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Big West trademarks Macross in the UK

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HG and Robotech have no hope of a serious return to "glory."  The foundation of Robotech's fall were laid when Macek, Agrama, and crew decided to combine the three series instead of the original plan, of using Robotech to be the header for bringing over various mecha based anime series.  Even throwing themselves on their swords to the mercy of BW won't save them now.  The heart is still beating, but the limbs are getting chewed away at little by little and the whole franchise should be dead in just a few years.

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5 hours ago, Solid Hayate said:

I'm talking about Canadian and Mexican trademark laws.

And I take it Canada and Mexico are subject to US trademark laws.

Not as such... but they're obligated to respect intellectual property ownership filings in each other's jurisdictions under the trade agreement.  (NAFTA, and whatever's replacing it.)

Basically, if Harmony Gold trademarks in Canada or Mexico were overturned in Big West's favor, it wouldn't impact the US trademarks as such but it could complicate matters if HG were to try to challenge the new registrations. 

 

Quote

And Big West will just blockade Harmony Gold there, choking them out of any opportunities of profitting from China.

Seemed like a bit of a boondoggle even before Big West started taking an active interest in reclaiming the Macross trademarks... Kevin McKeever's account of his trip to China was a bit, well, creepy.  Like "anecdotes about perving on girls at the airport" creepy.  Plus China already had Macross in bootleg form for ages and their own half-baked local knockoff of Gundam SEED and Macross Frontier called Astro Plan... that @areaseven infamously tricked a bunch of Robotech fans into thinking HG was going to license and localize as a new Robotech series.

 

 

1 hour ago, Knight26 said:

HG and Robotech have no hope of a serious return to "glory."

Never mind that Robotech's "glory days" were pretty heavily exaggerated by Harmony Gold and Robotech fans.  

The show was never better than a middle-of-the-pack performer in the ratings race and had an unsuccessful toy line.  Not exactly glorious, IMO.

 

1 hour ago, Knight26 said:

The foundation of Robotech's fall were laid when Macek, Agrama, and crew decided to combine the three series instead of the original plan, of using Robotech to be the header for bringing over various mecha based anime series.

Depending on who you ask, this wasn't actually their decision... but rather something Revell forced on them in exchange for the merchandising rights it'd acquired to Macross kits.

 

1 hour ago, Knight26 said:

Even throwing themselves on their swords to the mercy of BW won't save them now.  The heart is still beating, but the limbs are getting chewed away at little by little and the whole franchise should be dead in just a few years.

Harmony Gold's apparent desire to strongarm Big West into licensing Macross in the US through them, so they can have a cut without doing any actual work, is a complete waste of time on their part.  Their only realistic prospect at this point is to try to hold out long enough to transfer their rights to Big West and sell the trademarks.

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14 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Not as such... but they're obligated to respect intellectual property ownership filings in each other's jurisdictions under the trade agreement.  (NAFTA, and whatever's replacing it.)

Basically, if Harmony Gold trademarks in Canada or Mexico were overturned in Big West's favor, it wouldn't impact the US trademarks as such but it could complicate matters if HG were to try to challenge the new registrations. 

I take it this would make it easier for Harmony Gold to try to challenge Big West over in Canada and Mexico (and possibly get back Macross) if Big West should Big West reclaim Macross in those two countries.

14 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Harmony Gold's apparent desire to strongarm Big West into licensing Macross in the US through them, so they can have a cut without doing any actual work, is a complete waste of time on their part.  Their only realistic prospect at this point is to try to hold out long enough to transfer their rights to Big West and sell the trademarks.

Harmony Gold will never give up whatever rights they have to Macross to them even when it's obvious they're not profitting from it. The only way out is for them to shut down. This is one of those scenarios where going bankrupt is going to be the best outcome.

Edited by Solid Hayate

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15 hours ago, Solid Hayate said:

I take it this would make it easier for Harmony Gold to try to challenge Big West over in Canada and Mexico (and possibly get back Macross) if Big West should Big West reclaim Macross in those two countries.

It'd be more complicated, I'm not sure if it'd necessarily be easier.

