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Chapter House Studios and UK Counterfit Laws

If there was any doubt over who won the Chapter House vs Games Workshop court fight the outcome is now very clear. No one did. Chapterhouse were forced to move their business’s focus to a law suit instead of plugging holes in Games Workshops product range. They were then forced to stop selling a number of their products and are currently unable to do any trading as their owner had had his assets frozen, as in he can’t legally spend or take money from people and has no access to banking facilities.

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Similarly Games Workshop were forced to shift there focus to a law suit, they have had to withdraw intellectually property from their books in the form of rules and artwork, they have had to delay or abandon certain products. No one but Games Workshop know what has fallen in to this category.
Games Workshop collectors have had to buy thinner rule books, have had to wait longer for products to be released and now can’t buy any of Chapterhouse’s products. In this lawsuit the lawyers didn’t even win. Games Workshops lawyers are internal to the business so made no more money. Chapter House’s Lawyers haven’t revived a single dollar in fees, as they did the work no win no fee.

So all around this thing was a total waste of everyone’s time and effort. If anything the only thing that has become clear to GW is what they need to do to protect their products, register all their Trademarks. It’s also clearer to other miniature makers what they can and can’t do without Games Workshops permission, and what the outcome will be if they go beyond these boundaries at least inside the USA.

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I really think this whole debate has been a storm in a tea cup, when you consider there are businesses in China who are busy remoulding GW products and selling them at about half the price GW charge. Games Workshop can’t do anything about these businesses as intellectual properties laws are very different in China. Make no mistake this is hurting GW’s bottom line. Possibly far more than Chapter House ever have done. UK law offers GW very little protection because up until recently they had been no laws to stop people buying counterfit goods. The law only prevents the selling of counterfit goods. http://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/may/08/counterfeit-goods-criminal-offence
The European courts have recently introduced laws which allow customs to detain suspected counterfeit goods at the boarder. They can email Games Workshop and invite them to inspect the goods, however if Games Workshop decline or don’t respond within 10 days customs have to release the goods again. http://www.out-law.com/page-10457 then there is the question of if customs and GW have time to check on a small parcel full of resin. I don’t think your average customs officer knows what colour resin Forge World are using.

Of course if you decide to buy these fakes from China you better not try to resell them yourself as you would be breaking the law. When you are done with them you can only give them away or throw them in the bin. If you do buy a lot of these you run the risk the police could take the view you intend to resell them and prosecute you any way. So you better paint them fast.

A few Internet Gurus were calling out for GW to drop the Chapterhouse lawsuit and focus on plugging the holes in their own product range rather than waste time on other activities. In hindsight may they have been right?

With a new CEO at the helm, who could have had at lot of input in to this decision as CFO I don’t think GW will call off their Wolves. So those thinking GW have no appetite for these court cases better think again.

What ever way you go about increasing your collection without going bankrupt, good luck.

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GW price around £500. Approximate resale value £300
Remoulded price £250. Approximate resale value £0 or £250 with a possible jail term.