TSR TSR3.5 Voluntarily Dismisses Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed by TSR3 against D&D owners Wizards of the Coast a few days ago was voluntarily dismissed.

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Dismissal without prejudice means that the suit can be filed again. The suit lasted two days from the 7th to the 9th of December. The IndieGoGo fundraiser to fund it is still running.



At first glance, the below document is dated 21st October so it’s reasonable to assume that it is not related to the recent filing; however, apparently that date is incorrect. The correct date is in the footer, and this is indeed the dismissal of the recent filing and can be found on PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records).

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
This is something not clear to me. How can you produce proof that something doesn’t exist?

Testimony or documentation from the original artist that made their intent to approve the use of their art only in a very specific way, limiting original TSR's rights, would serve, I imagine.
 

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Mort

Legend
Supporter
Whichever firm will need to be licensed to practice law in Washington State. My understanding is that the right to practice law is controlled by each state.

This matter is in federal court, so no you DO NOT have to be licensed in the state of Washington. You need to have applied and been granted permission to practice before the 9th circuit.

North Carolina is in the 4th Circuit so TSRs current attorneys probably have not done so. But they can do so and there is also a procedure to be given permission to argue a case there even if you haven't formally applied.

That said, while federal law is TECHNICALLY the same among the circuits, precedent is not, procedures are different and little stuff matters. It is HIGHLY advised to get an attorney well versed in the circuit court you you are filing in, who practices there day in day out.

Which, likely, means TSR3 will use the same attorneys who filed the current masterful complaint and who probably have never been inside a 9th circuit court room.
 


Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Which all of could have been due to sloppy writing. It's probably not fair to assume motive with such limited knowledge of the details. The names could have been typo'd or a dozen other ways for such t come into play.
...s and g are 2 spaces apart on the keyboard. Also before and after the S, V, or G is an A, which means his ring finger is in the right place to hit the A key all six times... But instead of using his middle finger to press S he accidentally reached over and -down- with his index finger to type G once... As to the V, it's on the opposite side of the keyboard from N on the wrong side of B.

I'm not buying it. A typo is when you input a letter right next to what you intended, or you slip off the homerow for a second. Or you're thinking faster than you're typing. Or you skip punctuation.

A typo doesn't include bending your hand down to hit a key with a different finger than the one you'd use to hit the key you intended to hit. Or somehow using the wrong hand with the same coordination to hit a key on the wrong side of the keyboard.

The fact that he also included his middle initial in one of the two "Justin Lanasa" payments, and then the Lavasa one? Yeeeeah...

This is the dude's NAME he's misspelling. No Typo in "Justin", but Lanasa gets 3? Pffft.
 

see

Pedantic Grognard
But then I remembered that there was a period of about 3-4 years when Wizards overreacted to the 4e PHB2 being pirated by stopping all legal PDF sales. I don't know if that's long enough to constitute abandonment though.
When abandonment kicks in is a judgment call, but proof of nonuse for three consecutive years is considered prima facie evidence of abandonment under federal law.

The second important fact is that TSR2 also registered and used the mark, and Hasbro/WotC apparently never disputed that use.

The third is that when Hasbro/WotC resumed use, TSR2, despite having registered the mark, apparently never disputed the Hasbro/WotC use.

So, anyway. If I understand trademark law correctly (IANAL, so my reading might well be skewed), there isn't any way TSR3 can win a declaration that they actually own the "TSR" mark, despite that being what they filed for the first time around. (Picking up a dropped registration just doesn't do that if someone else is using the mark in commerce; you can't seize exclusive control over an in-use-by-someone-else mark simply by registering it. And Hasbro/WotC was definitely using it for old product PDFs and POD in 2020.)

But, it is possible that "TSR" the letters, as a mark for games, is no longer subject to trademark protection at all. The period of non-use, and the mutual non-enforcement between TSR2 and Hasbro/WotC, serve as evidence that it's no longer a trademark. In which case, anyone who wants to can freely slap the letters "TSR" on their games.
 

darjr

I crit!
yea. That's the really dumb part. There was a company ALREADY using the letters TSR without much issue. Then Ernie, a friend of the 2TSR folks, with Lasangna, swiped the registration out from under them for TSR3 and then had the GALL to demand a license from tsr2.