Enforcement of more localized, transient intellectual property rights like trademarks can be a bit fraught when international trade agreements are concerned. 

 

15 hours ago, Solid Hayate said:

Harmony Gold will never give up whatever rights they have to Macross to them even when it's obvious they're not profitting from it. The only way out is for them to shut down. This is one of those scenarios where going bankrupt is going to be the best outcome.

Oh, they're still making a profit on it.  Not much of one, mind you... but since all they do is re-release the same old show over and over, their production expenses were amortized ages ago and the take is practically pure profit.  The reason they're so determined to hang onto the Super Dimension Fortress Macross rights is that that's the ONLY part of Robotech which is still able to turn a profit.

That's why I think their planned endgame for Robotech is to transition to being an intermediary for the release of Macross in the west.  They've been steadily Macross-izing Robotech in several different ways and minimizing the importance and relevance of the other two-thirds of the show while chasing Macross Saga merchandise profits.  It's like they're preparing to write Robotech off as "American Macross" the way StarBlazers is just "American Yamato" in exchange for a share of the licensing royalties.  I suspect Big West won't play ball, and HG'll have to fall back on trying to inflate the price of the rights to turn the maximum one-time profit divesting themselves of Super Dimension Fortress Macross (and Robotech) instead of simply letting the license expire.  (Like extortion, but technically legal.)

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On 12/9/2019 at 12:40 PM, Seto Kaiba said:

That's why I think their planned endgame for Robotech is to transition to being an intermediary for the release of Macross in the west.  They've been steadily Macross-izing Robotech in several different ways and minimizing the importance and relevance of the other two-thirds of the show while chasing Macross Saga merchandise profits.  It's like they're preparing to write Robotech off as "American Macross" the way StarBlazers is just "American Yamato" in exchange for a share of the licensing royalties.  I suspect Big West won't play ball, and HG'll have to fall back on trying to inflate the price of the rights to turn the maximum one-time profit divesting themselves of Super Dimension Fortress Macross (and Robotech) instead of simply letting the license expire.  (Like extortion, but technically legal.)

Big West will never yield to Harmony Gold, especially to a company whose members have a reputation for laundering and tax fraud. And HG can only inflate the price of the rights so much until they can't even profit from that.

Edited by Solid Hayate

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BW probably isn't in any hurry this century to touch hg with a ten foot pole. And, honestly, why should they be?  To sell Walkure to America? Macross fans are getting their fix without hg being the slimy middle man. English dub Macross on Netflix? Might be nice, but English subs on blu ray are good enough . I think hg is delusional to think they are going to be the gatekeepers of Macross to the west. The underground Macross railroad has been going strong for decades. It's not even underground anymore. And all hg can do about it is posture and pretend they're gonna bring us Macross. Hahaha. 

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2 hours ago, Bolt said:

To sell Walkure to America? 

Walkure came to America with that Anime Expo concert back in 2017

2 hours ago, Bolt said:

BW probably isn't in any hurry this century to touch hg with a ten foot pole. And, honestly, why should they be?  

In America that is. They already tackled them elsewhere. Eventually, only the US will be surrounded by Big West Macross while HG tries to make one last futile stand (let's be real, the only way for HG to go OOB is if California passes laws that clamp down on housing prices (this would reduce profits from their real estate biz), and if Franky's name is found on the little black book of Jefffey Epstein)

2 hours ago, Bolt said:

I think hg is delusional to think they are going to be the gatekeepers of Macross to the west. The underground Macross railroad has been going strong for decades. It's not even underground anymore. And all hg can do about it is posture and pretend they're gonna bring us Macross. Hahaha. 

And that's exactly what HG is afraid of: deep down, they know Robotech is a failure and will never rise to any form of prominence (even on its best days, it was far from what say He-Man had), and the Macross fanbase is far larger than the Robotech fanbase (that's why they've been branding their recent merch under the Macross name to woo them in, but people are smart not to fall for it).

