Author Topic: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple  (Read 3181 times)

Offline Decar

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Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« on: July 05, 2017, 01:56:56 PM »
The DiceTower reported today that Hans Im Glueck are filing a Trademark for the term: Meeple.

https://youtu.be/MLv1EPwFnqA?t=334

I'm not sure where this news was cited from I hadn't heard anything.  I think it may be hard now Meeple is in the dictionary.
I wonder if it is related to the Epic game kickstarted last year filing a copyright for their meeple with weapon attachments.

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=3460.0

Offline GinCarc

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2017, 02:09:24 AM »
Why does HiG even bother with trademarking a term so widely used? Financially doesnt make sense?
Will they be requesting royalties from every supplier/boardgame maker around the world using the word Meeple Now?

They should focus more on new game material for Carcassonne :)) feels as if the new minis and expansion 8&9 are taking forever

On a lesser note Decar we should kickstart the project to get our horse meeple 'Horple' Trademarked ::)
Enjoy Gin

Offline Decar

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2017, 02:12:38 AM »
Up until now HiG has always been extremely open with people using their IP.
They invented the meeple-shape and allow many other games to use it, even when no permission has been sought.

There have been some events recently which have challenged their generosity.

The Epic Game I mentioned above but also: Meeple Source's recent Kickstarter to produce Carcassonne Meeples.
I think that could easily be seen as a loss of earnings.

I hope that HiG are trademarking meeple so they can protect it; rather than stopping another organisation owning a patent or other legal paper that could be detrimental.

Offline GinCarc

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2017, 02:22:04 AM »
Up until now HiG has always been extremely open with people using their IP.
They invented the meeple-shape and allow many other games to use it, even when no permission has been sought.

There have been some events recently which have challenged their generosity.

The Epic Game I mentioned above but also: Meeple Source's recent Kickstarter to produce Carcassonne Meeples.
I think that could easily be seen as a loss of earnings.

I hope that HiG are trademarking meeple so they can protect it; rather than stopping another organisation owning a patent or other legal paper that could be detrimental.

Makes sense what you are saying, but my opinion on the carcassonne meeples that meeplesource are making might differ slightly.
I am actually excited to purchase the minis that are coming out via cundco just to be able to play with the witch and mage meeples ive pre-ordered via meeplesource kickstarter project.

Does this not then add onto Cundco profits as they were never going to produce these custom meeple?

I do agree with you on the epic game situation, as protecting it is a totally different story. but we will back HiG as Super Carc Fans!! ^-^

Offline Decar

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 02:27:35 AM »
I'm not a legal guru. But loss of earnings is a weird field.

Firstly, they were selling sets of meeple which were dimensionally identical to Carcassonne meeple. If cundco wanted to sell these in the future...they would not sell so many because meeplesource has already sold them.  That is a loss.

Secondly, what is Cundco wanted to produce special meeple sets for their games?  If they did now, perhapd they wouls not srll as many people meeplesource has already sold something similar.  So even though HiG never intendes to produce something, they have lost the potential to sell something in the future.

Offline Jéré

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2017, 03:30:08 AM »
I think the idea behind this wouldn't be for profits. My understanding is that it would be simply to prevent somebody else to claim ownership, but maybe I don't see the whole picture.

Offline Decar

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2017, 04:34:03 AM »
I think the idea behind this wouldn't be for profits. My understanding is that it would be simply to prevent somebody else to claim ownership, but maybe I don't see the whole picture.

Yes exactly, I hope they continue to support their IP as much as they have done.  Especially for the community  :(y)

Offline Paul

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2017, 06:43:44 AM »
What is IP in regards to this thread? I'm lousy at these acronyms. I get IP address only in my head.  :white-meeple:
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Offline Decar

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2017, 06:44:46 AM »
IP == Intellectual Property

Offline Paul

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 06:50:17 AM »
IP == Intellectual Property

Aha! So obvious I missed it. Thanks.  :(y)

Offline Just a Bill

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 06:51:04 AM »
I Am Not A Lawyer, but it's possible that HiG is basically being forced to protect themselves legally. If you create IP and don't legally defend it, this can lead to losing it. It's possible that if HiG doesn't officially register the name/shape of the piece, somebody else could. Imagine how awful for them if, say, Meeplesource were to trademark it and then have the ability to force HiG to pay them.
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Offline Decar

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2017, 06:53:59 AM »
I'm not sure how that could happen, but if there's a possibility it seems reasonable to defend it now while they can.
Possibly even registering the intent to claim it (even if not successful) is enough to defend it.

There's also lots of weird international boundaries and legal recognition to consider.

Offline ARabidMeerkat

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2017, 04:21:45 AM »
So would Decar or Wolnic claim IP over the Dogple? Or would this be the start of a beautiful joint ownership?
If only I had another Halfling.....

Offline Decar

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2018, 01:59:27 AM »
word is HiG are sending Cease and Desist notices to some accessory producers profiting from Meeple, at least across Europe.

I nabbed these images off twitter (Suzanne from dice tower and Boardgames in London). The general consensus seems to be people crying about having something taken away from them. But as far as I can see, it was never theirs and HiG has granted permission to other game producers to use the meeple likeness.

After the Tiny Epic nonsense it seems they're just protecting what's theirs!

Offline Just a Bill

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Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2018, 04:48:01 AM »
I would like to clarify that this is a figurative trademark, which means that HiG is protecting the shape they invented. Based on these attachments, it does not appear that they are attempting to trademark the word "meeple," which they did not invent (nor even use in their product until recent times, many years after the term was already in general use by the public and many other businesses). Indeed, trying to claim that word as a trademark would be (I think) both difficult and dishonest. But the shape is absolutely all theirs, and they should protect it.

Thus, I would say that (for example) Meeplesource will not have to change its name, but may have a big problem with a lot of its inventory (or may need to purchase a license).


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