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April 22, 2008

MTH 2008 Volume 2 Catalog Available On-Line

MTH has released their 2008 Volume 2 catalog on-line.  I haven't had a chance to review it yet but you can by clicking here.

March 29, 2008

Court Approves Lionel's Bankruptcy Plan and Settlement with MTH by Erol Gurcan

In what should be one of their last court appearances, lawyers for MTH, Lionel and Sanda Kan (Lionel’s principal manufacturer of trains) appeared in a New York Bankruptcy Court on March 27th.

At the end of the hearing, Judge Burton Lifland approved Lionel’s confirmation plan for reorganization. The court also approved Lionel’s settlement with MTH.

Click the link below to read on

Continue reading "Court Approves Lionel's Bankruptcy Plan and Settlement with MTH by Erol Gurcan" »

March 14, 2008

New Version of MTH's DCS Software Available

MTH released a new version, version 4.0, of their DCS (Digital Command System) software.  Visit the MTH website for more details.

March 13, 2008

Watch A Video of MTH's New HO GS4

MTH has posted a short video of their new HO GS4 locomotive in action.  Check out the video here.

March 08, 2008

Video Of MTH's 4-12-2 Locomotive

MthlogoMTH put together a video of their new Union Pacific 4-12-2 locomotive in action.  View the video here

More information, including great detail shots of the locomotive, are available on the MTH website.

February 15, 2008

MTH Continues To Expand HO Line

MthlogoMTH announced the addition of another locomotive to their new HO scale line of products.  The third steam locomotive offering in the line will be the Southern Pacific GS4.  Read the details in the official press release here.

February 06, 2008

MTH Expanding European Offerings

MTH announced that the Flying Scotsman locomotive will be offered as part of their 2008 Volume 2 catalog.  The Flying Scotsman joins the Orient Express, which debuted in MTH's 2008 Volume 1 catalog, in MTH's European lineup.   Read the press release here.

February 05, 2008

MTH 2008 Ready To Run Catalog Available On-line

Mthrtr2008 MTH's new 2008 Ready To Run catalog is now available on-line.  I'm glad to see the Blue Comet set is being offered again.  The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner and UP SD70ACe sets are sweet too.  Check out the catalog here.

January 25, 2008

New MTH Ready to Run Catalog

MTH has announced that their Ready To Run catalog will be released on-line on Monday, February 4th.  Here is the MTH announcement:

January 23, 2008 - M.T.H. Electric Trains will be releasing its annual Ready-to-Run Train Set and Accessory catalog featuring our Tinplate Traditions and RailKing product lines on Monday, February 4, 2008. M.T.H. Authorized Retailers will receive their initial counter copies that week and an online version of the catalog will be posted that Monday morning. M.T.H. mailing list subscribers will receive their copies in April when the 2008 Volume 2 catalog ships.

Thanks for the tip Justin.

January 15, 2008

MTH and Mike Wolf On TV

MTH and Mike Wolf were featured on a morning show in Washington, DC.  Check out the video here.  It's a two part feature so be sure to click on part two in the "Side Bar" to the right of the main feature.

January 11, 2008

Bankruptcy Court Grants Lionel 7th Extension: MTH Motion to Extend TRO Granted by Erol Gurcan

There was some model train litigation involving Lionel and MTH in two different courts on 1/10/08.

Firstly, in the New York City Bankruptcy Court, Lionel’s motion for a 7th extension of the exclusive period in which to file its reorganization plan, was granted by Judge Lifland. MTH’s lawyer, Alec Ostrow did not oppose the motion. The court’s order gives Lionel the exclusive right until March 31 file its plan with the court. Others including MTH may file alternative plans after that up and until May 30.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Bankruptcy Court Grants Lionel 7th Extension: MTH Motion to Extend TRO Granted by Erol Gurcan" »

January 10, 2008

MTH Attempts To Collect $$$ From Korea Brass by Erol Gurcan

In my last legal article, (written at the request of the Coil Couplers web site), I stated that in MTH’s fraudulent transfer of assets lawsuit against Korea Brass aka Hagye Trading/Model Korea Trading (MKT), the court on November 20, 2007 issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) and entered an order directing all monies paid by Lionel to Korea Brass were to be deposited into a court approved interest bearing escrow account. The practical effect of this was, Lionel, which is not a party in MTH’s lawsuit against Korea Brass, will not be able to take delivery of trains that it paid for and which were manufactured by KB, since the money is going into a court escrow account rather than directly to KB. Ultimately, we hobbyists will not be able to purchase the trains which are affected in these legal proceedings, at least for now.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "MTH Attempts To Collect $$$ From Korea Brass by Erol Gurcan" »

January 07, 2008

New AP Story About Lionel and MTH

As Associated Press story about Lionel and MTH was posted on the Forbes website recently.  It's an interesting read and features a quote from Erol Gurcan.  Check it out here.

December 17, 2007

Legal Explanation of Latest Coil Couplers Posts

Hrt1 Over the last two days, there have been a few posts on the Coil Couplers of America website stating that MTH has cut off Lionel’s supply of locomotives, including some of the new Legacy models, from its supplier Model Korea Trading Company (aka MKT, the company named in the Coil Couplers post of the last two days) due to the court ordered stoppage of payments by Lionel.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Legal Explanation of Latest Coil Couplers Posts" »

December 08, 2007

MTH 2008 Volume 1 Catalog Corrections Availalbe On-Line

MthlogoMTH has published a list of corrections for their 2008 Volume 1 catalog.   View the list here.

December 07, 2007

Learn How To Use MTH's DCS Loader Software

MthlogoI don't own MTH's Digital Command System but if you do you'll want to be ready to update your system when MTH releases the next version of the control system.  MTH posted the first of a two part tutorial on how to use MTH's DCS Loader software on their website.  You'll need to use the DCS Loader to upgrade your DCS components and ProtoSound 2 equipped locomotives with the updated control system.  View Part 1 of the tutorial here.

October 27, 2007

Current Status Of MTH, Lionel Lawsuits Settlement By Erol Gurcan

My goal is to keep this report short and sweet (a novel concept for a lawyer). Here is the current status of the MTH Lionel settlement as of this morning.

MTH's and Lionel's lawyers were back in bankruptcy court on October 25th. Lionel CEO Jerry Calabrese and Mrs. Martin Davis were present. MTH's Mike Wolf was not. It was not necessary for him to be. I also attended the proceedings.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Current Status Of MTH, Lionel Lawsuits Settlement By Erol Gurcan" »

October 26, 2007

MTH 2008 Volume 1 Catalog Now Online

Mth_2008vol1_cover MTH's 2008 Volume 1 catalog is available to be viewed online.  The latest from MTH includes a number of items in MTH's less expensive but highly detailed Imperial Line.  These items include the 4-6-4 Hiawatha Passenger Set which is a great deal at a MSRP of $499.99 for the 4-6-4 and a set of 4 passenger cars, the Norfolk & Western Class "J" Northern Steam engine and the 4-6-4 Hudson Empire State Express.   I got a chance to look at most of the new Imperial Line products at the York show and they all were very nice.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "MTH 2008 Volume 1 Catalog Now Online" »

October 20, 2007

AP Story About Lionel Bankruptcy

The Associated Press ran a story this week about the Lionel Bankruptcy hearing.  Read the story here.

