The Chapterhouse Studios web site has reopened. From the products available for sale, it appears the original court judgement is being upheld. For example the Dark Elf and power glove are still not available.
The good news is many of their other products are still there. If it wasn’t for the withdrawal of the court appeals you would be forgiven for thinking Chapterhouse Studios paid their fine and have just started trading again. What has changed on the Chapterhouse site is the use of Games Workshop trademarks. Phrases such as “compatible with” and “designed for” Space Marines are still being used. This legal cases outcome has certainly opened the way for other companies to make products for Warhammer and to use the Games Workshop trademarks in the marketing of their products.
Chapterhouse Necron defence line. http://chapterhousestudios.com
In related news Games Workshop appear to have forced some of the Chinese remoulding business to stop advertising on some of the better know auction and shopping sites. I would imagine these remoulding business are having a much worse impact on Games Workshop’s bottom line than Chapterhouse Studios were. If someone wants a landraider they have to buy it from Games Workshop or get a remould. They can’t buy it from Chapterhouse Studios. It appears Games Workshop have learnt some important lessons from the Chapterhouse Law Suit and are now bring them to bear on those who are clearly breaking Trademark Law rather then those who might be. The question remains of wether Games Workshop are able to close down the Chinese counterfeiters faster than new ones open.
We probably all know the problem with counterfeiters, they can produce inferior versions of a product and do cost the intellectual property owner money, this can result in fewer new products and jobs at Games Workshop. The benefit of counterfeiter is they open up products to those who might not otherwise be able to afford them. They also force the intellectual property owner to consider their pricing strategy at bit more closely. Given the current barrier to entry in the 40k hobby, could this be a good thing?
All in all this may have been a good day for 40k. And to paraphrase the outgoing CEO, if you ignore the numbers it’s been a good day for Games Workshop.