Now let's see how HG will look once Frank Agrama's gone

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16 minutes ago, Solid Hayate said:

Walkure came to America with that Anime Expo concert back in 2017

Yes.  But my point is Walkure isn't even a drop in the bucket as popular in America as it is in Japan.  And Walkure is simply not enough of a money maker in America for BW to suddenly be wetting themselves to bring us Macross. 

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1 minute ago, Bolt said:

Yes.  But my point is Walkure isn't even a drop in the bucket as popular in America as it is in Japan.  And Walkure is simply not enough of a money maker in America for BW to suddenly be wetting themselves to bring us Macross. 

Macross is infamous for having expensive music licenses so there's that.

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6 hours ago, Solid Hayate said:

Walkure came to America with that Anime Expo concert back in 2017

 

5 hours ago, Bolt said:

Yes.  But my point is Walkure isn't even a drop in the bucket as popular in America as it is in Japan.  And Walkure is simply not enough of a money maker in America for BW to suddenly be wetting themselves to bring us Macross. 

Actually only JUNNA and Minori came over and did three songs as part of a large Idol concert. IIRC they weren't even introduced as Wulkure and they didn't use any Macross imagery either while the other idol groups were there in full. 

If Flying Dog wants to promote Walkure here in the states they need to licence to Spotify, iTunes, or other music streaming services. You can get their albums real easy now if you know they exist.

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10 hours ago, Solid Hayate said:

Big West will never yield to Harmony Gold, especially to a company whose members have a reputation for laundering and tax fraud. And HG can only inflate the price of the rights so much until they can't even profit from that.

Yeah, pretty much.

Big West is entirely content to sit back and watch Harmony Gold's Robotech franchise sink from a distance.  It's not like they need to bother with dubs of Macross since the majority of anime fans prefer subs anyway.  They can just mass-market Macross Blu-rays from Japan with official multilingual subtitles and knock off for lunch.

 

10 hours ago, Bolt said:

I think hg is delusional to think they are going to be the gatekeepers of Macross to the west. The underground Macross railroad has been going strong for decades. It's not even underground anymore. And all hg can do about it is posture and pretend they're gonna bring us Macross. Hahaha. 

Of course... but the Harmony Gold Robotech creative staff lost touch with objective reality and started to believe their own hype back when Carl Macek was still running things, and the ascended fanboys who replaced him have been drinking his Kool-Aid for years.  It's not surprising they're clueless enough to actually believe Robotech is a viable property or that they're going to be gatekeepers to Macross in the west.

 

7 hours ago, Solid Hayate said:

And that's exactly what HG is afraid of: deep down, they know Robotech is a failure and will never rise to any form of prominence (even on its best days, it was far from what say He-Man had), and the Macross fanbase is far larger than the Robotech fanbase (that's why they've been branding their recent merch under the Macross name to woo them in, but people are smart not to fall for it).

As above, Harmony Gold's real problem there is that the Robotech franchise's staff are all ascended fanboys... they simply don't have a realistic outlook, because they've spent so long immersed in Harmony Gold's blatant lies about Robotech and its supposed standing in the industry.

Just a few posts ago we got to see a great example of that mindset, when someone tried to argue that Robotech's value was more than just Macross despite the entire history of the franchise and virtually its entire merchandise line is an irrefutable argument to the contrary.  Robotech would probably have folded back at any of a dozen points in its history if not for its own delusions of grandeur.  It took repeated (and hilarious) professional and public humiliation for Harmony Gold's management to finally rein in Yune Quixote and stop the waste of time and money that was attempting to develop continuations for Robotech's animated series.

Personally, I'm inclined to suspect that the adoption of the original Macross logo and name for their latest line of merchandise was something done over the objections of Robotech's creative staff, rather than something they initiated.  I think the back-to-back failures of Robotech: the Shadow ChroniclesRobotech Academy, and Robotech RPG Tactics convinced the management at HG to stop taking the Robotech creative staff's advice seriously.  After all, it was the Robotech creative staff who had the brilliant idea to court disaster by attempting to troll Macross fans on the Kickstarter they were attempting to use to finance their new series development.  Switching to attempting to court Macross fans with Macross-branded Hong Kong bootleg merchandise feels like the kind of tone-deaf reaction you'd get from senior management.

