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ChapterHouse Studios vs Games Workshop – Outcome

Judgement awarded to GamesWorkshop on 35 counts

The jury has given their verdict on ChapterHouse’s use of alleged Games Workshop trademarks. Belloflostsouls.net have posted the following information.

Initial notes:
This is a Jury Verdict, not a Final Judgement

Break down of the counts:

Copyright Claims
160 claims alleged against ChapterHouse Studios
power clawGamesWorkshop won on a third, including  ChapterHouse Studios Powerfists

mk1 shoulderpadChapterHouse Studios won on two thrids of the claims, including using the  shape and size of GamesWorkshop shoulder pads.

General Trademark Claims
Nine claims were alleged against ChapterHouse Studios
ChapterHouse Studios won all 9 claims, including either no infringement, or fair use of the GamesWorkshop trademarks on ChapterHouse Studios website.

Disputed Trademark Claims
There were tweenty one disputed trademark claims alleged against ChapterHouse Studios
ChapterHouse Studios won 11 claims
GamesWorkshop won 10 claims

GW Trademarks ruled “Previously Used in Commerce” Claims
61 claims alleged against ChapterHouse Studios
ChapterHouse Studios won 35 claims
GW won 27

Notable Trends and Individual Products Under Dispute
ChapterHouse Studios lost on some individual products including:
-Doomseer
-Dark Elf Arch Tortures

doomseerDark Elf Arch Torturess

These products will have to be withdrawn from sale.

ChapterHouse Studios won on some individual products including:
-Jetbike
-Super-heavy walker model
-Lizard Ogre

Chapterhouse jETBIKELizard-ogre

Damages Awarded:
ChapterHouse Studios ordered to pay GW damages of $25,000 USD

While it may appear that ChapterHouse Studios have won on the majority of claims, there has been no ruling on who is picking up the legal costs. If both sides pick up their own cost GW will walk away with a much bigger bill then CHS as Chapter Houses’ representation was working pro bono. If CHS have to pick up GW costs it hard to see how ChapterHouse will be able to keep operating.

The winner from this case is the hobbiest. It is now possible for third parties in America to manufacture kits compatible with the Warhammer universe. However if CHS have to pick up the legal bill it’s unlikely anyone would choose to. Full details on where the court has drawn the line won’t been known until more details of the trail have been released.

Those that wish to buy any of the products under dispute may have now missed their opportunity.

The final judgement will probably come next week.

Ben