Jump to content

Photo

Coleco strong-arming homebrew publishers and fan sites


2657 replies to this topic

#1201 Twin_power OFFLINE  

Twin_power

    Chopper Commander

  • 117 posts

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:17 PM

Welcome Ben. I've enjoyed going to your website and reading through you projects. Not trying to go off on a tangent.....your welcome. 😎

#1202 SignGuy81 OFFLINE  

SignGuy81

    Stargunner

  • 1,661 posts
  • Location:Bassett, VA

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:19 PM

So is this another lie?

It states in the article that RWB/Coleco filed a photograph of something they didn't produce? So the new question is did Ben Heck have any deals in progress w/RWB? Personally I don't believe he did.

 

http://nerdlypleasur...ssues-with.html

 

"On December 9, 2003, River West Brands, LLC filed an application to register a trademark in the ColecoVision name.  ColecoVision had been previously registered by Coleco Industries, Inc., the actual makers of the ColecoVision in 1984 but the trademark was cancelled in 1991.  The trademark was allowed on January 3, 2006, Reg # 3490101.  The allowance triggered RWB's requirement to show actual use of the mark in commerce.  It obtained four extensions of time to file a statement of use, and during that time assigned the mark to Coleco Holdings, LLC.  On July 1, 2008, Coleco Holdings filed a Statement of Use and a photograph of the specimen product it intended to show as use in commerce:"

attachicon.gifwebcontent.jpg

"Now, have you ever come across a ColecoVision portable in the ordinary course of trade or commerce?  I sure have not.  However, if you search for "ColecoVision Portable", you will very quickly be brought to the website of the redoubtable Benjamin Heckendorn.  "Ben Heck" is a largely self-taught engineer who first obtained notoriety for building hacking home consoles like the Atari 2600 into portable consoles.  By no small coincidence, his ColecoVision portable looks identical to the one Coleco Holdings showed to the USPTO.  In fact the photograph with the hand can be found here : http://www.benheck.c...ision-portable/

Issues with Coleco Holdings Trademark Claim

Now, if you could obtain a trademark by pointing to anyone's use of a mark, then you could unscruptously reap the rewards of another individual's economic risk.  So, Coleco Holdings has a problem unless they can show that Ben Heck's use of the mark was authorized by them under license. I do not know if Ben Heck sought "official approval" when he made his portable or was financed by Coleco Holdings.  But Coleco Holdings has a bigger problem, namely the mark's use in the ordinary course of trade or commerce.  Ben Heck's creations are one-of-a-kind and he does not sell everything he makes.  Sometimes he does so for charity or as part of a contest drawing and I believe he may have done so for his ColecoVision portable.  His portables call for the sacrifice of original systems, so the number of portable ColecoVisions which could be produced in this manner would be very small in any event."

 

Not even sure if this is off topic I'm so confused about the whole thing but what about this

 

http://atariage.com/...pgrade-service/

 

Would this guy have to get a license agreement to use the Trademark in his redesigns on the label if doesn't already have one?


Edited by SignGuy81, Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:20 PM.


#1203 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

--- Ω ---

    HexaCoreRunner

  • 12,860 posts

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:19 PM

I was going to refrain from posting in this thread again, but after reading this last turn of events, I have formed an opinion of a certain holding company and one person associated with it...

 

220px-Combination_enema_and_douche_syrin



#1204 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

Flojomojo

    Telephone Sanitizer

  • 14,255 posts
  • Location:Golgafrinchan

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:22 PM

Ben, thanks for sharing the story. Your stuff is always cool, and presented in an entertaining, informative way.

I'm sure it seemed reasonable at the time, but in retrospect, especially in light of their recent behavior, it sounds like they used you.

They got your art, and they used your publicly posted photograph for a (bogus, IMHO) commercialization claim. They never made a portable Colecovision. Did you get anything out of it except some minor flattery and "not sued?"

Way to add value, Coleco™. Is this why Cardillo seems to think we should all be lining up for the privilege of using your zombie brand?

