06 February 2013

FWS News Feed: Game Workshop Claims Trademark on "Space Marine"

It seems that Games Workshop, the vendors of plastic crack, have fired up their tactical dreadnought Lawgiver squad to attack an e-book with the term 'space marine' in the title, and Amazon pulled the book. Author MCA Hogarth's book Spots the Space Marine was also faced with the lawyers of GWS lending on him heavy, and he stated on his website, that from now on all space marines will be WH40K type Space Marine, and the direct property of Games Workshop. I guess GWS will be coming after FWS for my blogpost on Space Marine. I hate to tell GWS that the term 'space marine' has been used since 1932 by Bob Olsen and has been used in hundreds of novels, games, and website.
This has been one of the most common themes in science fiction, and it is unbelievable that one company could blanket the ownership of this idea. What next? Is the estate of Issac Asimov going to trademark the term 'robotics' because he first published the term in 1941? Where does it end? So, here is FWS official policy on GWS idea that they own the term space marine: You can bite all our collective shiny metal ass...thanks!
Read the author's own words at his website:


  1. I'd threaten to stop buying GW products, but I almost never buy their products to begin with. Their Internet sales policy means that whenever I browse the websites of my favorite online retailers of fine hobby products, I only ever see the products of Games Workshop's competitors.

  2. GW will probably try to Trademark Orcs, Goblins, Elves and Wizards next.

  3. That is super lame. I'm just amazed that they won that lawsuit. I have to say though, I really, really like w40k (the universe moreso than the tabletop game), but I can't stand how ridiculously cheap GW is sometimes.

  4. If I was still buying WH40K products I would boycott them...and I wish I could avoid using their dark sci-fi universe on FWS, but WH40K is an important element to the whole genre.
    I am an 'merican and a creator, and I understand protecting your creations. Colonial Marines is an original label and copyrighted under 20th century fox films, droids is a copyright of Lucas Films, if you watch the adverts for that Droid smartphone, they stated that droid was used by permission (and cash), and GWS does have a copyright on those Latin names they use...and that is cool, but space marines? I call bullshit on that!
    I always thought that space marines was a poor name choice for their super-soldiers, that Latin name is much better.
    So, after this, Games Workshop has now replaced Lance Armstrong on the top of my list of biggest Douchebags of 2013.
    Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. GW's had this trademark registered since the late 90s because the first add-on for the Epic game system was called Space Marine. Toys based on Aliens (which used the term first) had to acknowledge it on the backs of the boxes.

  6. I love to see a scan of the back of those boxes! I've been thinking on this one for awhile, and I still think that copyrighting such a common term in sci-fi is lame, and personally, I think Games Workshop used of Space Marine to describe their powered armor super-soldiers is somehow not correct, it lacks the punch...however, Adeptus Astartes is very cool and should be the term used.

  7. Well, IIRC the older fluff tended to place way more emphasis on drop pods and comparing them to amphibious infantry is much less awkward than "space paratroops." Plus the original function of Terminators was more or less exclusively "being in Space Hulk" so they did boarding too. It was only when second ed came along that they really became Space Delta Force.

  8. To me, the Tactical Dreadnought Terminator armor was more of a heavily weapon support powered armor, and I used them mas such in my gaming...especially for flanking. HALO seems to have developed the coolest space paratrooper term: The ODST.
    Space DELTA Force...love it.
    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  9. Back in early 2000 there was a company that came out with sci-fi infantry soldiers for there tactical game . The name escape's me at this time but the point is GWS tried to sue that they violated copywrite because they resembles there Imperial Guard of the day. They were told in court that your couldn't copywrite soldiers that resembeld modern infantry which both sets did except for the obvious sci-fi elements. The irony is that when I saw them I boought enough to make a platoon because they looked good and were different from the GWS IG for command peurposes.

  10. i was told they couldn't copy space marriens because space and marriens are both descriptive words (they describe a merien in space) but if they called them zephopilian space mariens they could copyright zephopilian because it isn't a descritive word.

    this is mainly because games workshop sells over priced products and so is unwilling to compete.

    don't worry about fantasy they came up with a diffrent solotion to compition : destroy the world! (see : https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer:_Age_of_Sigmar
    or for a more polite version : http://warhammerfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/The_End_Times )