TSR TSR (2) Confirms TSR (3)'s Acquisition of Trademark (Updated!)

Jayson Elliot registered the TSR trademark back in 2011 and used it to launch Gygax Magazine along with Ernie and Luke Gygax. The two Gygax's left the company a few years later after Gary Gygax's (co-founder of TSR (1) back in the 1970s) widow, Gail Gygax, forced the closure of Gygax Magazine. Then, earlier this year, TSR (3) swooped in on the TSR trademark, after Jayson Elliot accidentally let it lapse, as TSR (2) confirms:

We have owned the TSR trademark since 2011. Last year, we missed a filing date, and another company registered it, though we are still using it in commerce. While we could win a lawsuit, we frankly don't have the money to litigate. So, we're licensing it back from them.

As a result, there are two companies now using the name TSR. You can tell when it's us because we're the only ones using the new logo.

They're opening a museum in Lake Geneva at the old TSR house, and we wish them success with it, it's important to celebrate the legacy that Gary Gygax created.

Ernie Gygax, formerly of TSR (1) under Gary Gygax, then working with Jayson Elliot as part of TSR (2), is one of the founders of of TSR (3), and confirmed in his (now infamous) interview --

The other TSR is a licensee because [Jayson Elliot] let it lapse. But he had absolutely ... love for the game and the products. There was no reason to say 'oh you've screwed up, oh it's all ours, ha ha ha ha!' Instead, Justin [LaNasa] came to him and said ... we love that you're doing Top Secret things, we have a much broader goal for the whole thing. But there's no reason for you to stop or even have any troubles. Justin said, I'll take care of the paperwork, you just give me $10 a year, and you put out all this love for old school gaming that you can. And we appreciate that you were there to try and pick up things, and you produced Gygax Magazine, for in its time that you're also working on a game that you love to play ... because Top Secret was Jayson's love, as a young man.

TSR (2), still run by Jayson Elliot, publishes Top Secret, and is not connected to TSR (3) other than now having to license it’s own name from them. TSR (3) has also registered the trademark to Star Frontiers, a game owned by and still currently sold by D&D-owner WotC.

In other news the GYGAX trademark appears to have lapsed.


UPDATE! TSR (2) has decided NOT to license its own name from TSR (3):

Update to our earlier tweet - we will NOT be licensing anything from the new company claiming rights to the TSR logos. We are not working with them in any fashion.
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Small Ball Archmage
Relativism is a cheap salve for things that harm others, even a strictly libertarian worldview would suggest that "your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose" it feels like now is very much about having a lot more recognition about what swinging your fist into the tip of my nose can look like.

Ultimately its a good thing that fewer people are going to be less harmed, whether that's in our tabletop games or whatever. Someone insisting they have a right to punch me generally doesn't have a good moral point, even if they're convinced absolutely of that right.

There are legitimate worries to be had with the way social movements can misconstruct harm and reinforce bigotry in the guise of progress after all, there is no one born immune to systemic bigotry and history is full of manipulative self-justification for horrible actions, but presenting the full text of a work with only a warning on it is hardly a violation of anyone's rights, anyone can still read it and analyze the views presented therein for themselves.

It is in fact the opposite of censorship.

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Mod Squad
Staff member
Humanity as a species is too diverse to have a common unifying code for the whole species everywhere.

I suspect things are gonna get worse myself and some nation states may not make it through the next 100 years intact ...

Mod Note:

The thread is about TSRs. It isn't about universal moral codes or the political future of the planet. Bring it back on topic, please and thanks.

Remember, if you speak ill of the dead today and take a moral high horse position, it is likely your own actions will be judged below some future standard for humanity.

The fact throughout human history all across the world we as a species that built multiple civilizations could not arrive even today on a universal standard means you can never judge the past by today's standards without being a hypocrite to future generations.
We speak ill of the dead ALL THE TIME. I won’t use more recent examples to avoid the moderation issue, but I don’t see a lot of people going “Emperor Caligula, he was a hell of a guy!”. Do you call people out who refer to Benedict Arnold as a traitor in the US?

Also, what do I care if people speak ill of me when I’m dead? I’m dead! I’m sure I have more pressing concerns (or not).


I crit!
This is not a copyright issue. It is a trademark issue. They are not the same.
TSR(3) is using copyrighted images in their products and marketing. Mostly logos on t-shirts and rebranded chesssx (not sure who’s) dice as “TSR” dice. FYI.

It’s the same folks from a different business. The TSR.games page leads to that store.



Right now I have to imagine Lorraine Williams is smiling at all of this.

"Ha! My title of worst manager of TSR is now taken over!"

On a more serious note, it seems, once again, that fragile egos, entitlement, shady deals, and complete lack of management skills are plaguing the TSR brand. Something that appears has always been there since the first first day it was created.

TSR(3) is using copyrighted images in their products and marketing. Mostly logos on t-shirts and rebranded chesssx (not sure who’s) dice as “TSR” dice.
It's not a proper TSR dice if the numbers aren't engraved but not filled out, and if the edges of the dice don't wear down easily. Actually if they'd sold dice like that I might have bought some just for fun.


Mod Squad
Staff member
TSR(3) is using copyrighted images in their products and marketing. Mostly logos on t-shirts and rebranded chesssx (not sure who’s) dice as “TSR” dice. FYI.

Yes, that's true. However, I was responding to discussion of legal rights to the TSR name between TSR2 and TSR3, so my point holds.

Neither of them have rights to the images from TSR1.

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