#1205 Chuck D. Head OFFLINE  

Chuck D. Head

    River Patroller

  • 3,496 posts
  • Facilitator of the Infinite
  • Location:Woodland, WA

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:25 PM

I was going to refrain from posting in this thread again, but after reading this last turn of events, I have formed an opinion of a certain holding company and one person associated with it...

 

220px-Combination_enema_and_douche_syrin

 

Yep; bag, hose and nozzle......



#1206 enoofu OFFLINE  

enoofu

    Stargunner

  • 1,087 posts

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:40 PM

Ben, thanks for sharing the story. Your stuff is always cool, and presented in an entertaining, informative way.

I'm sure it seemed reasonable at the time, but in retrospect, especially in light of their recent behavior, it sounds like they used you.

They got your art, and they used your publicly posted photograph for a (bogus, IMHO) commercialization claim. They never made a portable Colecovision. Did you get anything out of it except some minor flattery and "not sued?"

Way to add value, Coleco™. Is this why Cardillo seems to think we should all be lining up for the privilege of using your zombie brand?

 

It wasn't Cardillo, it was Mark Thomann and he was caught a few times in the act.

In another thread we were laughing at Mark Thomann sending in pictures of other people's official products to the USPTO and claiming as his own

Even try sending a picture of a old coleco product to claim the logo which was then denied


Edited by enoofu, Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:40 PM.


#1207 PikoInteractive OFFLINE  

PikoInteractive

    Dragonstomper

  • 553 posts
  • Location:San Antonio Texas

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:41 PM

My Gmail purges anything more than 5 years old so this is all from memory.

 

The Colecovision portable was a one-off commission job for a private individual back in 2005. A long while afterwards River West Brands emailed me about it, saying it was their brand but they would authorize my use of it. (Checking my contact data (which doesn't get purged) it was Mark Thomann thanks enoofu for reminding me)

 

They also asked if I could email them the vector files of the Colecovision logo. At the time there was nothing usable on the web so I had re-drawn it from scratch.

 

That part might sound weird, but see, I used to be a graphic artist. You'd be shocked how many businesses have no logo art besides what's on their business card. And I don't mean the files used to make the card, but the ACTUAL CARD ITSELF. 

 

River West claimed to be the new holder of the trademark so I just figured they had no access to original materials. Was happy to help. I do have the Illustrator files of what I sent them, dated 3-16-08. This is how I know the general time when River West contacted me. A good two years after I built the thing.

 

I seem to recall there was an agreement drafted but can't remember specifics of it. I can't find said document in my project files or my collection of printed legacy contracts. I do know that I didn't actually pay the $1 fee.

 

This is all I can remember. If they still have the contract maybe they could produce it.

 

You don't actually pay the fee? Interesting...



#1208 NIAD OFFLINE  

NIAD

    Quadrunner

  • 6,098 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburb

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:43 PM

Hot off the presses, Coleco Holdings, LLC announces the....

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 16105785_10208129081718597_1960888032788414727_n.jpg


#1209 NIAD OFFLINE  

NIAD

    Quadrunner

  • 6,098 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburb

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:46 PM

Just kidding!



#1210 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

Flojomojo

    Telephone Sanitizer

  • 14,255 posts
  • Location:Golgafrinchan

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:46 PM

It wasn't Cardillo, it was Mark Thomann and he was caught a few times in the act.
In another thread we were laughing at Mark Thomann sending in pictures of other people's official products to the USPTO and claiming as his own
Even try sending a picture of a old coleco product to claim the logo which was then denied

And yet Mark seems like the classier of the two. Sigh. I wish someone with money would swoop in and give them the American equivalent of what Tim Langdell got. He was the EDGE trademark troll.

#1211 retroillucid OFFLINE  

retroillucid

    Quadrunner

  • 7,779 posts

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:48 PM

It wasn't Cardillo, it was Mark Thomann and he was caught a few times in the act.
In another thread we were laughing at Mark Thomann sending in pictures of other people's official products to the USPTO and claiming as his own
Even try sending a picture of a old coleco product to claim the logo which was then denied


I'm quite surprised at how easy they registered the trademark!