October 15, 2007

Lionel And MTH Making Progress In Trade Secrets Case By Erol Gurcan

It's been about 2 months since I have written anything substantive about the Lionel MTH Trade secrets case or about the status of Lionel's bankruptcy. That's because there was little going on in the proceedings during this period of time. As you may recall, on August 13, MTH filed an appeal concerning Judge Lifland's August 2 rulings in favor of Lionel. On August 2, Judge Lifland ruled that any future trial (the Bankruptcy Code 502(c) damages estimation hearing) in the trade secrets case would be held before him, instead of in the Federal District Court in Detroit Michigan, and granted a fifth extension of time to Lionel to file an exclusive bankruptcy plan with the court. MTH had opposed Lionel's motion for exclusivity and proposed three alternative plans which were rebuffed by Judge Lifland.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Lionel And MTH Making Progress In Trade Secrets Case By Erol Gurcan" »

October 03, 2007

MTH Releasing Another HO Locomotive

When MTH entered the HO market with the release of their K4 Pacific locomotive I thought it was a good move and it turned out, according to the hobby shops I frequent that sold it, to be a popular item among the HO crowd.   MTH recently announced the addition of another locomotive to their HO roster, the Erie Triplex.  It's a sharp looking engine that will retail for $499.00.  View photos of MTH's HO Triplex here.

UPDATE:  MTH has posted a video of the Triplex in action here.

August 27, 2007

Catching Up.....

Here are a few stories from the last week or so that broke while OGaugeWatch was on vacation.

  1. After a long absence, "Clyde Coil" over at Hi-Rail Times wrote a few posts about Lionel's Legacy control system.
  2. MTH introduced the final Steelers Superbowl Boxcar in the series (unless they win another).
  3. The TCA's New England Division will host the National TCA convention in 2008 in Burlington, VT.  They announced the 2008 convention cars and they are nice.  I'm sure the Ben & Jerry's refer and the Vermont Railway maxi-stack cars will be a big hit.  Save 5% if you order by 10/31/07.  See all the cars here.
  4. 3rd Rail released production photos of their C&O Greenbrier.  What a sharp looking piece.  View the photos here.
  5. Marc over at the Standard Gauge Blog found several videos on YouTube of the late Tom Snyder interviewing Ward Kimball, the legendary Disney animator and railroad enthusiast..  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
  6. Joshua at the  prewar times Blog posted that MTH is releasing a new tinplate catalog at this October's TCA York meet.  Keep an eye on prewar times for possible pre-release information about the catalog.

August 10, 2007

MTH DCS Software Update for Coors Light Silver Bullet

MthlogoMTH has released a new version of their DCS software (v 3.11) to enable owners of the Coors Light Silver Bullet set to activate the Coors Light refer car functions using the DCS Remote's "softkeys".   Visit the MTH web site for more details.  You can download version 3.11 from here.

Related posts:

Watch A Video Of MTH's Coors Light Silver Bullet Train

PODCAST: MTH's Coors Light Silver Bullet Train

August 04, 2007

Lionel Wins Major Rulings In Bankruptcy Court

Lionel won two major and important rulings from Judge Lifland in the bankruptcy court this morning. The more important of these was the decision that the future trial (in others words,the Bankruptcy Code section 502c "damages estimation hearing') in the trade secrets case would be tried before the judge, instead of a jury trial in the Federal District Court in Detroit, Michigan. The second important ruling was Lionel was granted a fifth extension of time, giving it the exclusive right to file its bankruptcy reorganization plan.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Lionel Wins Major Rulings In Bankruptcy Court" »

July 25, 2007

Baltimore Sun Runs Article About MTH vs. Lionel

The Baltimore Sun ran an article about the MTH vs. Lionel case.  The article contains quotes from Lionel's CEO, Jerry Calabrese, the lead attorney for MTH and Tom McComas of TM Books & Video.  Read it here.

July 14, 2007

MTH Lionel Update: Parties In Settlement Talks by Erol Gurcan

Attorneys for both MTH and Lionel were back in a New York Bankruptcy Court on July 10th. Both MTH's Mike Wolf and Lionel's Jerry Calabrese were present. I was present for part of the day.

On the docket were several items, including Lionel's motions seeking court approval to pay its lawyers and accountants etc. the fees earned between January 1, 2007 to April 30, 2007. These motions were unopposed. Judge Lifland approved all of them and entered an order to that effect.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "MTH Lionel Update: Parties In Settlement Talks by Erol Gurcan" »

July 10, 2007

MTH Proposes Alternative Reorganization Plans To Bankruptcy Court by Erol Gurcan

In my last article, I summarized that Lionel and MTH were in court on June 27th, with Lionel’s attorneys were attempting to convince Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland that he should try the trade secrets and separate $17.5 million dollar patent infringement case to expedite their exit from bankruptcy. MTH’s attorneys had cross-moved to send the trade secrets case back for trial to the Federal District Court in Michigan, the court where a jury awarded them $40.7 million dollars in June 2004.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "MTH Proposes Alternative Reorganization Plans To Bankruptcy Court by Erol Gurcan" »

June 28, 2007

Bankruptcy Court Judge Begins Hearing Motions on Future Trial Venue by Erol Gurcan

Lionel and MTH’s attorneys were back in a New York bankruptcy court on June 27th before Judge Burton Lifland. Interestingly, the courtroom was crowded since a lot was potentially riding on the hearing. Lionel’s CEO and President Jerry Calabrese, and Chief Financial Officer Scott Turkington were present in court. They were scheduled to testify and later did. More about that later. Mrs. Martin Davis was present as well. MTH’s Mike Wolf was not.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Bankruptcy Court Judge Begins Hearing Motions on Future Trial Venue by Erol Gurcan" »

June 27, 2007

Watch A Video Of MTH's Coors Light Silver Bullet Train

MthlogoMTH announced that their Coors Light Silver Bullet train will be shipping in July.  You can view the train in action here.

Related Posts:

Podcast: MTH's Coors Light Silver Bullet Train

June 23, 2007

MTH 2007 Dealer Appreciation Program

Recently, MTH released information on their website about the 2007 Dealer Appreciation Program.  This year the DAP contains a beautiful model of a Norfolk Southern F-7 locomotive dressed in the "Tuxedo" paint scheme.  The F-7 is used to power Norfolk Southern's Executive Train.  Check out a picture of the F-7 and the rest of the DAP offerings here.

If you are not familiar with the MTH's DAP, here's an explanation from the MTH website:

...the 2007 Dealer Appreciation Program features a limited selection of items, each in a specially marked D.A.P. package, that will not appear in any M.T.H. catalog in their DAP configuration. To make these limited edition products truly special, we offer each Authorized M.T.H. Retailer only two of these special packages.

