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Author Topic: Calling all busnut patent attorneys  (Read 2942 times)
JohnVickrey
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« on: November 08, 2011, 01:02:57 PM »

My wife is convinced that I will be sued by General Motors because I have re-created a Medallion for the 4104.  Any busnut attorneys with an opinion?? 
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John Vickrey   -   Dearing, GA
About 2 hours East of ATL on I-20 and 4 miles south of I-20.
Got Electricity and Water for 4-5 coaches.  Less that a mile to a
dumpstation.  Stop by and sit a spell.
luvrbus
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2011, 01:13:49 PM »

That was not a patent it was a copyright I doubt if anybody owns it now since the GM bankruptcy do some checking

good luck 
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Len Silva
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2011, 01:24:40 PM »

I don't think you are the first to re-create that and I certainly would not lose any sleep over it.  You can purchase name badges, hubcaps and hood ornaments for any number of antique cars. 
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Kevin Warnock
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2011, 02:17:31 PM »

I would be surprised if the trademark lawyers at GM even know GM once made buses.

Kevin Warnock
http://KevinWarnock.com - my blog
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Paladin
Dave Knight
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2011, 02:46:44 PM »

Yeah, I'll bet they don't even know they ever made coaches or who holds the copyright or if it's valid.

Is the medallion that you made for sale? Are you producing copies for sale?
If not then I highly doubt it would be worth their time even if someone could show a current and valid registration on the copyright. The first official thing you would see is a cease and desist letter to stop and maybe surrender or destroy all works. If you didn't do that then maybe, just maybe someone might decide it's worth their time to try to scare you or sue you for infringement. It's more likely that you'd only be threatened (at most) if you weren't making money at it since an I.P (intellectual property) attorney would have to bill their company much more than it would ever be worth unless it was just a move to protect their claim for some reason.

I wouldn't lose sleep unless you are commercially selling it and advertising and then I'd check to see if the copyright is current. It seems to me that there were automatic extensions granted recently after a suit but I'm not an I.P attorney and don't know that they would apply, my brother in law is the I.P brain in the family.
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'75 MC-8   'Event Horizon'
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"Have bus will travel read the card of the man, a Knight without armor in a savage land...."
Jeremy
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2011, 03:10:00 PM »

I used to have a sideline printing dozens of different stickers with various company logos (all car related), and selling them at car shows and on Ebay. Generally speaking there's very little a trademark owner can really do to stop you using their logo, unless they can demonstrate that they have suffered a loss as a result of your actions, or that you are "passing off" - ie. claiming that what you made was actually made by them.

I was never contacted directly by anyone about the stickers, but for some items Ebay would regularly cancel my auctions through their VeRO programme. Some trademark owners (Harley Davidson was one) obviously had people constantly scanning Ebay for non-legit stuff, and would get the auctions cancelled of anything they found.

Jeremy
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A shameless plug for my business - visit www.magazineexchange.co.uk for back issue magazines - thousands of titles covering cars, motorbikes, aircraft, railways, boats, modelling etc. You'll find lots of interest, although not much covering American buses sadly.
Paladin
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2011, 03:38:59 PM »

I know that Disney for one trolls Ebay and does pursue people as do a few other big name Hollywood studios. I once listed a spare film print of Disney's Song of the South and Ebay cancelled my auction. They reinstated it when I could prove that I did not copy it and was not making copies, that it was an original Disney film made by Disney.  Since then things have really changed since the hobby has gained popularity and Disney has gone after people just for selling films made by Disney and Ebay cooperates fully in order to avoid being named as a co-defendant.
 Disney legal sends nasty-grams threatening legal action and one guy I know actually got sued. Disney and the other studios own all film prints of their movies ever made past and present except P.D (public domain aka older films with expired rights) and Disney guards their animated classics in all formats very jealously and keeps their rights up to date forever. Not one that I know of has ever fallen into P.D.
 Another one is the film trailers where people cut them up and sell the individual cells (frames) for framing etc. There is a difference though between cease and desist suits and damage suits.
This though is admittedly different than making copies of a medallion logo of a product no longer being made and especially if it were for personal use only.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2011, 03:43:43 PM by Paladin » Logged

'75 MC-8   'Event Horizon'
8V71  HT740
Salt Lake City, Utah

"Have bus will travel read the card of the man, a Knight without armor in a savage land...."
kyle4501
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2011, 05:06:08 PM »

Since this item is not in production by GM AND you are selling it as a reproduction, you are not depriving GM of any revenue.

I can't imagine GM would risk the negative push back from trying to stop enthusiast from improving their restoration.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2011, 05:09:56 PM »

GM has no rights if anybody does you would think MCI since they bought the GM bus manufacturing 

good luck
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Ace
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2011, 06:57:44 PM »

Had a friends that once was in business doing vinyl lettering and signs. He used to make corporate logo reproductions and sell them. Things like home depot, Lowes, Dewalt, Budweiser, and such and he lost his entire business due to one big corporation taking him to court and obviously winning. He said he would Never re produce anything ever again for no amount of money and after 8 years he hasn't!
If be very careful. It only takes one complaint to get the ball rolling!
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Ace Rossi
Lakeland, Fl. 33810
Prevost H3-40
buswarrior
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2011, 07:16:15 PM »

Every old car enthusiast would FREAK if the General ever gave a care about your few reproduced medallions.

And there's a whole lot of them still buying new GM vehicles...

Quite frankly, GM would be far better off to thank you for providing the service to our obscure hobby.

And they have absolutely no interest in offering new ones, and if they did, you'd be happy to stop.

You are fine, and your wife is good to be cautious.

If there's trouble, we'd just surround GM headquarters with bus conversions, set out the house plants and the awnings, and occupy until they smartened up.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area
challenger440
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2011, 07:26:52 PM »

Well, my other addiction is a Pontiac Fiero.  Out of prodution since 1988.  Several folks were selling repo logo's, decals and what not.  GM sent them very unfriendly letters telling them to quit.   They still own the trademarks on the name Fiero and did not want anyone making money from their property.  John M.
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John M.
Helena, Mt
MC7  "under construction"
kyle4501
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2011, 07:37:44 PM »

John,
wait for the cease & desist letter, then comply.
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I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. (R.M. Nixon)
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2011, 08:26:40 PM »

I'd listen to Paldin. He knows what he's talking about AND risking avoiding the same fate at the same time! LOL!!

Ian
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Paladin
Dave Knight
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2011, 08:38:27 PM »

Well, my other addiction is a Pontiac Fiero.  Out of prodution since 1988.  Several folks were selling repo logo's, decals and what not.  GM sent them very unfriendly letters telling them to quit.   They still own the trademarks on the name Fiero and did not want anyone making money from their property.  John M.



Hey John, do you happen to have any spare Fiero seats with speakers or without? I was thinking of putting a pair in my MGB and have them covered in leather by MrMikes. I can't find any locally as of yet.

http://mrmikes.com/mg.htm

-Dave


We now return you to the original thread........



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'75 MC-8   'Event Horizon'
8V71  HT740
Salt Lake City, Utah

"Have bus will travel read the card of the man, a Knight without armor in a savage land...."
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