Summary Judgements awarded to both GW and ChapterHouse Studios

Both Games Workshop and Chapterhouse Studios have managed to get summary judgements awarded in the ongoing trail. I can’t recall what GW’s where but Chapterhouse has been told it’s website is not a copyright breach, so that has been dropped from the legal case. Reading through the whole court text I discovered that only some Gamesworkshop symbols are copyrightable. I.e. The Space wolf logo in the particular GW style is, a general wolf head is not. The Blood Angles symbol might be due to the unique style of the wings, however the Flesh Tearer “tear drop” on “circular saw disk” is not. This is because work has to be original not the combination of two existing items to be considered IP. I wouldn’t take my word for it though. Read the text for yourself.

“The shoulder pads created to fit onto GW’s physical figurines, though more proportionally accurate, are nevertheless still larger and boxier than those typically found outside of the Warhammer 40,000 fantasy world. The Court thus concludes that GW is entitled to copyright protection as to the design of its shoulder pads.”

What the Chapterhouse has failed to point out here is that the early space marines were created by Bob Naismith who was not a Gamesworkshop or Citidel employee. While this case may open up avenues for other companies to make similar products to GW, it does appear chapter house studio’s may be in trouble. As their premise that

“Chapterhouse contends that GW’s miniature figurines are ineligible for protection

under English law and that as a result all of GW’s copyright claims against
Chapterhouse based on its figurines fail. Chapterhouse’s argument begins with an incorrect premise. Although disputes over copyright ownership must be resolved under
the laws of a work’s country of origin, other issues regarding a claim of copyright
infringement, including the question of copyrightability, are determined by the law of the
country where the alleged infringement occurred. Capitol Records, Inc. v. Naxos of
Am., Inc., 372 F.3d 471, 480 (2d Cir. 2004) (“[F]ederal copyright law protects a work
that enjoys no protection in the country where the work was created.”); Rudnicki, 2009
WL 4800030, at *7 (“For infringement issues, such as the scope of protection or
recovery, the relevant law is that of the country where the alleged infringement

Full text here