June 19, 2007

Lionel and MTH Motions Adjourned to June 27:Lionel Looses $1.25 million in May by Erol Gurcan

In my last article, I stated that Lionel's motion for the damages estimation hearing (which would actually be a trial on this issues of potential liability and damages in the trade secrets case) and MTH's cross-motion to have the trial take place in the Federal District Court in Michigan (the court where the jury awarded MTH $40.7 million dollars on June 7, 2004) were scheduled to be heard in the New York Bankruptcy Court today. However, both motions were adjourned to June 27, 2007. Thus, nothing occurred in court today on this matter.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Lionel and MTH Motions Adjourned to June 27:Lionel Looses $1.25 million in May by Erol Gurcan" »

June 11, 2007

MTH Lionel Trade Secrets Case: MTH Withdraws Supreme Court Appeal. What's Next? by Erol Gurcan

MTH has abandoned its plans to seek redress in the United States Supreme Court concerning the trade secrets case. On May 30, 2007, MTH filed a motion (an application for a court order) with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the 90 day stay that was previously granted by it so they could file a write of certiorari with the US Supreme Court. The Sixth Circuit has not decided the motion yet, but there is no reason to think that they will not grant it. Certainly, Lionel is not going to oppose it, and it will make less work for the US Supreme Court.

So the question becomes, Where do we go from here, or what happens next?

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "MTH Lionel Trade Secrets Case: MTH Withdraws Supreme Court Appeal. What's Next? by Erol Gurcan" »

May 30, 2007

A Review Of Lionel's Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan by Erol Gurcan

Lionel filed its bankruptcy reorganization plan with the court on May 21. This was an important and necessary step in moving the trade secrets and patent infringement litigation forward, and in beginning the process to exit from bankruptcy.

I recently reviewed Lionel’s bankruptcy reorganization plan filed with the court. It contains some surprising and interesting legal, financial and hobby related information. Is Lionel opening a new office, now much does Lionel spend a year on new tooling, how much does it earn a year in royalties based on its trademark, and what are MTH’s annual sales based on Lionel’s estimates? If you would like to know the answers to these questions and more, then read on. The information for this post was obtained from Lionel’s reorganization plan filed with the bankruptcy court.

Continue reading "A Review Of Lionel's Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan by Erol Gurcan" »

May 24, 2007

Lionel Files Reorganization Plan: Parties Unable To Settle Legal Disputes by Erol Gurcan

Lionel and MTH's attorneys were back in a New York bankruptcy court 5/22/07. Lionel CEO Jerry Calabrese was present in court. MTH's Mike Wolf was not.

Lionel's lawyer, Adam Harris quickly informed Judge Lifland that Lionel filed their bankruptcy reorganization plan with the court yesterday. Among the items in the plan is payment in full of all unsecured claims with interest. The plan is necessary in order for Lionel to begin their exit from bankruptcy. Lionel has been in bankruptcy since November 15, 2004, a period of over 2 1/2
years.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Lionel Files Reorganization Plan: Parties Unable To Settle Legal Disputes by Erol Gurcan" »

May 18, 2007

MTH Announces New 'Western Pennsylvania' Themed Items

MTH has announced 3 new additions to their Pittsburgh themed product line.  The items include:

Happy New Year 2008 Boxcar

Iron City GP20 Diesel Engine w/PS2

Iron City Caboose

The boxcar and caboose retail for $44.95, the GP20 has an MSRP of $299.95.  All are scheduled for an October '07 delivery.

May 17, 2007

MTH 2007 Volume 2 Catalog Corrections

MTH has posted a complete listing of all 2007 Volume 2 catalog corrections, clarifications and updates on their web site.  You can view them here.

May 02, 2007

MTH Lionel trade secrets case: Headed to US Supreme Court? by Erol Gurcan

As you may recall, on April 19, 2007, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied MTH's petition for a rehearing of its December 14, 2006 decision in the trade secrets case. That earlier decision vacated the jury's $40.8 million dollar judgment against Lionel and codefendant Korea Brass, and remanded the case to the District Court in Detroit, Michigan for another trial. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland in New York has stated in the past he will hold a damages estimation hearing in the trade secrets case rather than let another trial take place in Detroit. The two model train rivals were recently holding mediation talks in New York in both the trade secrets case and patent infringement case. The next court date in the bankruptcy court is May 22.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "MTH Lionel trade secrets case: Headed to US Supreme Court? by Erol Gurcan" »

April 26, 2007

MTH 2007 Volume 2 Catalog Corrections

MthlogoMTH announced several corrections to their 2007 Volume 2 catalog yesterday. 

 

Premier Steam

  • A second Premier Southern Pacific GS-4 Daylight locomotive has been added to the production run. This second unit, item no. 20-3303-1 will be lettered with cab no. 4449.

Premier Diesel

  • Item No. 20-2817-1, 20-2817-2, 20-2817-3 (Missouri Pacific SD50) on page 117 depicts an incorrect color scheme. An updated photo will be loaded onto the website shortly and can be found using the website's Advanced Search tool located at the top home page.
  • Item No. 20-2822-1, 20-2822-2, 20-2822-3 (BNSF ES44) was incorrectly listed as a ES44AC. The BNSF will actually be produced as a ES44DC as the mold design created for the ES44 locomotive is configured for both AC and DC versions.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "MTH 2007 Volume 2 Catalog Corrections" »

April 24, 2007

MTH 2007 Volume 2 O Gauge Catalog Available On-line

MthlogoMTH's new 2007 Volume 2 O Gauge catalog is now available on-line.  You can view it here.

Since purchasing a Southern Pacific GS4 Imperial Series locomotive from the last catalog, I've become a big fan of the Imperial line of MTH locomotives.  This catalog contains a few new additions to the RailKing Imperial series including a 4-8-4 Northern, 0-6-0 Switcher and 2-8-2 Mikado.  Other products that caught my eye are the RailKing 4-8-8-2 Cab Forward which operates on 0-31 track, the RailKing Commodore Vanderbilt 4-6-4 Hudson, the RailKing Galloping Goose, the Premier 4-6-2 K-4s Streamlined steam engine, the George Bush 41 paint scheme on the Premier SD70Ace and the set of Premier flat cars with M1a tank loads.

 

Related Posts

Review:  MTH's GS-4 And Matching Passenger Cars

Appeal's Court Denies MTH's Petition For Rehearing by Erol Gurcan

On April 19, The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied MTH's petition for a rehearing of its December 14, 2006 decision. That earlier decision vacated the jury's $40.8 million verdict in favor of MTH in the trade secrets case, and remanded it to the Eastern District of Michigan for another trial. While the above news is certainly important, it is not unexpected. I stated in a post in January that MTH's chances of prevailing on the petition were small. Additionally, MTH's Attorney Alec Ostrow stated at least twice at the bankruptpcy court conference on January 9, 2007 that is was unlikely MTH would prevail on the petition.