Any way you shake it, Robotech is f*cked.  It's only a matter of time before the brand is simply no longer turning enough of a profit for HG to justify keeping the lights on in the Robotech division.  Macross is coming for them, and they know it.  Whether they'll try to go down with the ship or they'll bow out and try to tell off remaining assets remains to be seen, but the end is close and getting closer still with every trademark victory for Big West.

Edited by Seto Kaiba

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1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Yeah, pretty much.

Big West is entirely content to sit back and watch Harmony Gold's Robotech franchise sink from a distance.  It's not like they need to bother with dubs of Macross since the majority of anime fans prefer subs anyway.  They can just mass-market Macross Blu-rays from Japan with official multilingual subtitles and knock off for lunch.

That seems rather farfetched to put multiple different subtitle tracks beyond English and Japanese on the Japanese BDs. It would be easier to just work with local distributors (i.e. Madman in Australia, Anime Limited in the UK) and streaming services (i.e. AnimeLab in Australia, All4 in the UK). 

1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Personally, I'm inclined to suspect that the adoption of the original Macross logo and name for their latest line of merchandise was something done over the objections of Robotech's creative staff, rather than something they initiated.  I think the back-to-back failures of Robotech: the Shadow ChroniclesRobotech Academy, and Robotech RPG Tactics convinced the management at HG to stop taking the Robotech creative staff's advice seriously.  After all, it was the Robotech creative staff who had the brilliant idea to court disaster by attempting to troll Macross fans on the Kickstarter they were attempting to use to finance their new series development.  Switching to attempting to court Macross fans with Macross-branded Hong Kong bootleg merchandise feels like the kind of tone-deaf reaction you'd get from senior management.

Any way you shake it, Robotech is f*cked.  It's only a matter of time before the brand is simply no longer turning enough of a profit for HG to justify keeping the lights on in the Robotech division.  Macross is coming for them, and they know it.  Whether they'll try to go down with the ship or they'll bow out and try to tell off remaining assets remains to be seen, but the end is close and getting closer still with every trademark victory for Big West.

Even if Harmony Gold stops releasing Macross/Robotech merch cuz it's no longer even remotely profitable, they're not going to give up their claims to Macross. They'd rather go down with the ship than throw in the towel and sell off their remaining assets. Also the only way they'll go bankrupt is if they can no longer make enough from their real estate business (they started doing that in response to Saban hiring the majority of their employees by the late 80s).

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7 minutes ago, Solid Hayate said:

Even if Harmony Gold stops releasing Macross/Robotech merch cuz it's no longer even remotely profitable, they're not going to give up their claims to Macross. They'd rather go down with the ship than throw in the towel and sell off their remaining assets. Also the only way they'll go bankrupt is if they can no longer make enough from their real estate business (they started doing that in response to Saban hiring the majority of their employees by the late 80s).

Not quite... trademarks are on a "use it or lose it" basis, so if HG were to stop releasing Robotech merch to keep that trademark alive they wouldn't be able to renew it.

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19 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

After all, it was the Robotech creative staff who had the brilliant idea to court disaster by attempting to troll Macross fans on the Kickstarter they were attempting to use to finance their new series development.

In fairness, Macross fans weren't going to donate their money to fund production of Harmony Gold's pilot episode anyways, and any bridges between the two communities have long since been burned. Giving us the finger didn't hurt them, it just made them look like petulant children(as usual).

