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× Talk about Eurogames here.

Hans im Gluk has trademarked Meeple and sent their first C&D

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30 May 2024 18:30 #342395 by dysjunct

Ah_Pook wrote: WTF. Like this is just terrible optics to try this after all this time. Like what's their best case scenario... you win this case and the entire boardgame hobby hates you now?


1. You win.
2. Nerds get mad for seven weeks.
3. Nerds get distracted by some new shiny thing and/or move on to the next outrage.
4. Now you get to make official "Meeple" branded stuff forever.
5. Nerds slink back because what are they going to do, not consume?
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30 May 2024 20:32 #342396 by n815e
It doesn’t actually accomplish anything positive for them. It certainly isn’t going to make their sales climb and there will be residual negativity over it for a long time.
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10 Jun 2024 13:20 #342455 by Vocalninja
I've been fuming over this since I first learned about it. The invention of the word is clearly documented to Alison Hansel. Carcassonne called them followers until fairly recently. I dug out my 20th anniversary Carcassonne to check the rulebook and found that they used "meeple" throughout it, but they didn't start doing that (in the big boxes at least) until 2017. How can they claim a word, that they didn't invent, 17 years after the fact? The UKIPO really dropped the ball on that one.

The trademark on the meeple shape makes more sense, and they do own it in Europe and the UK. I wonder if all the non-Carcassonne meeples you can find for sale are manufactured elsewhere or if they get around the trademark because the shape is slightly different? They also briefly had a trademark on the 3D meeple shape from March to July 2012.

Mind Games in Australia has also trademarked meeple there as it pertains to “toys (playthings),games, puzzles, apparatus for game”, so I suppose Australian board game companies will need to come up with a new term.

The biggest mystery to me are the people in North America now trying to trademark "meeple". Joshua Hale applied to trademark "meeple" on t-shirts and just about anything else you could print it on, but his application has been abandoned. Now Marian McBrine (Gen Con) and Corey Thompson (Dice Tower) are waiting for their application to trademark it in regards to all types of games as well as promotional game materials. If they succeed we may see a lot more meeple game titles changing. Will that also then affect board game content creators whose channel names include "meeple"?

I guess what really gets me is that, trademarks exist to protect brand identification. None of the people that have, or are attempting to trademark the word "meeple" have a brand identity that includes the word at all. Are they just trying to make a quick buck. If so, what a bunch of "meepholes".

Check out an international trademark search at https://www.wipo.int/reference/en/branddb/https://www.wipo.int/reference/en/branddb/ . There are some crazy trademarks out there.
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10 Jun 2024 15:17 - 10 Jun 2024 15:17 #342456 by Sagrilarus

"meepholes"


Hey -- I own that word. Use it again and I'll sue your ass off.
Last edit: 10 Jun 2024 15:17 by Sagrilarus.
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11 Jun 2024 12:28 #342460 by cdennett

Vocalninja wrote: Now Marian McBrine (Gen Con) and Corey Thompson (Dice Tower) are waiting for their application to trademark it in regards to all types of games as well as promotional game materials. If they succeed we may see a lot more meeple game titles changing. Will that also then affect board game content creators whose channel names include "meeple"?

Corey? Really??? He's already ruined the Board Games Insider podcast (which has turned into the "two rich semi-retired dudes talking about how much they get to travel" podcast), but this is another level of schmuckery. Let's hope the US patent office has a clue, but I imagine at some point this will slip through the cracks...

I'm still kind of surprised this story has not really been picked up by more board game media, at least not that I've seen...
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11 Jun 2024 12:38 #342461 by Virabhadra
I'm not really sure how this stuff works, so...

There's a little Australian company called Ludocherry that successfully Kickstarted some very cool boardgame-patterned clothing. Advertising the hobby isn't really my thing, but I ordered shirts in the Meeple Garden and Signature patterns and they're absolutely gorgeous. I get more compliments on them (especially the Meeple Garden) than anything else in my wardrobe, and people have NO idea that they're festooned with meeples and polyhedra. Do I have to go buy backups now because Hans im Gluck is going to sue them?

Out of curiosity, does anyone actually use the word in spoken conversation?

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11 Jun 2024 13:53 #342463 by ChristopherMD

Virabhadra wrote: Out of curiosity, does anyone actually use the word in spoken conversation?


In actual table talk, I've only ever heard them (even with Carcassonne) referred to as 'dudes'. The pre-existing catch-all term for these kinds of things.