The more important question now becomes, what is going to happen now that the appeals process is over. Where do we go from here?

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Appeal's Court Denies MTH's Petition For Rehearing by Erol Gurcan" »

April 12, 2007

Review: MTH's GS-4 and Matching Passenger Cars

GS4 Southern Pacific's "Daylight" passenger trains awash with vermilion red and bright orange stripes separated by silver pinstripes are arguably the most beautifully decorated streamlined passenger trains to every ride the rails.  SP's famous Coast Daylight winding along California's coastline between Los Angeles and San Francisco must have been some sight.  Among rail fans, the most popular Daylights were those pulled by the Lima Locomotive Works 4-8-4 class GS-4 Northern locomotives decked out in the Daylight paint scheme.  SP had 28 GS-4's on their roster.

Today, O Gauge models of the SP GS-4 dressed in the Daylight paint scheme are very popular among enthusiasts.  So much so that both Lionel and MTH offered the locomotive in very recent catalogs.  Lionel is also releasing a K-Line by Lionel version as well.  MTH cataloged a version of the GS-4 in the MTH 2006 Volume 2 O Gauge catalog as part of the RailKing Imperial product line.  The Imperial line is marketed by MTH as a step above the RailKing line because Imperial locomotives include added details that would usually be found on MTH's more expensive Premier products.   

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Review: MTH's GS-4 and Matching Passenger Cars" »

April 04, 2007

MTH 2007 Volume 2 Catalog Release Dates Set

MTH announced today that their 2007 O Gauge Volume 2 catalog will be distributed at the York TCA meet on Thursday, April 19th and counter copies will arrive in hobby shops as soon as April 18th.  Mailing list subscribers will receive their copies the week of April 22nd.  The on-line version of the catalog will not be released until Monday, April 22nd.

March 15, 2007

MTH Announces Spring 2007 York Collector Boxcar

Mth 07 York Boxcar MTH unveiled this year's Spring TCA York collector boxcar.  The car will be the 10th in the series and feature a picture of MTH's 2007 Volume 2 catalog.  As usual, the cars can be distributed at the York TCA meet on a first come first serve basis.  Cars are available to MTHRRC members for $25.  Cost for non MTHRRC members is $30.  MTHRRC members can reserve their car for pick up at York by logging into the MTHRRC Member page.  Non members can reserve one for pick up by clicking here.  Club memberships are available for purchase on-line here.

March 07, 2007

MTH Addresses Questions About Wireless Drawbar Strength

MTH Drawbar MTH has started shipping some new Premier line locomotives with a new wireless drawbar.  Some enthusiasts have questioned the strength of the drawbar which is basically a thin printed circuit board encased in a plastic frame.  With the circuit board now carrying the load of the tender and any cars connected to the tender, some are worried that the drawbar will break/crack due to stress, especially if the locomotive or tender is derailed. 

This week's MTH newsletter addressed the questions of the drawbar's durability.  MTH indicated that the circuit boards are "multi-layered composites of fiberglass and are quite strong."  They also claim the circuit board can withstand twisting "up to 90 degrees without suffering damage" and that the drawbar never broke during extensive testing prior to market introduction.  They don't give the details of how the drawbar was tested.  As a side note, MTH also mentioned that all Premier line locomotives offered in their 2007 Volume 1 catalog (except 0-4-0 switchers) and all Premier locomotives offered in the upcoming 2007 Volume 2 catalog will ship with the wireless drawbar.  Hopefully the drawbar will trickle down into their less expensive Rail King line in the 2008 catalogs.

February 23, 2007

Court Grants Lionel's Motion; Mediation Begins by Erol Gurcan

Lionel and MTH's attorneys were back in bankruptcy court the morning of February 22nd for both a motion and status conference. Lionel CEO/President Jerry Calabrese and MTH owner Mike Wolf were not in court today. It was not necessary for them to be present. Both attended the last bankruptcy court conference on January 9 when both sides agreed to mediation. I attended today's court proceedings.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Court Grants Lionel's Motion; Mediation Begins by Erol Gurcan" »

February 18, 2007

It's All in the Name

If you're familiar the MTH v. Lionel trade secrets case or the Lionel v. K-Line technology theft case the name Robert Grubba should ring a bell.  In the Lionel v. K-Line case, Lionel alleged that Mr. Grubba, its former Director of Engineering, played an important role in illegally passing Lionel's technology to K-Line while employed by K-Line.  In the MTH v. Lionel case, Mr. Grubba held the post of Director of Engineering at Lionel when MTH alleged that Lionel stole trade secrets from MTH.

While paging through MTH's latest 2007 Ready to Run catalog on-line, I had to laugh when,  in the Accessories section (page 61), I saw that MTH is offering a 3 Story City Building housing the offices of Grubba & Co. Paper Shredders.

February 15, 2007

MTH to Build All Premier Steam Locos in 2007 Volume 1 Catalog

MthlogoYou may remember my post from a few weeks ago announcing that several MTH Premier line steam locomotives in the MTH 2007 Volume 1 catalog where in danger of not being produced due to low early order sales.  Well, MTH reported yesterday that all the Premier steam locos in question will be produced.  MTH made the decision to add a new "wireless drawbar" to the locos in question plus other enhancements not documented in the catalog that I'm sure helped boost sales for these pieces. 

Related Posts:

MTH Announces Addition of "Wireless Drawbar" to some Premier Steam Locomotives

February 14, 2007

Lionel Files Request to Extend Deadline for Chapter 11 Reorg Plan by Erol Gurcan

On February 9, 2007, Lionel filed a motion (an application for a court order) with the bankruptcy court seeking an extension to file a chapter 11 reorganization plan. The motion seeks an exclusive 75 day period in which it be allowed a to file a plan after the appeals court either denies, or issues a final decision regarding MTH's petition for a rehearing of the trade secrets case appeal. On December 14, 2006, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the trial court jury's $40.7 million dollar verdict ($38.6 million directly against Lionel) rendered in June 2004, and remanded the case to the trial court for another trial.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Lionel Files Request to Extend Deadline for Chapter 11 Reorg Plan by Erol Gurcan" »

February 13, 2007

Lionel Seeks Extension for Chapter 11 Plan

Lionel has asked the bankruptcy court to extend the deadline for filing a reorganinzaion plan.  Read the story here.

February 07, 2007

MTH 2007 Ready to Run Catalog Available On-Line

MTH announced today that "counter copies" of their 2007  Ready to Run train set and accessory catalog will be available at train shops this week.  MTH mailing list subscribers won't receive their copies until the 2007 Volume 2 catalog ships in April.  The catalog is available on-line here.

Be sure to check out the Norfolk and Western Bantam J and Daylight Bantam J passenger sets.

