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Author Topic: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.  (Read 2457 times)

Offline mcfonz

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1739
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2020, 05:50:43 PM »
Not saying it isn't a step in the right direction but it clearly shows what goes on inside the mind of the company,
that or some random employer not knowing how youtube, reviews and the hobby works was set in charge of take downs...

The apology is a bit odd.

They say it wasn't intended but then said their motivation was to allay the backlash... Which suggests they wouldn't have done it if it were not for the backlash implications upon their business.

That said, I find it highly ironic considering their history for not only copying other people's designs but then insisting the people they stole the ideas from ceased making them claiming IP on them...

Karma, does it really exist?

Offline Coenus Scaldingus

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 601
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2020, 10:13:06 PM »
The apology is a bit odd.

They say it wasn't intended but then said their motivation was to allay the backlash... Which suggests they wouldn't have done it if it were not for the backlash implications upon their business.

That said, I find it highly ironic considering their history for not only copying other people's designs but then insisting the people they stole the ideas from ceased making them claiming IP on them...

Karma, does it really exist?
Well, the unfairly reprimanded YouTuber got a lot of free publicity, and Green Stuff World's competitor Vallejo may have had to change the name of their product range, but the word has certainly gotten out that they too now have paints that shift colours.
Green Stuff World hasn't exactly endeared themselves to me, but I wasn't aware of any previous questionable behaviour. Though the irony of a company with that name trademarking a common name to prevent a competitor making products under the same name is rather strong...
~Ad finem temporum~

Offline ced1106

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 459
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2020, 03:02:42 PM »
The problem may be the trademark in the first place.

While the trademark is in Spain, the purpose of a trademark in the US is to prevent confusion between similar products, and, yes, hobby paints from one company are similar to another. So, if two companies release paint lines that have the same name, then there can be confusion. GSW trademarked their paint line first. And I would think that if Vallejo had the trademark first, GSW would change the name of their upcoming paint line Now, I'm not familiar with the term, "color shift", but it's entirely possible that the term is such a part of hobby paints that shouldn't have been trademarked in the first place, and thus the trademark would be contestable. Vallejo's letter suggests that they're not contesting the trademark, but, as someone raised in litigation-happy United States, I should hope that they either consulted a few trademark lawyers, or found out how much it would have cost to contest the trademark. A trademark in the United States, btw, doesn't have to be registered, but may be. I don't know Spanish trademark laws, nor if GSW's "color shift" was registered, not that registering would necessarily provide protection.

Interestingly, there's a Madrid Protocol, presumably from Spain, that ruled against the trademark of the nearly 100-year old chewing gum Wrigley's Doublemint in the EU, citing that it lacks an imaginative element. I take it that "color shift" would be even less imaginative...
https://www.business.com/articles/5-trademark-cases-and-what-you-should-learn-from-them/
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 03:05:23 PM by ced1106 »

Offline ced1106

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 459
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2020, 11:19:41 PM »
More discussion on Dakka, but here's GSW's previous litigious activity.

"Further information has surfaced that hints towards GSW having an established history of patent theft (morally if not legally) and bullying individuals and other companies.

Statement by Tabletop Workshop (English transcript, copypasted without permission)

https://www.facebook.com/TWSshow/posts/2081621968608039?__tn__=K-R&fbclid=IwAR3_2vfkARh_Qot9s2fszSS7sKaHlOYhrNX8qezIGOl9JJI0LdvKbmvvyE0

Quote
Therefore we come now to point 2, the behaviour of Green Stuff World in the past years towards some manufacturers or dealers. I have made some longer telephone calls to get a first-hand description of the following facts:

Between 2010 and 2012 the German modeller Stefan Niehues (https://beesputty.com) developed his so-called "Tube Tool". The basic idea came from experiments with a threaded rod to depict structures on footballers' socks. With his "Tube Tool", he virtually reversed this process to create different structures with grooved plates on modeling pastes. For example for tubes ...

Stefan then sold his "Tube Tool" on his own and from 2013 on also via the German dealers PK-PRO and Battlefield-Berlin, among others.

On 12 March 2014, the owner of Green Stuff World, Israel Soriano Garcia, filed two so-called design patents for modelling tools with the European Union Intellectual Property Office - EUIPO for short - and released the "Roll Maker" tool via his company. This "Roll Maker" tool was an exact 1:1 copy including all dimensions of the "Tube Tool".

But wait! Design patent? What is a design patent?

