Saturday, June 15, 2013


A verdict has been handed down in the Chapterhouse Vs GamesWorkshop case.  By the jury at least.  Among the things Chapterhouse was ruled as using fairly was the SHAPE of the shoulder pad.  The public is still waiting for the official judge's ruling but it looks like after market shoulder pads are legal within a certain context.  Obviously this ruling will be appealed by Games Workshop but to what extent the jury decision will be changed is questionable.

What this means is that the shape of the shoulder pad is not a protected sculptural element according to American law.  This does not make the icons for space marine chapters unprotected.  Custom chapter icons on traditional shoulder pad shapes are legally acceptable.  I have yet to decide if I will begin moving my own custom shoulder pad designs onto shapeways to be sold.  At this time I believe it prudent to wait for the appeals court to decide before I do anything.

Also I won't lie, this decision makes me quite happy.  GamesWorkshop lost a portion of their claims but Chapterhouse didn't lose all theirs.  In the long run the decision has laid a foundation for future bits production which can be followed by designers such as myself.  I look forward to seeing if this creates a more balanced market for miniatures or if GW responds by trademarking models before they publish a codex.


  1. Hopefully it won't be long until you're free to make your prints again! I was really happy with the verdict too. In my mind, the more people who can make bits, the better the hobby is.

  2. in case you haven't seen the press release:

  3. I did see that yes, I was quite happy. Likewise I think this can lead to a boom in the miniatures industry. I also believe that as warhammer and 40k's bits market thrives it will push other companies like Privateer and Corvis Belli to accept bits and customization as a part of the hobby in a way current generation all metal manufacture companies haven't done yet.