February 06, 2007

Lionel and MTH Sign Agreement for Mediation by Erol Gurcan

On January 30, 2007, the attorneys for both Lionel and MTH signed a stipulation (legalese for agreement) agreeing to mediate MTH's separate trade secrets and patent infringement claims against Lionel. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland "so-ordered" (approved) the stipulation on February 1, 2007. When the parties were last in the bankruptcy court on January 9, 2007, Lionel's attorney suggested mediation, MTH's lawyer agreed, and Judge Lifland directed the parties to do it.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Lionel and MTH Sign Agreement for Mediation by Erol Gurcan" »

January 22, 2007

Appeals Court Orders Lionel To Respond To MTH's Petition by Erol Gurcan

On January 18, 2007, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals posted on its PACER web site that a letter was sent to Lionel's lawyer, Walter Dellinger, notifying him to respond MTH's petition (filed with the court on December 28, 2006)for an en banc hearing. Lionel's response is due by February 1, 2007. An en banc hearing means that the full court will consider it, which could be a group of anywhere from 15-20 judges (in other words all the judges of the court), instead of the 3 that orginally heard the appeal on June 7, 2006.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Appeals Court Orders Lionel To Respond To MTH's Petition by Erol Gurcan" »

January 18, 2007

MTH Announces Addition of "Wireless Drawbar" to some Premier Steam Locomotives

Mth_drawbar MTH announced yesterday in their electronic newsletter that some of the Premier steam locomotives appearing in the 2007 Volume 1 catalog will be produced with a wireless drawbar.  The  wireless drawbar will replace the Proto-Sound 2.0 wire tether that was used to connect the locomotive to the digital soundboard in the tender.  This wireless drawbar setup was first introduced by MTH on their new HO scale locomotive.   

The list of models to get the new drawbar includes:

Greenbrier 4-8-4 Steam Engine w/Proto-Sound 2.0 (Hi-Rail Wheels)
Class A 2-6-6-4 Steam Engine w/Proto-Sound 2.0 (Hi-Rail Wheels)
Canadian National 4-8-2 Steam Engine w/Proto-Sound 2.0
Z-6 Challenger 4-6-6-4 Steam Engine w/Proto-Sound 2.0

These locomotives will also receive an number of other tweaks that will make them look even more prototypical.  None of the tweaks were listed in the 2007 Volume 1 catalog descriptions for these models. 

MTH announced recently that all of the above models are in danger of not being produced because of low early order volume.  Maybe the addition of the wireless drawbar and the other tweaks will spark enough interest for MTH to produce these models.

The decision to build these models will be made on 2/1/07 so get your orders in by 1/31/07.

January 10, 2007

MTH and Lionel Appear in Bankruptcy Court by Erol Gurcan

January 9, 2006-For the first time since December 14, 2006, when an appeals court vacated MTH’s $40.7 million dollar trade secrets verdict against Lionel, and remanded the case for another trial, attorneys for the two rival model train makers appeared in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York today.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "MTH and Lionel Appear in Bankruptcy Court by Erol Gurcan" »

January 06, 2007

MTH Announcements

MthlogoMTH announced they will be producing an uncataloged passenger car for Yuengling Brewery.  The car is a continuation of a series of cars previously produced by K-Line.  The Rugged Rails streamlined passenger car will carry the Yuengling Light Lager logo and will be the last in the series.  You can purchase the car directly from Yuengling by visiting the Yuengling on-line store here.  I visited the site and didn't see the new car listed yet but I did notice some of the older cars are still available at a reduced price.

MTH also announced that some items in the 2007 Volume 1 catalog may not be produced if early order demand remains low.  The models in question are in the Premier line and include:

Greenbrier 4-8-4 Steam Engine w/Proto-Sound 2.0 (Hi-Rail Wheels)
Class A 2-6-6-4 Steam Engine w/Proto-Sound 2.0 (Hi-Rail Wheels)
Canadian National 4-8-2 Steam Engine w/Proto-Sound 2.0 (Hi-Rail Wheels)
Z-6 Challenger 4-6-6-4 Steam Engine w/Proto-Sound 2.0

The build/no build decision for these locomotives will be made on 2/1/07 so get your orders in by 1/31/07. 

January 04, 2007

MTH Files Petition For Rehearing with Appeals Court by Erol Gurcan

Those of us following the legal proceedings in the MTH Lionel trade secrets case know that on December 14, 2006, a three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the district court jury’s $40.7 million dollar verdict, and granted Lionel’s motion for a new trial, and remanded the case to the district court for that purpose.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "MTH Files Petition For Rehearing with Appeals Court by Erol Gurcan" »

December 19, 2006

Lionel Earns $2.8 Million Profit in November 2006 by Erol Gurcan

On December 14, 2006, Lionel filed its monthly operating report for November 2006, with the bankruptcy court. For the month of November, Lionel posted a profit, or net income of $2,868,000. Its monthly disbursements were $6,818,000. The report was affirmed to by its Chief  Financial officer, Scott Turkington. Lionel is required to file a monthly operating report since it is in bankruptcy. November’s numbers were obtained directly from its profit and loss summary filed with the court.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Lionel Earns $2.8 Million Profit in November 2006 by Erol Gurcan" »

December 14, 2006

More Press Coverage of MTH v Lionel Court Ruling

Lionel Awarded New Trial In Model Trains Trade Secrets Case, Associated Press
Appeals Court Sends Lionel-MTH Back To Square One, Classic Toy Trains

UPDATE:
Lionel's Press Release

Related Posts
Summary of Appeals Court Ruling in MTH v Lionel Trade Secrets Case

Summary of Appeals Court Ruling in MTH v Lionel Trade Secrets Case by Erol Gurcan

On June 7, 2004, the jury in the trade secrets case ruled in favor of MTH and awarded them $40.7 million dollars as follows; $11,978,887 for PAST lost profits, $13,794,518 for FUTURE lost profits, and $12,834,820 against Lionel, and $2,167,440, against codefendants Korea Brass and Yoo Chan Yang for UNJUST ENRICHMENT. Lionel filed for bankruptcy in November, 2004, and filed a notice of appeal, in January 2005. Korea Brass did not appeal.

In a nutshell, overall, today's appeals court's decision is favorable to Lionel, and not to MTH.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Summary of Appeals Court Ruling in MTH v Lionel Trade Secrets Case by Erol Gurcan" »

Court Rules on Lionel's Appeal

Just heard from my friend Erol Gurcan and he stated that the court (Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati Ohio) has ruled on Lionel's appeal of the $40.7 million dollar judgment obtained against it by MTH.  Erol's reading through the court documents now and expects to have a summary of the decision out soon.  Stay tuned.  Thanks for the tip Erol!