I mean, for us, getting Acclaim, Exidy and LJN was a pain in the ass, and we have a lawyer to fill out everything
We had to provide pictures of the actual products we were/are going to release
Not just some random pictures taken from a Google search
And even then, some the examples we provided were rejected! Actual damn products!!!

Ugh, and it took us 2 full years to getting approved (State and Federal Levels)

As far as I know, it's illegal to provide fake example(s)
Plus, you need to ACTIVELY use the trademark (actual products) or else you'll end up loosing the trademark

 

 

BTW: Shirts, Booth, Mug and those kind of things DOESN'T count as example, you can't use this


Edited by retroillucid, Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:52 PM.


#1212 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

Flojomojo

    Telephone Sanitizer

  • 14,255 posts
  • Location:Golgafrinchan

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 5:49 PM

Hot off the presses, Coleco Holdings, LLC announces the....

I hope there's still an Atari adapter!

IMG_8068.JPG



#1213 enoofu OFFLINE  

enoofu

    Stargunner

  • 1,087 posts

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 6:01 PM

I'm quite surprised at how easy they registered the trademark!

I mean, for us, getting Acclaim, Exidy and LJN was a pain in the ass, and we have a lawyer to fill out everything
We had to provide pictures of the actual products we were/are going to release
Not just some random pictures taken from a Google search
And even then, some the examples we provided were rejected! Actual damn products!!!

Ugh, and it took us 2 full years to getting approved (State and Federal Levels)

As far as I know, it's illegal to provide fake example(s)
Plus, you need to ACTIVELY use the trademark (actual products) or else you'll end up loosing the trademark

 

 

BTW: Shirts, Booth, Mug and those kind of things DOESN'T count as example, you can't use this

 

Yes, and supposedly his Attorney could be found guilty for failure to disclose material information to the USPTO

Usually, people don't report abuse to the USPTO since you can't do it autonomously or in private



#1214 128Kgames OFFLINE  

128Kgames

    Dragonstomper

  • 933 posts
  • Victory is mine! I am the Worrior!
  • Location:The Dungeons of Wor

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 6:16 PM

My Gmail purges anything more than 5 years old so this is all from memory.

 

The Colecovision portable was a one-off commission job for a private individual back in 2005. A long while afterwards River West Brands emailed me about it, saying it was their brand but they would authorize my use of it. (Checking my contact data (which doesn't get purged) it was Mark Thomann thanks enoofu for reminding me)

 

They also asked if I could email them the vector files of the Colecovision logo. At the time there was nothing usable on the web so I had re-drawn it from scratch.

 

That part might sound weird, but see, I used to be a graphic artist. You'd be shocked how many businesses have no logo art besides what's on their business card. And I don't mean the files used to make the card, but the ACTUAL CARD ITSELF. 

 

River West claimed to be the new holder of the trademark so I just figured they had no access to original materials. Was happy to help. I do have the Illustrator files of what I sent them, dated 3-16-08. This is how I know the general time when River West contacted me. A good two years after I built the thing.

 

I seem to recall there was an agreement drafted but can't remember specifics of it. I can't find said document in my project files or my collection of printed legacy contracts. I do know that I didn't actually pay the $1 fee.

 

This is all I can remember. If they still have the contract maybe they could produce it.

 

Ben Heck! Holy cow, you're real!  Awesome!  I own one of your Neo Geo CMVS's (before they were actually called that).  Its the silver side loading one. 

 

Hot off the presses, Coleco Holdings, LLC announces the....

 

 

Dude, that was too damn funny!

 

I'm quite surprised at how easy they registered the trademark!

I mean, for us, getting Acclaim, Exidy and LJN was a pain in the ass, and we have a lawyer to fill out everything
We had to provide pictures of the actual products we were/are going to release
Not just some random pictures taken from a Google search
And even then, some the examples we provided were rejected! Actual damn products!!!