Wikipedia says about this. "A design patent is an industrial property right that gives its owner an exclusive right to use an aesthetic appearance (shape, colour, form) for certain goods. … ” And very important: "A design right is an unexamined property right. In the registration procedure, the prerequisites of novelty and individual character are not examined, but only formal requirements for registration".

This means that you do not have to be the originator of a product to register this right. Fulfilling certain formalities is enough. The fees for such a registration are also relatively low at about 400-500€ and as luck would have it, both Green Stuff World and the EUIPO are located in the same place: Alicate, Spain.

Following this design registration the following happened. Green Stuff World submitted its design entry to the sales platform eBay, including PK-PRO as the distribution channel for the "Tube Tool". Thus the sale of the "Tube Tool" developed by Stefan Niehues was immediately prohibited there due to copyright infringement.

Of course Stefan turned to Green Stuff World, but neither a reasonable dialogue nor an agreement was reached. As a demonstrable author, Stefan could of course now have gone to court in Alicante, Spain, to enforce his rights. But this would not only have taken several months or even years, but would also have cost several thousand euros in expenses and costs. Even if Stefan himself had previously registered such a design or even applied for a patent. In order to enforce his claims, a lawsuit in Alicate against Green Stuff World would have been necessary in any case.

And all this for an article that initially cost around 20€ and later only 10€, of which Stefan has only sold 750 copies to date. In short: Neither the registration of a design nor a patent would have protected Stefan Niehues from Green Stuff World's action. And a lawsuit abroad would have been out of proportion to the costs and the earnings of his product. But here we are with copyright law and a completely different construction site ...

After Green Stuff World had released their motif punches or leaf punches in July 2016, the German online retailer PKO-PRO decided to include such tools in their product range as well. The inquiry with a Chinese producer showed that in Europe already some customers were supplied with such tools. But the Chinese producer emphasized that he owns a patent on these tools since 2006.

In coordination with PK-PRO, new motifs for the sheets to be punched were then designed, not only to obtain their own products, but also to differentiate themselves from the Green Stuff World punching tools.

At the end of September 2016 PK-PRO officially announced its "PK-Punches" with the help of some photos. The "PK-Punches" were available from October 1st, 2016.

But exactly one day before, on September 30th, 2016, Green Stuff World filed another design application at the European Union Intellectual Property Office. This time, however, the design patent related to the shape of the punches. In other words, not on any sheets that can be punched, but on the haptic shape of the punch, for which the Chinese producer has held a patent since 2006.

Impossible? No, because, as already mentioned, the registration procedure for such a design does NOT examine the requirements of novelty and individual character, but only some formal requirements for registration.

With this design, Green Stuff World shortly afterwards stopped the sales of the "PK-Punches" on eBay and amazon. Because, as already mentioned in the first example, it is completely sufficient on these platforms to assert a claim for copyright infringement or similar. eBay and amazon then blocked the item and, in the worst case, directly the entire marketplace shop of the supplier. Only when the plaintiff - in this case Green Stuff World - withdraws his accusation, would the sales of the PK-Punches have been possible again on eBay. For this, of course, it would have required either a concession or a court case with a verdict.

And as in the first example, such a trial in Alicante, Spain, is associated with considerable costs. In addition, the patent holder of the design applied for by Green Stuff Worlds is the Chinese producer.

What followed, however, were various lawyers' letters between PK-PRO and Green Stuff World for about half a year. Ultimately without result, because at some point Green Stuff World simply stopped contacting us. This cost PK-PRO about 10.000€ in translation and legal fees and of course a lot of time ... Although PK-PRO was able to sell its "PK-Punches" via its own webshop, it could only reach a part of its original customers. And as usual with new releases, the demand for such tools was already covered after half a year had elapsed.

As a reminder again the statement of Green Stuff World published on January 2nd, 2020:

"We are a small family business, this is my hobby and my life, and I am very proud of what has been achieved after many years of hard work..."

Well, I personally got a slightly different impression of the company Green Stuff World during my research. Although Green Stuff World has always remained within the framework of the applicable laws in the cases I researched, I believe that they have consciously taken advantage of the corresponding loopholes in the law and procedures. There is no question that such "hard restraints" are also common in other industries, but legally sound does not automatically mean morally sound. At least for me.

Even the initially very harsh action against Naomi's video, in which a shutdown and warning was issued directly via YouTube, does not fit for me with Green Stuff Worlds' statement: "We would like to apologise again for this serious misunderstanding, for having damaged her channel in some way, and for having made her part of a legal dispute between companies that have nothing to do with her. The shutdown and warning was at the request of Green Stuff World - how could this have been a misunderstanding?