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Seems that BigWest Responded to the HG appeal on the MACROSS trademark case in EU court... The position that BW is claiming is very solid: Tatsunoko only had rights to distribute Macross TV and only Macross TV; names, designs or other creative stuff outside of Japan was NEVER INCLUDED on that deal.

https://euipo.europa.eu/eSearch/?fbclid=IwAR0xtn05lMM1vz-Ud0l4fqFPGUqguAiGGL36Dwy5uy7YgZhEIC8gkiggRl8#details/trademarks/016790421

The PDF with the entire responce is linked below

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QkLCrlelohsFqom80QFDeFSJqBR4sXzH

Thanks Teddy Gorospe for the post on Facebook.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Gerli said:

Seems that BigWest Responded to the HG appeal on the MACROSS trademark case in EU court... The position that BW is claiming is very solid: Tatsunoko only had rights to distribute Macross TV and only Macross TV; names, designs or other creative stuff outside of Japan was NEVER INCLUDED on that deal.

https://euipo.europa.eu/eSearch/?fbclid=IwAR0xtn05lMM1vz-Ud0l4fqFPGUqguAiGGL36Dwy5uy7YgZhEIC8gkiggRl8#details/trademarks/016790421

The PDF with the entire responce is linked below

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QkLCrlelohsFqom80QFDeFSJqBR4sXzH

Thanks Teddy Gorospe for the post on Facebook.

So, no surprises... the language is pretty much exactly as expected, Big West is asserting its rights as owner of the intellectual property and franchise, and Harmony Gold's pro forma appeal of the registration is not going to go anywhere.

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I hope this means if a Macross remake is made (ala The First) nor Tatsunoko or HG can do anything about it and the international rights can be sold freely across the globe.

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I would be all down for Macross the first animated. Re up the franchise. And we can all fold that into "canon " with DYRL? And SDFM, lol..

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24 minutes ago, Bolt said:

I would be all down for Macross the first animated. Re up the franchise. And we can all fold that into "canon " with DYRL? And SDFM, lol..

Totally! A complete Reboot with little details to link all the other sagas (As they did with Sheryl's pendants in Zero) and we can forget about Robocrap and HG for ever!

Edited by Gerli

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Damn shame if a certain comic book threw Robotech’s post TV series legacy under the super dimension bus for nothing. :rolleyes:

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This may lead for BW making a deal with Netflix like the one they made with Studio Ghibli: all of their movies are going to be streamed by Netflix all over the world, except for the US because HBO has distribution rights there.

We may see all Macross series streamed with proper subtitles anywhere outside the US.

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12 minutes ago, Convectuoso said:

This may lead for BW making a deal with Netflix like the one they made with Studio Ghibli: all of their movies are going to be streamed by Netflix all over the world, except for the US because HBO has distribution rights there.

We may see all Macross series streamed with proper subtitles anywhere outside the US.

I see Big West working with local streaming sites, such as Channel 4 (UK), bilibili (China), Anime on Demand (Germany), Anime Digital Network (France),  wakanim.tv (France and the Nordic countries), and VVVVID (Italy). I can't really see them work with Crunchyroll or Funimation (definitely off-limits cuz Robotech) or HIDIVE

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Wait, wait... just to summarize the PDF document: Harmony Gold can no longer sell the title of Robotech: The Macross Saga, across Europe, for having the Macross name in the title??

Ouch!

That is what I was able to get clean from reading the entire document... twice.

Not only the shame that Harmony Gold had, because the regulator had to remind them that things do not work as they believe.
The phrase: Applicant seems to forget that... is read in too many parts of the document.
(And the Applicant was Harmony Gold USA).

I know that they can continue doing it, if they pay royalties to Big West from now on, but in many cases, as I understand it, the cost of those royalties is established not by a regulatory body, but by the same company that owns them, in This case, Big West.

In addition, according to the document, Harmony Gold was in part opposed, because its brands are very similar and did not want any fan, willing to buy merchandise from Robotech (yeah, sure...), end up buying one from Macross. And in which case, the regulator understood this fact but gave the reason and weight to Big West ... that is, if Judge Elisa Tericerri had greater judicial power, she would have taken Harmony Gold's rights to promote his merchandise ...

Or am I wrong?

Someone else read the entire document and started thinking about everything that implies?

 

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HG can still sell their Robocrap everywhere, but they can no longer block other company to sell merchandising from other Macross show with the same designs or names from the Macross TV show. (For example, a VF-1 model kit from Macross Delta is not a Macross TV merchandising so HG can't get anything from that)

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On 1/22/2020 at 3:09 AM, Convectuoso said:

This may lead for BW making a deal with Netflix like the one they made with Studio Ghibli: all of their movies are going to be streamed by Netflix all over the world, except for the US because HBO has distribution rights there.

