the ownership is held by a multi-national?  Specifically by Boeing? That someone owns something and expects to be paid for its use?

 

Put another way, these companies put a lot of money and sweat into developing these products.  Why wouldn't they expect to be paid for the use of their designs?  Would company officers be at fault if they didn't protect the assets?Are their shareholders to be ripped off by freeloaders?  Are the model companies so strapped that they can't afford to pay for their raw material? 

 

How much are they being asked to pay anyway?  Or is it a means to assert ownership of the asset without cash actually changing hands?

 

Apologise me, but for this post I really wish there‘d be a dislike button...

Boeing has not designed any of the NAA, McDonnell, Douglas and whatever products of companies they bought along the line. They registered TM‘s for those products after a change in US legislation allowed for the private registration of US Service designations. Boeing never to my knowledge manufactured toys, which is the TM class kits come under. Nevertheless they registered TM‘s for e.g. P-51 Mustang in the toy category. The easiest solution would have been for any kit manufacturer to wait five years after registration calling any kit a P-51 Mustang and then claim non-usage by Boeing in the toy category. But apparently someone struck a licence deal with them, and that’s considered TM usage. I have absolutely no idea if anyone pays them for the licence and if so, if the licensee gets any support from them like provision of tech support. If the latter, then OK. Still, it’s quite an irony they are allowed to trademark an official US Service designation AND a name - in the case of the Mustang- that was assigned by the RAF...

 I have no problem with kit manufacturers having to take out licenses for the use of Ferrari or similar, but the registration for historic designations of taxpayer funded aircraft really should not have been allowed.

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Tempestfan: many thanks for the background. If I ever win the UK Lottery I'll spend my surplus winnings on contesting Boeings use TM Registrations in the toy category. 

 

Sorry I started this, let's consider it closed? 

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On 1/22/2019 at 7:05 PM, 224 Peter said:

 

I can understand Boeing wanting to protect the IP associated with the design of aircraft in use and potentially in production. But the WW2 aircraft are obsolete and the IP has no value as the IP owner has no ability to make money from the design. 

Also, industrial design IP and Trade Marks remain protected for a limited time, no more than 25 years, provided the IP owner has maintained the license fees.

Copyright on a work of art endures for 70 years after the death of the artist, but I do not think a claim by Boeing that the P51 Mustang is a "work of art" would hold up in court. 

I do not believe the name or form or image of a P51 Mustang, B17 Fortress and so on have any protection under law. 

To the best of my knowledge we do not see Rolls Royce asking kit makers to licence the use of "Rolls Royce" on a Merlin engine cam cover, nor Bugatti seeking to licence the use of "Type 35"

 

I come from a world where my employer's Patient Lawyers took a predatory approach and sought smaller companies who would simply pay, rather than argue.

They would never take on a company with the resources to defend themselves. Which is why I am offended by any large Company that seeks to take advantage of something that is part of its history but for which there is no defendable commercial value. 

Basic bullying, in my view. 

 

 

At least Rolls Royce was not included among the claims, as they should ask for royalties on top of Boings for Boing pressing their ownership to a airplane that only became something worth remembering by including a Merlin motor.

On 1/23/2019 at 9:47 AM, 224 Peter said:

Tempestfan: many thanks for the background. If I ever win the UK Lottery I'll spend my surplus winnings on contesting Boeings use TM Registrations in the toy category. 

 

Sorry I started this, let's consider it closed? 

Or maybe should demand that Boing paid them for adverticing a Boing product!

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I have to say that I think this whole sorry business just belittles those famous and household names of the aviation world and they should really be ashamed of themselves. It could be argued that the modelling industry is perpetuating the profile of "their" products.

 

Keith

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I keep thinking that I ought to do the same as Boeing ... purchase the remaining assets of the manufacturers of a product that's obsolete, then demand royalties from anyone who uses that product's name or likeness.

I get the money, someone else did the hard work. Brilliant.

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I strongly feel that in the same way that official U.S. government photos (of aircraft or anything else) cannot  be copyrighted by anyone, then any aircraft type purchased by the U.S. government (read U.S. Taxpayers) should in any way be ab;e to be copy-written either.  Now as for the civil aircraft developed and paid for with their own money -- that's another story....

 

Ed

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Listen to this: here in Italy someone has got one step further. Air force has licensed the main and only mainstream kit manufacturer to include Italian air forces markings in their kits as the sole licensee on the market. To this effect, no one -except that manufacturer- can produce and sell aircraft kits with Italian markings among the decal options. Even aftermarket decal brands are prohibited from doing so. Such license has given place, you bet it, to a true monopoly. I don't really know if a royalty-based fee system has been envisaged to allow other manufacturers to run a single production batch.., or either the prohibition involves uniquely Italian manufacturers. Recently, one small -cottage- company which has released a resin 1/32 scale Fiat G.91R has been forced to abandon the idea to include AMI markings in the box decal sheet, with a sensible prejudice to the their own income. Oh, and the license/monopoly covers also Regia Aeronautica of WWII fame...

