NY menaces model train maker

by Walter Olson on August 12, 2013

Attorneys for the state, which has a record of zealously guarding its “I [Heart] NY” promotional logo, have sent a threat to a model train company over a discontinued replica model of a real-life train that used the logo [Joe Patrice, Above the Law] [Corrected: state, not city]


1 prior probability 08.12.13 at 12:57 am

What’s the symbol for “I hate New Yorkers”?

2 Bob Lipton 08.12.13 at 7:02 am

New York State, not the City.


3 Walter Olson 08.12.13 at 8:54 am

My lapse, fixed now.

4 Ed 08.12.13 at 10:40 am

As with all trademarks, patents, and copyrights, if you don’t enforce them they become public domain and can be used by anyone for any reason. With most cases like this, the heavy handed way the lawyers try to enforce them is way over-the-top. Considering the management firm’s attorneys probably get paid a percent of what they recover it’s not surprising they resort to intimidation rather than finding an amicable settlement.

5 Hugo S. Cunningham 08.12.13 at 11:21 am

My railfan brother alerted me that MTH has agreed to pay royalties to Union Pacific:
(Nov. 8, 2006)

MTH’s letter tacitly contacitly concedes they might, under equity, owe a “couple hundred bucks in licensing fees” on $2.9K of revenue. If the law firm tries to recover (exorbitant) costs as well, however, MTH’s public campaign should gain traction.

And, as “Above the Law”s blogger notes, is this really an intelligent way to enhance the New York brand?

6 Robert 08.12.13 at 12:11 pm

Well, they did use the trademarked logo. But why was the letter so nasty? In cases where it’s not likely to be malicious, can’t they have a friendly letter that reminds them of the trademark, and perhaps an easy-to-fill-out form where you can pay to use it?

7 kimsch 08.12.13 at 1:08 pm

Streisand Effect.

8 Bob Lipton 08.12.13 at 8:30 pm

Whenever I read one of these officious takedown letters, I am reminded of the classy way Jack Daniels handled the situation.


9 gitarcarver 08.12.13 at 8:59 pm

The was at one point in time a bumper sticker that was fairly popular in states south of New York that read:

“If You [heart] NY, Take I-95 North”

Wonder if the makers got sued for that? (sarcasm off)

10 Bill Poser 08.13.13 at 1:52 am


Failure to defend is relevant to trademarks but NOT to copyrights and patents.

11 D 08.13.13 at 11:05 am

Bob, re: Jack Daniel’s trademark letter –
Wow, that’s classy. Thanks for sharing that.

Comments on this entry are closed.