TSR Now it’s WotC’s Turn: WotC Moves Against TSR3

I guess after you provoke somebody enough, they’ll eventually bite back. The company has begun trademark cancellation procedures against the newest TSR.

TSR3 briefly filed for a court declaration on Dec 7th as to their ownership of the TSR trademarks — with an IndieGoGo campaign to fund it — and then voluntarily dismissed it a couple of days later on Dec 9th.

This filing is dated Dec 6th, the day before TSR3 launched its campaign.

In WotC’s response, they cite fraud as one of the causes of action, alleging that TSR3 misled the trademark office in its original application.

Mike Dunford, on Twitter, breaks down the action.


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Dausuul

Legend
They're just trying to get the trademark registration cancelled. That's all. They're not suing him or trying to claim damages or anything.
For now, sure. But one assumes that if he continues to sell TSR-branded merch, they will eventually get around to doing something about it.
 

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Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
They're just trying to get the trademark registration cancelled. That's all. They're not suing him or trying to claim damages or anything.
Yep. WotC has been pretty restrained in all of this. Any claims of them bullying is just nonsense. They sent a C&D first. When LaNasa refused they filed to have his TMs cancelled. That's all they've done so far, with no indication they are suing LaNasa.

This could still go away very quietly. LaNasa reregistered another LLC a few days ago, so he lets TSR LLC drop. He removes the logos from all of his products, and goes on his merry way, no further harm to him or his pocketbook.

Anything further and it's all on him. If he insists on filing a suit again, he's forcing them to keep protecting their IP. But up to now, they've been very kind to him.
 



Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
They're just trying to get the trademark registration cancelled. That's all. They're not suing him or trying to claim damages or anything.
this is true - but on the other hand, what do they (nuTSR) have left if they lose the TSR trademark? Alone, in a crowded niche market with no previous product to point at...
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
this is true - but on the other hand, what do they (nuTSR) have left if they lose the TSR trademark? Alone, in a crowded niche market with no previous product to point at...
I mean, is the trademark actually worth anything at this point? I suggest that they won’t actually be losing anything. They’ve ground the brand into the dust. Nobody would touch it with a bargepole.
 

I mean, is the trademark actually worth anything at this point? I suggest that they won’t actually be losing anything. They’ve ground the brand into the dust. Nobody would touch it with a bargepole.
Maybe some years down the road. But right now, it's only useful for trying to inflame a small minority. Or an Army. Depends who you believe.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I mean, is the trademark actually worth anything at this point? I suggest that they won’t actually be losing anything. They’ve ground the brand into the dust. Nobody would touch it with a bargepole.

I mean ... it could be. There are still people that view the mark (TSR) with fondness. I know I'm one of them!

Of course, if someone was 15 in 1995 (say), they'd already be 41 ... so that kind of tells you about the age of that demographic- and that's from the 2e era!

I think it would be possible for a combination "Release Old Stuff" and "OSR rules" and similar nostalgia plays to make some noise, and even attract new fans with new "old school" or "retro" product, under the TSR mark, but it would remain a niche.
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
Okay. Now I almost feel bad for NuTSR.

WOTC brought in the ringer to get the mark canceled.

Per the firm's website, the lead attorney, Stuart Dunwoody, in addition to looking like a more handsome version of Steve Martin, also represented the Pokémon Company International in copyright infringement action against online seller of merchandise bearing images of Pokémon characters.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Okay. Now I almost feel bad for NuTSR.

WOTC brought in the ringer to get the mark canceled.

Per the firm's website, the lead attorney, Stuart Dunwoody, in addition to looking like a more handsome version of Steve Martin, also represented the Pokémon Company International in copyright infringement action against online seller of merchandise bearing images of Pokémon characters.
Can you really feel bad for a guy who tied steaks to his body and leaped into a lion's cage to wrestle them?
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
They really have only themselves to blame. They could have just apologized for past behavior and focused all of their attention on writing interesting products inspired by the old-school classics they claim to represent. But instead of choosing the path of peace and creativity, they chose the path of loss and pain.

They will get neither my money nor my sympathy.
 





Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Nobody would touch it with a bargepole.

Nobody other than WotC, who will still sell the classic pdf titles using it, if only because taking the brand images off the pdfs would be a pain.

If they really wanted to, for the 50th, they could put out a line of classic style modules, by old-hand designers, under that brand, and it'd probably sell really well.
 



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