   

Related Posts
A Status On Lionel's Bankruptcy; How Long Will It Last? by Erol Gurcan (7/21/06)

November 20, 2006

MTH Catalog Corrections

MthlogoLate last week MTH sent out an email to news letter subscribers announcing corrections for their 2007 Volume 1 RailKing/Premier and Tinplate catalogs.  MTH seems to make a habit of publishing catalogs then following them up with an extensive list of corrections and clarifications.  I was waiting for MTH to post the corrections on their web site so I could link to them in this article but for some reason they haven't so here are the RailKing/Premier corrections from the news letter.  Also, the "early order" deadline for placing orders for items in both catalogs is 11/30/06.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "MTH Catalog Corrections" »

November 16, 2006

An Example of the Impact of the MTH - Union Pacific Settlement

I found the following in a periodic newsletter I receive from Athearn, maker of N and HO scale products.

"There's big news on the Union Pacific license. The terms have been changed, and we no longer have to pay the railroad in order to make models with their marks. We'll be rolling our prices back on all existing inventory and on all items announced but not yet shipped to match the pricing of all the other road names in each category."

A great example of the impact the new agreement is having on the model railroad industry.

November 09, 2006

Insights Into The MTH Union Pacific Settlement by Erol Gurcan

November 8, 2006 - As some of you know by now, MTH and Union Pacific issued a joint press release late this afternoon stating UP’s trademark infringement case against MTH  has been amicably resolved.   However, the settlement has broader beneficial implications for both the other model train manufacturers and hobbyists alike. First, the agreement  means that UP’s case against MTH has been resolved and will be discontinued in the near future without anymore money being spent on lawyers. Thus, more money for research and development, new tooling and electronics.  Secondly, the agreement is significant in that it  means all model train manufacturers will be allowed to use UP logos and trademarks forever without having to pay a royalty. Mike Wolf confirmed to me today that this agreement also applies to Lionel despite its  settlement and licensing agreement entered into almost two months ago. More about that later.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Insights Into The MTH Union Pacific Settlement by Erol Gurcan" »

November 08, 2006

MTH Settles with Union Pacific

I received this from MTH:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Union Pacific, M.T.H. Electric Trains Settle Trademark Dispute

November 8, 2006 - M.T.H. Electric Trains and Union Pacific Railroad are pleased to announce that they have amicably settled the trademark infringement case that U.P. filed against M.T.H in Omaha, Nebraska federal court.  The settlement benefits both parties, as well the entire model railroad industry.  It allows Union Pacific to continue to protect its intellectual property, and authorizes M.T.H.’s use of Union Pacific’s trademarks and paint designs on model train products and accessories.  Union Pacific has also decided to change its trademark-licensing program so that model railroad manufacturers will no longer have to pay a royalty, and will enjoy a perpetual license to use Union Pacific trademarks and paint designs on model railroad products.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "MTH Settles with Union Pacific" »

November 02, 2006

Coil Couplers Continues To Distort The Legal Facts by Erol Gurcan

November 1, 2006-O gauge hobbyists who regularly read the Coil Couplers Of America web site, know it is  pro-Lionel, and funded by rock singer Neil Young, who is also a 20% owner of the company. The web site is also independent of Lionel LLC and does not speak for them on an official level, but does occasionally cite un-named sources within the company for its information.   

However, the Hi-Rail Times section of the Coil Couplers web site continues to distort the truth regarding the legal proceedings between MTH and Lionel, thereby possibly confusing O gauge hobbyists interested in the various legal proceedings. It has once again become necessary to set the record straight regarding their latest post.

UPDATE 11/3 - Hi-Rail Times responds to Erol's article.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Coil Couplers Continues To Distort The Legal Facts by Erol Gurcan" »

October 29, 2006

PODCAST: MTH's Coors Light Silver Bullet Train

Well, I've been throwing around the idea of putting together a podcast for some time now and finally got around to it.  The topic for the first OGW podcast is MTH's new Coors Light Silver Bullet train and features the comments of Mike Wolf, owner of MTH, made during his presentation at the TCA's Fall 2006 Open House held at the TCA National Train Museum on October 18, 2006.  Click the red circle on the Odeo media player to listen.

Enjoy.


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Related Posts
TCA Fall '06 Open House - Recap Part 1
TCA Fall '06 Open House - Recap Part 2
TCA Fall '06 Open House - Recap Part 3

October 24, 2006

MTH 2007 Catalogs Available On-Line

You can now view MTH's new O Gauge and Tin Plate catalogs on-line at the MTH website.

October 19, 2006

TCA Fall '06 Open House - Recap Part 2

Sunset Models/3rd Rail and Weaver Models presentations were good but they didn't compare to the excitement generated by Mike Wolf, owner of MTH.  Mike started off by announcing that the 2007 Volume 1 O Gauge catalog was the best MTH has produced and the Tinplate catalog is the largest tin plate catalog MTH has produced.

Shortly thereafter Mike and the crowd turned their attention to the pre-production model of the Coors Light locomotive.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "TCA Fall '06 Open House - Recap Part 2" »

October 11, 2006

MTH 2007 Volume 1 Catalog

According to MTH, "counter copies" of their 2007 Volume 1 catalogs (Tinplate and Railking/Premier) will be available at train shops as early as Tuesday, 10/17.  Mailing list subscribers will begin receiving their copies the week of 10/22.  Catalogs will be distributed to attendees of the TCA show in York, PA at the MTH booth.  The catalogs won't hit their web site until 10/23.

October 08, 2006

Lionel's TMCC2 vs MTH's DCS

D. Railer over at the Hi-Rail Times blog is maintaining a list of the differences between Lionel's TMCC2 and MTH's DCS train control systems.  He is also asking for both DCS and TMCC2 users to help add to the list.  Check out the list here.  (Ed. Note:  Hi-Rail Times & the Coil Couplers site is pro Lionel so keep that in mind when reading the comparisions and remarks.)

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Neil Young and Lionel

October 04, 2006

MTH Announces Fall '06 TCA York Commemorative Car

Mthyorkfall06 MTH announced their commemorative boxcar for the Fall 2006 TCA train show in York, PA.  The boxcar will be a Premier Line model featuring the cover of the 2007 Volume 1 MTH catalog, which is a shot of MTH's new Coors Light Silver Bullet Train.  The car can be purchased for $30 at the MTH booth at the Fall '06 York show on a first come first served basis.  MTH Railroaders Club members can purchase the car for $25 and will have the opportunity to pre-order the car on-line.

 

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Coors Light Silver Bullet Train?

October 01, 2006

Mike Wolf Interview

Mthlogo Marc over at the Standard Gauge blog conducted an interview with Mike Wolf, owner of MTH Electric Trains and posted a nice writeup about it.  The primary focus of the discussion is Standard Gauge but MTH O Gauge fans will enjoy the read.  You can find the interview here.

August 26, 2006

New Union Pacific Hertiage Paint Scheme - Southern Pacific

Sp_logoAccording to a post on the O Gauge Railroading forum MTH's Mike Wolf, during a promotional appearance at a Reno, NV train shop, stated that MTH will be producing model locomotives sporting the Union Pacific "Heritage" paint schemes.  Surprising news given that MTH is currently in court with Union Pacific over a trademark infringement suit raised against MTH by UP.  Here's hoping that the case doesn't impact MTH's plans because the most recent Heritage paint scheme representing the Southern Pacific is fantastic.  Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "New Union Pacific Hertiage Paint Scheme - Southern Pacific" »

August 16, 2006

Coors Light Silver Bullet Train?

