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Retro/Repro kits?

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dedleytedley

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I see there are a number of vendors that sell reproductions of classic kits mostly from Estes. Are they violating copyright laws or is there a time limit beyond which the kits are public domain? Have they obtained rights for use? Or is it that the repro guys are small fry and Estes couldn't be bothered to interfere? I'm wondering since Hobbico bought Estes if there might be changes in the availability of these kits? Ted
 

thomcat00

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Legally I think it depends how Estes originally protected their intellectual property. I'm not sure how designs stand in IP terms. Certainly in the kit car world law suits are rampant over "trade dress" violations where the look and feel of a car is reproduced without permission.
 

GregGleason

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I see there are a number of vendors that sell reproductions of classic kits mostly from Estes. Are they violating copyright laws or is there a time limit beyond which the kits are public domain? Have they obtained rights for use? Or is it that the repro guys are small fry and Estes couldn't be bothered to interfere? I'm wondering since Hobbico bought Estes if there might be changes in the availability of these kits? Ted
I remember Carl had a thread on YORF about this some time back. IIRC, everything was on the "up and up" on the legal side, trying to stay on the good side of things. So I have confidence that SEMROC is flying right, but I can't say about other vendors (except I think Sandman had a document from Estes about permission on a product, which is what you would expect from Gordon, again IIRC).

That was then. I am not sure if I have read anything regarding relationships between Estes and any other rocket vendor after the sale.

Greg
 

MysticalRockets

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I remember Carl had a thread on YORF about this some time back. IIRC, everything was on the "up and up" on the legal side, trying to stay on the good side of things. So I have confidence that SEMROC is flying right, but I can't say about other vendors (except I think Sandman had a document from Estes about permission on a product, which is what you would expect from Gordon, again IIRC).

That was then. I am not sure if I have read anything regarding relationships between Estes and any other rocket vendor after the sale.

Greg
I don't think the new owners of Estes even could decide to yank someone like Carl's permission to make the kits. He made an agreement with Estes, and they will have to abide by it.

Besides, what Carl does, Estes has had no interest in doing. If they do decide to reproduce some of their old designs, they might ask Carl to stop selling THAT design, but not the whole thing.
 

Micromeister

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Most of the time the vendor simply has to ask for premission in writing. The couple of times I've contacted Estes about Cloning a Oop early kit they have been very friendly and simple ask the the Estes logo NOT be included on the decals. As Most have been either Up or downscale models that has never been a problem.
For resale their may be a few more items to be discussed but by an large I doubt most would have any problem getting permission.
 

AKPilot

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Were or are any rocket kits, by any manufacturer, past or present, ever protected by, long-term, copyright or, shorter term, trademarks?

If not I believe, good, bad, or indifferent, outside of a gentlemen's agreement, they're fair game. No?
 

rocket9005

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The more "classic" designs we build & fly, the more motors Estes sells, so in the long run the big "E" makes money.
 

dedleytedley

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It's good that Semroc will still be allowed to sell the old kits regardless of Estes status. With the costs of patent protection I can't imagine that any of their kits would be protected this way. It sounds like they have been magnanimous regarding others use, kudos to them for it. I really like Q-modeling's upscales and I hope to have some time yet to get them. Ted
 
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