We may see all Macross series streamed with proper subtitles anywhere outside the US.

If BW goes that direction I may finally get a VPN, assuming I can get the Smart TVs onto it and finally watch all my Macross in HD on the big screen.

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Somehow, i feel like we're a long way from having DYRL? Streaming on Netflix in the US..maybe Frontier and Delta..

Edited by Bolt

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3 minutes ago, Bolt said:

Somehow, i feel like we're a long way from having DYRL? Streaming on Netflix in the US..maybe Frontier and Delta..

Yeah. Don't hold your breath.

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4 minutes ago, Bolt said:

Somehow, i feel like we're a long way from having DYRL? Streaming on Netflix in the US..maybe Frontier and Delta..

Why wait the DYRL on Netflix when it's already been available on YouTube? :rolleyes:

 

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23 minutes ago, no3Ljm said:

Why wait the DYRL on Netflix when it's already been available on YouTube? :rolleyes:

 

Same with Frontier apparently. 

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On 1/22/2020 at 5:30 AM, Solid Hayate said:

I see Big West working with local streaming sites, such as Channel 4 (UK), bilibili (China), Anime on Demand (Germany), Anime Digital Network (France),  wakanim.tv (France and the Nordic countries), and VVVVID (Italy). I can't really see them work with Crunchyroll or Funimation (definitely off-limits cuz Robotech) or HIDIVE

I could see them transitioning from those to a single, global or near-global platform as they build awareness.

Right now, their efforts to reclaim the trademarks and spread Macross to different markets are very piecemeal, so it makes sense to go with smaller local services instead.

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23 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

I could see them transitioning from those to a single, global or near-global platform as they build awareness.

Right now, their efforts to reclaim the trademarks and spread Macross to different markets are very piecemeal, so it makes sense to go with smaller local services instead.

Yup. With the European rulings I can see them starting testing in some streaming service over there, perhaps France or Italy that are big consumers of anime.

Once the ball starts rolling it's gonna be glorious.

 

On 1/22/2020 at 12:48 AM, Bolt said:

I would be all down for Macross the first animated. Re up the franchise. And we can all fold that into "canon " with DYRL? And SDFM, lol..

That would be hilarious. Watch the Agrama family squirm

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So in the UK it was determined Tatsu only had rights to distribute TV show proper but everything else about it is still owned by Big West?  Does the revelation Tatsu only had the specific TV rights mean anything for Licensing in the US or are we still the major legal oddity in all of this?

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6 minutes ago, Mommar said:

So in the UK it was determined Tatsu only had rights to distribute TV show proper but everything else about it is still owned by Big West?  Does the revelation Tatsu only had the specific TV rights mean anything for Licensing in the US or are we still the major legal oddity in all of this?

US courts are too dense to realize this. They're still gonna stick with HG's BS claims. 

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24 minutes ago, Solid Hayate said:

US courts are too dense to realize this. They're still gonna stick with HG's BS claims. 

US courts have to uphold US laws, unless those laws can be proven to be unconstitutional.

There's nothing unconstitutional about how US trademark laws are written.  There's plenty about them that's paint-drinkingly stupid, but it's not unconstitutional for there to be stupid laws on the books... just frustrating.

HG's main bulwark against a US challenge from Big West is the way US trademark law favors the first user of a mark rather than the owner of the property the mark is for.

 

 

33 minutes ago, Mommar said:

So in the UK it was determined Tatsu only had rights to distribute TV show proper but everything else about it is still owned by Big West?  Does the revelation Tatsu only had the specific TV rights mean anything for Licensing in the US or are we still the major legal oddity in all of this?

It's not a revelation, it's a very well known fact we've known for decades.  It's something HG has itself cited in many of its lawsuits for trademark and copyright infringement against outfits like FASA, Catalyst Game Labs, etc.

And no... it means nothing for US licensing, because trademark laws work slightly differently here.

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