A post on the O Gauge Railroading Magazine forum indicates that MTH Electric Trains has signed a deal with Coors Light to produce the Coors Light Silver Bullet train is appearing in the latest Coors Light marketing campaign.  I couldn't find anything on the Molson/Coors web site to confirm the news but it seems to be a logical marketing idea.

UPDATE:  The October issue of Classic Toy Trains Magazine will have a story in the "News" section of the magazine announcing the MTH deal.

UPDATE #2:  MTH announced the following in their MTH News Letter dated 8/26/06:

August 15, 2006 - M.T.H. Electric Trains has announced that it has secured a licensing agreement with Molson-Coors and will begin producing a series of products utilizing many of the brewery's beer labels, including Coors and Coors Light.

One of the first licensed products to appear in the M.T.H. lineup will be an O Gauge version of the popular Coors Light Silver Bullet train featured in Coors Light television commercials over the past two years. Any sports fan who has watched NFL, NBA and Nascar broadcasts has undoubtedly seen this sleek, bullet-nosed train speeding across the screen. It's popularity within the model railroad community, judging by the number of product requests M.T.H. received since the spots first began airing, helped spur on the decision to seek a licensing agreement with Molson Coors.

The RailKing set will feature a powered unit and three trailing "reefer" cars, all from brand new molds. The set will include M.T.H.'s Proto-Sound 2.0 digital sound system and include special sounds and features designed to simulate much of the action seen in the television commercials. Like the commercial's train, the M.T.H. model will feature a shiny chrome plated finish and include automatically activated reefer car doors that open to reveal their refrigerated load, complete with billowing frosted air.

The set is featured on the cover of M.T.H.'s 2007 Volume 1 catalog and is expected to ship to M.T.H. Authorized Retailers in the first quarter of 2007. Additional images f the set will appear in future issues of the M.T.H. E-Newsletter right up to the debut of the catalog in early October. The set can be ordered now through any M.T.H. Authorized Retailer. Item No. 30-1433-1. MSRP: $499.95

While searching for news on the MTH deal I found that Coors has developed a replica of the Silver Bullet Steam Train that is currently traveling around the country through the end of October.  Unfortunately it's not an actual train but a replica built on an stretched tractor chassis.  Get more info here.

Related Posts

PODCAST: MTH's Coors Light Silver Bullet Train 
MTH Announces New Pittsburgh Themed Items
MTH 2006 Volume 2 Catalog Now Available On Line

August 12, 2006

MTH Announces New Pittsburgh Themed Items

MTH continues it's successful relationship with the Pittsburgh Model Railroading Retailers Cooperative by introducing 3 new products and the return of previously released item.   New for  '06 is the Pittsburgh Christmas Boxcar (MSRP $39.95) due out in November 2006, a Pittsburgh Steelers die-cast Bus (MSRP $29.95) due out in October 2006 and a Heinz Field Boxcar (MSRP $44.95) due out in due out in December 2006.  Returning is the MTH Premier Line Pittsburgh/Champion 2 bay coal hopper (MSRP $44/95) due out in December 2006 and available in 2 new car numbers.

August 11, 2006

A Summary Of The Union Pacific MTH Trademark Infringement Case by Erol Gurcan

August 11, 2006-Over the last several months, there has been a lot of discussion on the OGR on line forum about the validity (or lack thereof) of Union Pacific’s three trademark infringement lawsuits (against Lionel, MTH and train photographer Nils Huxtable), but little information concerning the specifics in each lawsuit. There was also plenty of discussion last week because of a UP press release on its web site regarding its trademark licensing program. That memo stated in part;  Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "A Summary Of The Union Pacific MTH Trademark Infringement Case by Erol Gurcan" »

July 26, 2006

Bankruptcy Court Approves Lionel’s Motion to Extend its Time to File For Reorganization by Erol Gurcan

July 25, 2006-In my article dated July 21, 2006, I stated Lionel’s attorneys had recently filed a motion (an application for a court order)  with the bankruptcy court seeking to extend its time to file a plan of reorganization. The motion specifically requested that Lionel be given 120 days to file a plan of reorganization with the court once there is a decision in the MTH-Lionel trade secrets appeal heard on June 7, 2006. A decision in that case is expected late this year or early next year. Lionel’s motion also sought an additional 60 days to allow other interested parties, such as Lionel’s creditors (like MTH) to file their own plan with the court, once Lionel’s plan was filed. In my July 21 article, I stated I expected the motion to be granted.  Click on the link below to read on.

Continue reading "Bankruptcy Court Approves Lionel’s Motion to Extend its Time to File For Reorganization by Erol Gurcan" »

July 21, 2006

A Status On Lionel's Bankruptcy; How Long Will It Last? By Erol B. Gurcan

Those of us following the various legal proceedings in the 3 rail world know that Lionel has been in bankruptcy since November 15, 2004, now a period of 20 months. While that may not sound like a long time to some, by comparison,  K-Line’s bankruptcy was over and done with in 8 months, and they did not emerge from it. (K-Line’s tooling and assets were purchased by its principal manufacturer Sanda Kan in April 2006, who in turn, licensed them to Lionel as part of a licensing and marketing agreement).   Click on the link below to read on.

Continue reading "A Status On Lionel's Bankruptcy; How Long Will It Last? By Erol B. Gurcan" »

June 20, 2006

MTH Dropping Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Lionel

Here's the press release received by OGaugeWatch today from MTH's Andy Edleman, VP of Marketing, announcing that MTH has dropped the patent infringement lawsuit with Lionel.

June 20, 2006 – M.T.H. Electric Trains announced today that it is dropping its patent infringement lawsuit with Lionel after both Lionel and M.T.H. agreed to wait on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in the theft of trade secrets case between the two firms. That ruling is expected in six to eight months at which point the patent infringement case could be revisited should Lionel need to resolve it in order to exit from bankruptcy. 

The patent infringement suit was filed by M.T.H. in response to Lionel’s motion for discovery of M.T.H.’s patent infringement claim using Bankruptcy Rule 2004, a particularly invasive form of discovery that afforded M.T.H. no confidentiality protection for information uncovered during the discovery process.  Consequently, information obtained during the discovery could have been shared with Lionel’s engineering and marketing teams and provide the company with an inside look at M.T.H.’s plans for its technology.

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MTH Files Patent Infringement Case Against Lionel by Erol B. Gurcan

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MTH Releases A Time Line Of Developments That Led MTH Into Latest Lawsuit With Lionel

June 16, 2006

See MTH's New HO Locomotive In Action

MTH has released a Pennsylvania Railroad K4 steam locomotive in HO scale.  It's MTH's first HO scale product.  Model Railroader Magazine has released a video of the new K4 as a companion piece to a review in the upcoming issue of Model Railroader Magazine.  You can check out the video here.