Ugh, and it took us 2 full years to getting approved (State and Federal Levels)

As far as I know, it's illegal to provide fake example(s)
Plus, you need to ACTIVELY use the trademark (actual products) or else you'll end up loosing the trademark

 

 

BTW: Shirts, Booth, Mug and those kind of things DOESN'T count as example, you can't use this

 

It was harder for you because you're Canadian, J-F!  We make it especially harder for Canadians because we're still upset we lost the war with you...  ;)



#1215 enoofu OFFLINE  

enoofu

    Stargunner

  • 1,087 posts

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 6:17 PM

And yet Mark seems like the classier of the two. Sigh. I wish someone with money would swoop in and give them the American equivalent of what Tim Langdell got. He was the EDGE trademark troll.

Wouldn't say Mark is classier since he agreed to work with Chris and probably did a very deep serious background check

Chris made his image years before Mark, especially with very racist and sexual marketing on his public image from African Americans wearing no belts and armed to naked girls shooting Mega-man's bubble gun from their rear

 

youneedme.jpg



#1216 opcode OFFLINE  

opcode

    River Patroller

  • 4,331 posts
  • Bringing new life to your ColecoVision!
  • Location:MA, USA

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 6:26 PM

I would say that at this point on, anything is possible. I wouldn't be surprised if we get lawyers involved on this soon. All because bogus copyright infringement claims against a fan page. And they say real world isn't exciting.



#1217 Swami ONLINE  

Swami

    River Patroller

  • 2,234 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 6:30 PM

I'm quite surprised at how easy they registered the trademark!

I mean, for us, getting Acclaim, Exidy and LJN was a pain in the ass, and we have a lawyer to fill out everything
We had to provide pictures of the actual products we were/are going to release
Not just some random pictures taken from a Google search
And even then, some the examples we provided were rejected! Actual damn products!!!

Ugh, and it took us 2 full years to getting approved (State and Federal Levels)

As far as I know, it's illegal to provide fake example(s)
Plus, you need to ACTIVELY use the trademark (actual products) or else you'll end up loosing the trademark

 

 

BTW: Shirts, Booth, Mug and those kind of things DOESN'T count as example, you can't use this

He, his brother and dad, CC Sr. are all rich businessmen and script writers, producers and actors, along with the music biz...maybe it's who they know.

 

http://www.njbiz.com...window-business

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7139700/

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0136443/



#1218 Benheck OFFLINE  

Benheck

    Space Invader

  • 30 posts

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 6:31 PM

Yes I am real. I've had an AtariAge account for a long time.

 

Again I can't recall what was in the agreement. It's very likely there was language saying they could use my images for promotional purposes.

 

But it does sound like I was bamboozled. Like a guy charging you to park in a lot he doesn't actually own, and then saying "Look at all the cars, this must be a real business!"



#1219 128Kgames OFFLINE  

128Kgames

    Dragonstomper

  • 933 posts
  • Victory is mine! I am the Worrior!
  • Location:The Dungeons of Wor

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 6:31 PM

I would say that at this point on, anything is possible. I wouldn't be surprised if we get lawyers involved on this soon. All because bogus copyright infringement claims against a fan page. And they say real world isn't exciting.

 

Seriously, start a Kickstarter to fund it as someone suggested, but make it legit, I'll kick in $$$ but I want a "I helped give Coleco back to the masses" T-shirt for my pledge...  :-D



#1220 128Kgames OFFLINE  

128Kgames

    Dragonstomper

  • 933 posts
  • Victory is mine! I am the Worrior!
  • Location:The Dungeons of Wor

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 6:34 PM

But it does sound like I was bamboozled. Like a guy charging you to park in a lot he doesn't actually own, and then saying "Look at all the cars, this must be a real business!"

 

...and then drives away with your car, never to be seen again, and uses your car to make money driving for Uber...