Edited by Francesco Blasi

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OK, and it can't be more than a few bucks. Is the Italian forces so badly fonded that they need such nonsense?

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32 minutes ago, NPL said:

OK, and it can't be more than a few bucks. Is the Italian forces so badly fonded that they need such nonsense?

I think that your question incorporates all the necessary answers: no more than a few bucks, hence nonsense. I'd rather suspect that bucks are not involved that much, at least in the way we commonly intend them. Instead, I would say that that license seals a close cooperation between the two subjects in question. But it all sounds also like a violence perpetrated against the kit manufacturing world, especially small companies, as Italian air forces are more of a historic patrimony belonging to all whom for a reason or another have to do with them. And, as well, they are part property of the Italian taxpayer, who can't be forced to depend on a private business firm. 

Edited by Francesco Blasi

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43 minutes ago, Francesco Blasi said:

I think that your question incorporates all the necessary answers: no more than a few bucks, hence nonsense. I'd rather suspect that bucks are not involved that much, at least in the way we commonly intend them. Instead, I would say that that license seals a close cooperation between the two subjects in question. But it all sounds also like a violence perpetrated against the kit manufacturing world, especially small companies, as Italian air forces are more of a historic patrimony belonging to all whom for a reason or another have to do with them. And, as well, they are part property of the Italian taxpayer, who can't be forced to depend on a private business firm. 

 

Yes, and besides, is it possible to stop producers for making markings that are more than 70 years old? If so the city of Rome should for royalties for every Roman soldier shown in Hollywood movies.

 

Meaning: will the policy have a chance in court?

 

And does the Regia Aeronautica still exists? 

Edited by NPL

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Not just companies, Chuck Yeager claims ownership of the words 'Glamorous Glennis' and indeed anything related to him. Woe betide any model or decal manufacturers trying to use those markings. A double whammy if they want to sell a P51 with those decals.

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This is just corporate greed and really serves no purpose whatsoever. I am lost for words with the stupidity of it all!

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3 hours ago, NPL said:

 

Yes, and besides, is it possible to stop producers for making markings that are more than 70 years old? If so the city of Rome should for royalties for every Roman soldier shown in Hollywood movies.

 

Meaning: will the policy have a chance in court?

 

And does the Regia Aeronautica still exists? 

No, of course the RA does not exist for 75 years. But anyone can register RA, AMI and the relevant insignia as trade marks. I suspect this may have been proposed by said manufacturer- however they (Italeri) just as well could have registered it by /for themselves.

However, the raison d‘etre of TMs is to protect manufacturers of goods and their customers from pirates using well known brands for their inferior product. The AMI never sold any model kits with their roundels as indication of origin (neither does any kit manufacturer) so I have doubts whether any TM would stand a court test if challenged. I am not familiar with Italian TM laws but have an idea of EU and German law, and TM law is highly synchronised, for obvious reasons. They may have issued a license based on copyright, but I‘m not convinced the AMI can claim a copyright on the markings. In either case, I‘m doubtful whether such exclusive deal is compatible with EU law, though the volume may be below the threshold for public tender.

But what’s the worst that may happen? Airfix not reissuing their G.50 and S.79, and kits not including Italian decals. The Czech brands may be hit a bit harder, but then they probably will break down fasces and AMI roundels in fragments as they have done with swastikas for ages. I think this is a lot easier to circumvent than the Boeing TMs as calling an A-4 a „US Navy Attack Jet“ ... well, does look somewhat odd... but then some manufacturers - wasn’t Italeri among them? - have refused licensing from Chrysler and called their kits „quarter ton US Army truck“ or similar.

 I‘d be really interested in learning when exactly this (in Italy) happened - if under Berlusconi that would really be no surprise whatsoever, but if fairly recent it would just confirm what I think of M5S and Lega - not intended to become political.

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There were some interesting comments in IPMS Canada's beaveRTales by one Gavrilo Princip that make a lot of sense.

Bob

BTpage.jpg

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Given the topic this guy wrote about (and with whom I very much agree) his choice of pseudonym could prove unfortunate. It is probably only a question of time until the name Gavrilo Princip is going to be registered as a trademark by someone. It is even possible this has already happened or at least has been attempted. Quite ironic, actually. Cheers

Jure

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2 hours ago, bobmig said:

There were some interesting comments in IPMS Canada's beaveRTales by one Gavrilo Princip that make a lot of sense.

Bob

BTpage.jpg

Sure it was a RR speach and not George Bush‘s „read my lips“ immortalized in Megadeth‘s Foreclosure of a dream? I know I am heading way off topic...

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