David K Smith G&D blog

JoeS Jul 13, 2011

  1. Don A

    Don A TrainBoard Supporter

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    On a << QUICK >> check of Trademarks, the name(s) of John and Allen / John Allen / Allen John / Allen and John shows only 3 Trademarks and none have anything to do with trains. I note that all the Gorre and Daphetid and NMRA / NTS combinations were filed by the same attorney. In the case of Gorre and Daphetid, I am a little suspicious that no one else had a Trademark on the name and NMRA just scooped it up, and it had nothing to do with the estate [Remember I said I was suspicious so this is NOT facts]. Maybe NMRA plans to let train folks use the name but maybe not. This sounds a little like JMRI situation where one person tied up the JMRI group for years. If someone knows why NMRA did this I'd like to hear. If not I am going to an NMRA mucky-muck source I contacted last year after the Milwaukee NMRA show did so poorly at the box office.

    ...don
     
  2. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    As I mentioned earlier I support protecting intellectual property rights, but as I watch this thread progress, I really wonder about the NMRA motives. In this case, the NMRA could have taken then Union Pacific approach of "give us credit for the trademark", but didn't. Walking through the show there were dozens of visible trademark infringments and misuses of the NMRA and DCC trademarks. But I'm unaware of any cease and desist order directed directed toward, say Bachmann or Walthers or Athearn. These, as well as dozens of other fine companies recognized various other trademark holders from UP to Facebook somewhere in their display or marketing literature but not the NMRA's. Nor did I see any action taken (at least through midday on Saturday) on the various "NMRA-compliant..." statements posted around the NTS.
    While agree with Lajos, that the best way to change an organization is from the inside, it was this type of inconsistent posturing 20 years ago that caused me to conclude that the NMRA was more about promoting themselves than the hobby and to drop my membership. I just renewed that membership this year, but now it seems that the NMRA of 1990 is the NMRA of 2011 and I doubt that I will renew next year.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2011
  3. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    IF the individual who made the complaint in the first place is reading this thread and most likely chuckling to himself, let me say that should you get found out, I doubt you will have sweet dreams after the lights go out and you begin to dream of trains, NMRA or whatever turns your crank.

    You may never be found out, nor the motive for your actions revealed, but know this, if your motive for turning in the offending product line to NMRA staff was motivated by selfishness or greed or any other negative trait, then know that you are a very small minority and you will not walk among friends and your path will be lonely. Only you know the reason for your actions, so if they were purely for the protection of a trademark then you can be forgiven, but only if that was the reason.

    I sincerely hope you did it out of concern for the trademark. If not, then you are alone and a miserable creature inside with poor character.

    I'll let it rest.
     
  4. Joe D'Amato

    Joe D'Amato TrainBoard Member

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    Can I get an amen brother!

    To David's post about other products...I looked at a few of them and the giveaway is there is no trademark on the name of the product. Having worked Disney Merchandise for a number of years, when we printed anything it had to have the trademark or it caused trouble. I doubt any of these have the approval of the family or the NMRA. If the NMRA holds the trademark then they will only let it out if they can make money with it.

    To Lajos point about working from the inside...I respect your point and admire your attitued. Given my experience with this and other trade organizations, working from the inside nets you nothing but a sore head. They are ripe with politics as any of these are and are prone to protect the good old boy network. Organizations like this are too intrenched and fight change. I do agree we got ours at the show with the wins for modules. Good work all around...even so, look at all the postings about new products and layouts on other boards and groups...and nary a word about Z... We work in the shadows right now, but our time is coming.

    Joe
     
  5. Don A

    Don A TrainBoard Supporter

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    We MAY get a few lines in Model Railroader. Cody Grivno was actually taking notes as Loren was explaining some of his knowledge. Neil Besougloff came by Mr Dave's layout and shot the breeze a little. Long story as to how we got Andy Sperandeo and Neil Besougloff to spend about a half hour with us in Detroit. The doors are open - we just need some authors.