#1221 glazball OFFLINE  

glazball

    Dragonstomper

  • 501 posts
  • Location:Austin, TX

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 6:46 PM

I'll help Kickstart or Gofundme (or whatever) a lawyer too.  Let's get Coleco back into the hands of the fans who truly care about this great, great console.  Chris, Mark and crew have no case.



#1222 retroillucid OFFLINE  

retroillucid

    Quadrunner

  • 7,779 posts

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 7:11 PM

It was harder for you because you're Canadian, J-F!  We make it especially harder for Canadians because we're still upset we lost the war with you...  ;)


Lol, but no
Since we've registered CollectorVision LLC is US, plus John is a US citizen

#1223 phattyboombatty OFFLINE  

phattyboombatty

    Stargunner

  • 1,168 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 7:12 PM

They also asked if I could email them the vector files of the Colecovision logo. At the time there was nothing usable on the web so I had re-drawn it from scratch.

 

Fascinating Ben. Thanks for chiming in. Love your show.

 

The wild thing about this is, that the "Coleco" logo that I've seen (presumably originating from you) is drawn differently than the original logo. Whether or not this was intentional, it's cool, because it's differentiated enough for me to make an argument; that being that we home-brew folks should be able to use the likeness and recreation of the original  logo that died with Connecticut Leather Company. 

 

One reason why I say this, is that I too am a graphic artist. I too have completely redrawn artwork pertaining to the 1980s logo. I consider it to have an exact likeness. I too have used this logo under agreement/license from Mr. Thomann. 

 

I love the original logo, and I'd love to continue to use my work. Kinda seems that I can't now, and the brand image is currently tarnished anyway.

 

Anyway, I apologize for throwing this stick into the works, as the current consensus is to turn our backs on the use thereof; frankly, this might wind up being the best call.

 

 

Kleeco_2014 - 1.jpg (LLC's -- note beveled edges)Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 5.57.17 PM.png (My own creation, superimposed on a print template and dithered down to low quality)
 

 

 

US0002-2-Cent-1864-Sm_motto.jpg



#1224 Benheck OFFLINE  

Benheck

    Space Invader

  • 30 posts

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 8:05 PM

The one I used on my portable and provided files for was the rainbow "Colecovision" one.



#1225 TPR ONLINE  

TPR

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,051 posts
  • Location:Orlando, FL

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 8:39 PM

My Gmail purges anything more than 5 years old so this is all from memory.

 

The Colecovision portable was a one-off commission job for a private individual back in 2005. A long while afterwards River West Brands emailed me about it, saying it was their brand but they would authorize my use of it. (Checking my contact data (which doesn't get purged) it was Mark Thomann thanks enoofu for reminding me)

 

They also asked if I could email them the vector files of the Colecovision logo. At the time there was nothing usable on the web so I had re-drawn it from scratch.

 

That part might sound weird, but see, I used to be a graphic artist. You'd be shocked how many businesses have no logo art besides what's on their business card. And I don't mean the files used to make the card, but the ACTUAL CARD ITSELF. 

 

River West claimed to be the new holder of the trademark so I just figured they had no access to original materials. Was happy to help. I do have the Illustrator files of what I sent them, dated 3-16-08. This is how I know the general time when River West contacted me. A good two years after I built the thing.

 

I seem to recall there was an agreement drafted but can't remember specifics of it. I can't find said document in my project files or my collection of printed legacy contracts. I do know that I didn't actually pay the $1 fee.

 

This is all I can remember. If they still have the contract maybe they could produce it.

 

Hey Ben!  Thanks for the insight.  Great information!  Would be interesting to see what the contract actually said.  Who would have thought that when I started this thread mostly upset about the trademark claims and the poor treatment of the homebrewers and fan sites that it would turn into something where information from nearly a decade ago would be brought back into the light.

 

I mentioned in my original post how the way they went about making those trademark claims was shady in practice, but I had no idea what would later be uncovered as the layers were peeled back on this whole story.  And yours is yet another interesting development in all of this.

 

Again, thanks for the post.  Hopefully it will provide some answers to many questions people have.






0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users