Heroquest: Kickstarter Erklärung (Update)

Gamezone haben ein Statement zum Stand der Dinge bei Heroquest veröffentlicht:

Heroquest Cover

 

GAMEZONE Communiqué, Saturday 30

We would like to inform you all about the present situation, after the pause of our Kickstarter project by Moon Design P. during the thanksgiving holiday, which is an administrative petition within Kickstarter. Yesterday, Friday, at the start of the day, U.S. east coast time, we sent a letter to Kickstarter, LINK invoking our legitimate trademark rights so they would deactivate the pause and let us progress in the fund raising campaign. We are waiting for Kickstarter’s reply on this matter. Simultaneously we, Gamezone and Moon Design P., had a reunion to discuss this issue face to face as and not email exchange as was what was happening up till now.

Moon Design P. solicited the pause in Kickstarter because of fear that Hasbro could act against Gamezone in our crowed funding because we are using an American company on American soil. Their argument was that Hasbro could act against them as well for not impeding us in this project. Even thought they are not in any way included in this project or affiliated with it. If Kickstarter does not reactivate the pause taking into account our letter ( indicated above in the link), then it can only be reactivated if Moon Design P. asks them to. For Moon Design P. to do so they are asking for two things: An official letter from Hasbro in which it states that they, Hasbro, will neither act against our HQ25th nor Moon Design P. They, Moon Design P., have also demanded a considerable sum and percentages from the Kickstarter project.

If we wait for Hasbro to make a declaration, which we can solicit, weeks or even months could pass. With that our production and creation calendar would be severely affected, as not having the funding to continue the campaign. If the Campaign does not restart soon, the HQ25th will not be ready for Christmas 2014. It will not be ready to celebrate its anniversary.

There exist 3 possible solutions to this conundrum.

  1. Kickstarter reactivates the project attending to our petition
  2. Wait for Hasbro to declare that they are not against this crowed funding campaign of HQ25th en Kickstarter (an American Company).
  3. Immediately move the crowed funning to a platform within Europe, where no risks of legal repercussions exist.

Option one; we can only wait, we cannot be sure that Kickstarter will lift the pause. We cannot influence their decision any more than we have already. Option two; Hasbro is not obligated to do anything at all. Option three; here there is no risk, except of course we will raise less funds, no other platform out there at this moment has the same public pull as Kickstarter. Why are we telling you this? As our backers, what would you like us to do?”

Inzwischen gibt es auch eine Stellungnahmen von Moon Design:
UPDATE: Originalversion der Erklärung eingefügt.

Background concerning suspension of Gamezone’s Kickstarter campaign

We want to give some background on the dispute surrounding Gamezone’s Kickstarter campaign to launch a remake of the hybrid board game/roleplaying game originally published by Milton Bradley called “Heroquest”.

Last week, Moon Design petitioned Kickstarter to remove the crowdfunding campaign for Gamezone’s “Heroquest” game. “Heroquest” is the registered US trademark of Moon Design and is the name of our “Heroquest” roleplaying game and assorted products. To allow a game using the same name to be promoted in the United States through Kickstarter without a license would be an unacceptable dilution of our brand and create market confusion to our detriment.

The trademark “Heroquest” is registered by Francis Greg Stafford with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Registration Number 4082281) for use in game book manuals. Moon Design Publications LLC has the exclusive license for use of that trademark. For some time now we have been working on creating a board game called “Heroquest” pertaining to the mythology of Glorantha and an updated version of our Heroquest roleplaying game.

The project by Gamezone, a Spanish game company, proposes to remake a role-playing/board game originally produced by Milton Bradley and Games Workshop in 1989. The project calls their game “Heroquest” which is identical to our registered mark and easily confused with it.

Gamezone initially asked us for use of the Heroquest trademark on July 31, 2013. The next day we asked them if they could provide us with a copy of any written agreement with Hasbro to produce a 25th Anniversary Edition of Hasbro’s board game. Gamezone did not provide us with any written confirmation (and as of this date still has not done so). On August 26, 2013, we informed Gamezone by email that we must decline their request.

Despite being explicitly refused permission to use our trademark, Gamezone went ahead and launched this Kickstarter. As a New York State corporation, Kickstarter is subject to US trademark laws and the use of our trademark in the campaign was a violation of those laws.We told Gamezone that they needed to immediately get a licensing agreement from us (which, among other things, would require that they pay us for the rights to the name since it would mean foregoing our opportunity to release our game using our trademark and to compensate us for that lost revenue).

Gamezone did not get back to us within the period we set, and rather than have this end up in litigation (which could also bring in other parties with IP at stake), we asked Kickstarter to suspend the campaign. We then spoke to Gamezone informing them that we had certain non-negotiable demands for any license agreement, among them a statement that Gamezone has explicit permission from Hasbro to make this game based on their IP. Gamezone has assured us that they can get such permission, but until we see confirmation, we cannot responsibly license our trademark to be used in this Kickstarter campaign.

We sympathize with the fans of the Milton Bradley game who enthusiastically supported this project. We strongly support Kickstarter and the revitalization of old games with a loyal following. However, such activities must be done with the consent of the trademark holder and of any other legal owners of the property.

Wie es weiter geht steht derzeit noch in den Sternen.

Quelle: Gamezone, Moon Design

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Über BK-Christian

Chefredakteur von Brückenkopf-Online und dem Tabletop Insider. Seit 2002 im Hobby, erstes Tabletop Warhammer Fantasy. Aktuelle Projekte: Dreadball (alle Teams), Kings of War (Basilea), Deadzone (Enforcers), Eisenkern Armee.
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