After all these statements, events and my researches I have come to the personal conclusion that I will not buy, use and present any more products from Green Stuff World via the TWS channel and thus recommend and thus advertise you.

I have deleted the two TWS reviews of Green Stuff World - even if one of the videos was the ninth most popular video in the TWS archive. But I gladly accept the loss of views, likes and reach. Furthermore I will remove all links to Green Stuff World from all TWS video descriptions in the next days.

Nevertheless - and I want to emphasize this here - this is my personal opinion and decision. I do not want to call for a shitstorm against or even boycott of Green Stuff World. With this video I only want to show you the result of my research and inform you about backgrounds you might not have had any insight into so far. And so that nobody thinks that I only published this video to get as many YouTube clicks as possible out of the current situation, this video is NOT monetized. That means, no matter how many people watch this video, I don't get one cent of advertising revenue for it.

I also want to avoid any hate comments or further shitstorm against Green Stuff World. Accordingly I have deactivated the comment area below this video and also at my corresponding Facebook postings.

Just take your time to form your own opinion ... and if you want to continue shopping at Green Stuff World and/or present their products, please do so. I definitely don't want to dictate anything to anyone or impose my opinion.

So, that's it from my side regarding Green Stuff World. I hope to see you again next Friday for a more pleasant hobby topic ... See you!

https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/60/784030.page

Offline powerfrog99

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Scientist
  • *
  • Posts: 348
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2020, 06:27:15 AM »
The TWS video gave me some enlightenment  :o
This kind of business model by GSW motivated me to stop considering them when I buy hobby stuff...

Quote: "... the irony of a company with that name trademarking a common name to prevent a competitor making products under the same name is rather strong..."
 
just my 2 cents
These days it's Wargods I am working on !

Check out my gallery here on LAF
http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?action=gallery;su=user;u=2521

Offline wmyers

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 273
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2020, 02:01:57 AM »
Thank you for linking that video. I probably would never have learned oh her channel otherwise.

Watching her follow up video, apparently Vallejo holds the copyright in Spain for Colourshifters while GSW registered the trademark.

I had heard good things about GSW’s service, but after finding this out I think I’ll think more than twice before looking at their products.

Offline DeRuyter

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 39
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2020, 06:22:11 PM »
The Storm & Steel video came up on my feed before I read this thread. Thank you for posting from Dakka very informative. The hilarious part was that in GSW communications with S&S they kept asking if she would review their products!

It is sad that GSW has adopted a cutthroat business model in a niche business supporting a hobby and is really mostly hurting people who are hobbyists themselves and not in it for the money.

Offline Elbows

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 8225
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2020, 07:06:07 AM »
I've never purchased anything from Green Stuff World but it's fair to say...I won't be in the future.



2020 Painted Miniatures: 136
(2019: 123, 2018: 98, 2017: 226, 2016: 233, 2015: 32, 2014: 116)

http://myminiaturemischief.blogspot.com/

Offline Nordic1980s

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 144
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2020, 11:10:55 AM »
Thank you ced1106 for letting us all know. If true, this is evil behaviour by GSW and am reminded negatively of the late 1990s to very early 2000s period when GW did more or less the same. Am appalled, no more purchases from GSW!

Offline WuZhuiQiu

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 879
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2020, 12:15:35 PM »
Now that I'm aware of their existence, I won't be purchasing anything from GSW, especially not their "colour sh!te"...

Offline wmyers

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 273
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2020, 08:19:27 PM »
More discussion on Dakka, but here's GSW's previous litigious activity.

"Further information has surfaced that hints towards GSW having an established history of patent theft (morally if not legally) and bullying individuals and other companies.

Statement by Tabletop Workshop (English transcript, copypasted without permission)

https://www.facebook.com/TWSshow/posts/2081621968608039?__tn__=K-R&fbclid=IwAR3_2vfkARh_Qot9s2fszSS7sKaHlOYhrNX8qezIGOl9JJI0LdvKbmvvyE0

https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/60/784030.page

Is the Tabletop Workshop reference to the same named firm that made the medieval houses and castle (that Warlord Games bought)?

Offline ced1106

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 459
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2020, 09:00:34 PM »
Sorry, no idea. Maybe ask on Dakka or their FB or Youtube page. Thanks!

Offline beefcake

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 6646
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2020, 10:36:41 PM »
Someone should trademark Greenstuff, lol


Offline Sir Barnaby Hammond-Rye

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1459
    • The Tekumel Project
Re: Green Stuff World trademarks "Colorshift"... chaos ensues.
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2020, 02:45:06 AM »
Trademarks can be contested.