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11 Jun 2024 17:49 #342465 by Kmann
* quickly trademarks 'dudes'
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12 Jun 2024 12:34 #342468 by cdennett

cdennett wrote:

Vocalninja wrote: Now Marian McBrine (Gen Con) and Corey Thompson (Dice Tower) are waiting for their application to trademark it in regards to all types of games as well as promotional game materials. If they succeed we may see a lot more meeple game titles changing. Will that also then affect board game content creators whose channel names include "meeple"?

Corey? Really??? He's already ruined the Board Games Insider podcast (which has turned into the "two rich semi-retired dudes talking about how much they get to travel" podcast), but this is another level of schmuckery. Let's hope the US patent office has a clue, but I imagine at some point this will slip through the cracks...

I'm still kind of surprised this story has not really been picked up by more board game media, at least not that I've seen...

So I guess BGI did report on the story a week or two ago (I'm not up-to-date as it takes effort to fast forward around all the "let me tell you about my amazing life" stories) and then Corey and Marian decided to, I guess, "white knight" register the trademark on Meeple in the US to prevent anyone else from getting it and abusing it. He reported in the latest BGI that they do not intend to enforce the trademark or prevent it's use in the hobby. Now, I'm still personally of the mind that it shouldn't need protection, but I'll reduce my criticism. It sounds like this was done with good intentions. I mean, clearly both of them don't need the money, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.
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17 Jun 2024 11:28 - 17 Jun 2024 11:29 #342496 by cdennett
Board Game Wire did a more complete story here . This little tidbit stood out to me as ironic about the EU copyright:

The company finally succeeded in registering the trademark in the EU in 2019 by leaning on the fact that the figure used in Carcassonne had come to be regarded as the “original meeple”.

That registration process featured an objection from board game publishing major CMON, which provided dozens of pages of evidence arguing the word had become too widespread and reflective of general board game playing pieces to be trademarked as a specific style.

CMON’s objection was partially accepted by the EU Intellectual Property Office, which went on to approve Hans Im Glueck’s application for the meeple trademark across a vast sweep of products, including software, jewellery, books, tableware and sporting goods – but not, crucially, for toys and games.


Still ticks me off that HiM didn't even address the fact that the name "Meeple" never belonged to them in the first place...
Last edit: 17 Jun 2024 11:29 by cdennett.
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17 Jun 2024 14:02 #342497 by hotseatgames
I don't like the word meeple, and I don't like those little dudes. So if they stop showing up everywhere, I'll be happy.
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17 Jun 2024 19:24 #342501 by Sagrilarus
They'll get my meeple sticker when they pry it from my cold dead hand.
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18 Jun 2024 09:04 - 18 Jun 2024 09:04 #342503 by n815e
I guess my plan for Meeple punching bags has been ruined.
Last edit: 18 Jun 2024 09:04 by n815e.

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18 Jun 2024 09:58 #342504 by Cappster_

Sagrilarus wrote: They'll get my meeple sticker when they pry it from my cold dead hand Camry.


Fixed that for you.
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19 Jun 2024 08:28 - 19 Jun 2024 08:40 #342510 by Cranberries
What is BGI? How did this Corey guy get rich?

Edit: I did some Googling and learned about investing in Waco real estate.

[Thomas: Now how are you able to purchase property at 50 percent on the equity dollar?

Corey: We use a lot of bandit signs for our marketing. And we invest in our neighborhood and Waco. I don’t know why people don’t like it, but it’s got kind of a negative connotation around where probably were Mexican-American. And we had a 7 unit apartment complex there that we were able to buy for $45,000.

Thomas: For context, pardon my interruption. But for context, what would that street value be? Or what would the retail value be of that same complex?

Corey: We are cashing out of it tomorrow on a bank loan. The bank appraisal came back at $153,000 down from $173,000.

Thomas: Wow.

Corey: And the thing about that this is people will always look and say, “Why did you go in there and do that property owner that way?”. And we didn’t. She called us off a bandit sign. She said she wanted to sell it. We asked her how much. She said 45,000. And we brought a contract to her. The gross rents on it were 2,300 a month at the time. One unit’s still vacant. We’re going to rehab it and get a tenant in there. But it’s a property that whenever you look at it from the street, it’s not impressive. It looked like it needed a lot of work. We put a fresh coat of paint on the outside from the insurance. They wanted us to do that. We’re going to put a roof on it. The electrical’s already been done. We just got to finish it up. The previous owner had done it. It’s something that just looked intimidating to a lot of people. But for us, if we’re buying this at 45, could we sell it for 45 tomorrow? Absolutely. Anybody would pay that for it just for the rental income. So it wasn’t a high risk for us./i]
Last edit: 19 Jun 2024 08:40 by Cranberries.
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