For most wargamers the legendary case of Games Workshop vs. Chapter House appeared to be over, but as is often the situation with American law, the appeals process is about to rear it’s ugly head. Currently, GW and Chapter House are waiting for the results pursued in the settlement conference, but news broke yesterday Oct. 21st, 2013 that points to GW is about to enter a new world of hurt, which possibly could really reshape the wargaming industry.

It appears Chapterhouse is about to take the risky move and file for an appeal.

It had been assumed that if anyone was going to file an appeal it would be GW, but now all the evidence points to Chapterhouse making the move. The evidence for this move comes from Chapterhouse having a new top flight firm jumping in: WilmerHale. To put things in perspective this is the 14th most profitable law firm in the US, and is constantly ranked top 20 by fellow American lawyers. The lawyers selected from WilmerHale specialize IP cases, having dealt with cases ranging from cell phones to patents on medical devices. These lawyers are used to dealing with complex IP issues, and my intuition says a firm like this doesn’t jump in, unless they saw broad implications if GW was left to win even a few trademarks. This case now has the potential to set some serious precedents, because we are just about to enter the legally nebulous 3D printing revolution and being at the fore front of developing case-law on these complicated issues is worth it for all the firms involved.

The biggest reason though WilmerHale has joined the case is obvious: they believe they can win. I should remind everyone not familiar with what happens if things go to appeal; it means a district federal courts will hear the case and they¬† don’t use juries, but a panel of judges. That very well might be he play here, Chapterhouse can increase their chances of having everything against them thrown out, and GW can have their piss poor trademarks shredded. Better yet, if GW loses they could be forced to pay all of Chapterhouse’s lawyer fees, not mentioning their own.

Either way folks, this party is just getting started, so look for a few more years of legal wrangling and more GW employees put on the record for everyone to read.

Dakkadakka is still doing a fantastic job keeping everyone in the loop concerning this case, so as always check the following link for updates.


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