    ...d
     
  6. GN-Z-phile

    GN-Z-phile TrainBoard Member

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    People from a couple of different publications, including a photographer for one, swung by the Z modules, Loren's highway module in particular. I also saw some NMRA bigwigs returning frequently, sometimes bringing others with them, - one guy would see me, and say "It's me again!" :) Others showed up, saying "my buddy said I should see this".
     
  7. ztrack

    ztrack TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    Don is right. Z needs more authors (and I am not just saying that because I can always use articles). I would LOVE to see a Z scale article or two in Model Railroader or the other publications. Z scale needs that kind of exposure. I am really pulling for Loren and hope we see his amazing highway in print (note Ztrack was the first to actually publish it...). This is the kind of exposure Z scale needs.

    Rob
     
  8. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Would they have said a word if David's products looked bad? Or is it because they looked too good?
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
     
  9. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    Dave,
    If I were you, I'd see about copyrighting your gauges before you ship them out. They look like a unique piece of art that need to be protected.
    Mark
     
  10. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not sure if I can. They are just outlines of [whisper] NMRA [/whisper] guidelines.

    By the way, rulers are now en route to my dealers, in case anyone's interested.

    There are three flavors: a 3-in-1 English with 1:160, 1:220 and 1:450, a 1:160 English/Metric, and a 1:220 English/Metric.

    I'm working on getting some decent photos of them right now--shooting brushed stainless steel is a challenge. Here's a quickie of the 1:220 ruler:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Mr. White

    Mr. White TrainBoard Member

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    Maybe sacrafice one with some dull coat for the photo.
     
  12. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    Just take the pic outside :) Less directional light, ISO cameras have an easier time with semireflective or refractive surfaces in omnidirectional sunlight..... learned this photo'ing metal car parts and chrome, etc.
     
  13. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    Dave,
    Perhaps you're right. But they are to be different representations of data made available to the general public. You've calculated pre-1920 gauge that "they" haven't. Likewise there are different features such as wheel & track spacing and coupler height between your "gauge" and the "gage". I thought I had heard or read that you determined those features need to be on a separate unit and that you had added the tangent clearance not available on other products (or maybe its just NTS overload). From my one day class "Patents, trademarks and copyrights for managers" should make your efforts unique enough for copyright protection.
    Mark
     
  14. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

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    You're correct in that the clearance gauges are just clearance gauges, because for Z Scale there's simply no way to cram in all of the track and wheel stuff and still make it practical to use. That's why I considered developing a separate tool, which is a useful size and has added features:

    [​IMG]

    More details on the design are here: http://nztproducts.blogspot.com/2011/06/next-tool.html

    However, I'm not sure I'll be pursuing this product. Cost to manufacture is steep, and so far interest in it doesn't appear to make it a worthwhile product.

    BTW, the pre-1920 clearance gauge is based on "their" numbers. I didn't make anything up on them.
     
  15. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    As for photos. Couldn't you just throw a ruler in the scanner?
     
  16. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

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    This is probably better than scans or photos--it's the original artwork used to make them:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Don A

    Don A TrainBoard Supporter

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    Did some more poking around. Does anyone realize there is a G&D boxcar in HO floating around. I think this may have started the trademark "war" after the name Saskatchewan got tied up in Canada. Photos of the car show in the original application.

    ...don
     
  18. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Where does one get that tool? Now that would be of use. I didn't see it at anthonys.
     
  19. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Please note that tool is in development. Which is why you're not seeing it for sale anywhere. And as I noted in the post, I probably won't be bringing it to market. The cost is too high and the interest is too low.
     
  20. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    NO I don't agree the original G&D was in the model RR press for years and like many others I felt is was public domain or at least the for the published articles the copyright lay with the author and not the publisher. Just saying the initials G&D would infer the original name to most of us old timers at least, no matter what you substitute for them. I like many others am glad David kept the blog live and did a minor edit to appease the legal beagles and allow the rest os us to enjoy his creative talents.

    keep it going David.
     

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