If they had just done that bit of crappyness and just used TSR like TSR2 did they'd probably be grifting people and not be in the the middle of this self inflicted forced error.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
...s and g are 2 spaces apart on the keyboard. Also before and after the S, V, or G is an A, which means his ring finger is in the right place to hit the A key all six times... But instead of using his middle finger to press S he accidentally reached over and -down- with his index finger to type G once... As to the V, it's on the opposite side of the keyboard from N on the wrong side of B.
I'll say that I make the stupidest typos a lot. Like, the other day I tried to write bardic but ended up writing bandage instead, because my mother had been talking about needing to buy more bandaids a moment before and my ears decided to bypass my brain at that moment and go right to my fingers. Hey, they both start with ba, right? I've also "misspelled" my own last name a couple of times when I've typed so fast that I haven't fully pushed a key and miss a letter or two from the middle of the name.

That being said, it's clear that in this case, LaNasa was either trying to get around a donor limit or really thought that other people would think that he had different people giving him money. Probably the former, since I have a hard time imagining that he really thought Lavasa and Lanaga, or using his middle initial once, would fool people into thinking they were different people.

The only thing I can't figure out is why he went for such poorly disguised names and didn't just come up with entirely different names. Guys a gamer, right? He should be able to come up with names.
 


Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
He knew what he was doing, because the first donation happened to be the max limit. So he knew about campaign contribution limits as well when he did it.

As far as creativity, I bet all their PC names are the names of existing characters spelled backwards, like his mighty wizard Fladnag.
I'll say that I make the stupidest typos a lot. Like, the other day I tried to write bardic but ended up writing bandage instead, because my mother had been talking about needing to buy more bandaids a moment before and my ears decided to bypass my brain at that moment and go right to my fingers. Hey, they both start with ba, right? I've also "misspelled" my own last name a couple of times when I've typed so fast that I haven't fully pushed a key and miss a letter or two from the middle of the name.

That being said, it's clear that in this case, LaNasa was either trying to get around a donor limit or really thought that other people would think that he had different people giving him money. Probably the former, since I have a hard time imagining that he really thought Lavasa and Lanaga, or using his middle initial once, would fool people into thinking they were different people.

The only thing I can't figure out is why he went for such poorly disguised names and didn't just come up with entirely different names. Guys a gamer, right? He should be able to come up with names.
 






Jer

Legend
Supporter
On the Indegogo page:


TSR plans on Re- filing the Decclaratory Judgement of Ownership in Washington state and also carrying on its actions to have Wizards of the Coast remove of change its Legacy Disclaimer.​

Whatever rumors you have been reading Disregard.Not one Media source reporting on this dismisal (Except Clown Fish TV) asked TSR for clarifaction why the DJOO was withdrawn.​

Justin LaNasa​

CEO TSR​

This was pretty much what I was thinking - their lawyer filed in the wrong venue and got dragged hard about it on legal twitter. There's no way that the case was going to go forward in the NC district at all, so they needed to drop it there to refile it in WA.

We'll see how long it takes them to actually refile it tho. Their Indiegogo funding is moving slowly so from a fundraising perspective it probably makes more sense to try to keep generating outrage on social media to drum up donations before actually refiling.

(Plus the follow-up on Indiegogo says that anything left over is going to be given to their museum to build a "memorial to the original creators". Interesting phrasing on that too - "when TSR says the battle is over" all leftover funds go to the museum.)
 

MarkB

Legend
(Plus the follow-up on Indiegogo says that anything left over is going to be given to their museum to build a "memorial to the original creators". Interesting phrasing on that too - "when TSR says the battle is over" all leftover funds go to the museum.)
So, what are the odds that the museum will commission a "J LaNasa" to build a fitting memorial using tin foil and paperclips?
 

Sir Brennen

Legend
So, what are the odds that the museum will commission a "J LaNasa" to build a fitting memorial using tin foil and paperclips?
None, because there won't be any "left over funds" to make a memorial of any kind, anyway, for two reasons:
  1. The IGG campaign will never raise enough money to cover the legal costs
  2. TSR (LaNasa) will never declare the battle is over, even if they lose the case
 

JediSoth

Semi-Professional Author
Epic
So, what are the odds that the museum will commission a "J LaNasa" to build a fitting memorial using tin foil and paperclips?
They've had nearly a decade to build a memorial from the Gygax Memorial Fund (to which my wife and I contributed at Gary Con more than once) and there's still NOTHING.

It's fraud and mismanagement all the way down with Luke Gygax trying to do damage control, but even he's exasperated at the crowd his brother has gotten involved with.

edit: added an omitted word that massively changed the meaning of a sentence.
 
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