June 14, 2006

MTH Releases A Timeline Of Developments That Led MTH Into Latest Lawsuit With Lionel

Mr. Andy Edleman, MTH's VP of Marketing, in his response to Lionel's statement about the new patent infringement lawsuit filed by MTH against Lionel, stated he would produce a timeline of events supporting MTH's decision to move forth with the patent infringement lawsuit.  In his initial response Mr. Edleman commented:

"...we believe consumers who desire to understand the nature of this dispute would be best served by reviewing an assortment of documents that lays out how this entire dispute began...  Beginning Wednesday, June 14, 2006, a timeline of events complete with a series of downloadable documents will be available via various online forums that illustrates Lionel’s actions and M.T.H.’s counter actions in the brightest of light.

Mr. Edleman has graciously supplied OGaugeWatch.com with the timeline which includes links to  several documents.  Here is the timeline document in it's entirety:

"The following timeline illustrates the developments of patent infringement issues between M.T.H. Electric Trains and Lionel over the past four years. Under each date we have included a link to a PDF document that contains either actual correspondence between M.T.H. and Lionel counsel or court documents pertaining to the actual issue.

Consumers interested in understanding in more detail the actual events between the two firms, as they occurred, will find this information far more helpful than a press release designed to put the firm's best foot forward. With this information, consumers will be able to see both company's tactics and concerns so that one can draw a more balanced impression of what has been occurring in our industry.

It is our hope that when such information is digested, M.T.H.'s actions will be better understood.

Continue reading "MTH Releases A Timeline Of Developments That Led MTH Into Latest Lawsuit With Lionel" »

MTH Responds to Lionel's Statement On New Patent Infringement Lawsuit

MTH's Mr. Andy Edleman, Vice President of Marketing, responded to Jerry Calabrese's statements concerning MTH's latest lawsuit.   In his response, Mr. Edleman explains why MTH made the decision to file the patent infringement lawsuit.  Below is Mr. Edleman's statement in it's entirety.

"June 13, 2006 – Regretfully M.T.H. Electric Trains feels compelled to respond to Lionel’s statement regarding our recently filed lawsuit in the Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court. The action was filed against Lionel LLC for patent infringement pertaining to Lionel’s inclusion of certain patented features found in M.T.H.’s sound and train control technology.

Continue reading "MTH Responds to Lionel's Statement On New Patent Infringement Lawsuit" »

June 13, 2006

Lionel's CEO, Jerry Calabrese Comments on Latest MTH Lawsuit

News from the O Gauge legal front has been fast and furious over the past few days.  The most recent news comes from Lionel's CEO, Jerry Calabrese, who released a statement on Lionel's web site concerning the latest MTH lawsuit against Lionel.  In the statement Mr. Calabrese comments:

"Yesterday, despite its prior statements to the contrary, MTH sued Lionel for alleged infringement of its smoke and speed related patents, seeking unspecified damages and injunctive relief.  MTH also asked the court to preemptively rule that its own trains do not violate four of Lionel's patents, or to declare our patents invalid.  Lionel does not believe that it infringes MTH's patents and intends to vigorously contest these claims and defend its patents, which pre-date the MTH patents in question. 

We’re disappointed that MTH has again decided to resort to litigation at this time, especially since the alleged smoke and synchronized speed related patent infringement issue was already filed in the bankruptcy court as a $17 million secondary claim, and would have had to be resolved before Lionel could emerge from bankruptcy, in any case. There are a lot of possible explanations as to why MTH chose to bring this action now, but I’ll refrain from interpretation or speculation."

Mr. Calabrese goes on to speculate the reason for the lawsuit may be in response to the perception that Lionel's June 7 court appeal of a court's $40+ million ruling against Lionel for theft of MTH trade secrets went well in favor of Lionel.

You can read the Mr. Calabrese's entire statement here.

Related Posts
MTH Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Lionel

Jerry Calabrese and Mike Wolf Comment On June 7’s Trade Secrets Appeal by Erol B. Gurcan

June 13, 2006 - Those who have been following the legal proceedings in MTH’s trade secrets case against Lionel, know that each side’s lawyers squared off in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 7. OGR forumite BOB (Bob Baritzek) attended the oral argument of the appeal and wrote an article on the OGR on line three rail forum summarizing what took place. Bob’s report noted that Lionel’s CEO Jerry Calabrese, and MTH’s owner, Mike Wolf,  attended the oral argument of the appeal. Since that time, neither side has publicly commented about the appeal on their respective web sites or other media, until now.

Continue reading "Jerry Calabrese and Mike Wolf Comment On June 7’s Trade Secrets Appeal by Erol B. Gurcan" »

June 12, 2006

MTH Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Lionel By Erol B. Gurcan

June 12, 2006-On June 7, 2006,  I reported that Lionel had filed a motion in its bankruptcy court, requesting it be allowed to obtain discovery with respect to MTH’s 17 million dollar patent infringement claim involving synchronized puffing smoke and sounds effects in relation to the speed of the model train. Specifically, the discovery sought involved infringement related documents from both MTH and Train America Studios, and depositions of persons from both companies. (A deposition occurs when a witness, who has first been sworn in, is asked questions by an opposing party’s attorney, and the questions and answers are recorded by a stenographer.  A written record in the form of a booklet is then prepared by the stenographer and can be used at trial to impeach the witness). The depositions of MTH persons would at least involve owner Mike Wolf and David  Kriebiehl, its Vice President of Research and Development, as both are allegedly listed as inventors according to Lionel’s motion. On June 12, 2006, MTH filed opposition papers to Lionel’s motion, and more importantly, has now sued Lionel for patent infringement.

Continue reading "MTH Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Lionel By Erol B. Gurcan" »

June 07, 2006

Erol’s Legal Update on MTH’s Patent Infringement Claim Against Lionel

June 7, 2006-As some of you may recall from my legal articles published in April, the appeal in the Lionel MTH trade secrets case is scheduled to be heard in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today. Some are hoping that once there is a decision by the appeals court, which is expected late this year, that this will end the six years of litigation between the two train companies, and once again allow them to focus on making quality O gauge trains.    

However, unfortunately, there remains another legal issue between the two, which will most likely be around  long after the trade secrets case is decided. Specifically, this involves a patent infringement claim against Lionel, alleging it  infringed an MTH patent involving its “use of a microprocessor controlled system for the synchronization of puffing smoke and sound effects with the speed of the model train.”

Continue reading "Erol’s Legal Update on MTH’s Patent Infringement Claim Against Lionel" »

May 03, 2006

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

For fans of Lionel and Mike's Train House (MTH), the #1 and #2 producers of O Gauge model railroad products respectively, it's been a struggle to hold a friendly dispute about which company  makes the best products without uttering the words bankruptcy or lawsuit.  Lionel, the infamous maker of model trains and MTH, the relatively new kid on the block, have been involved in what could be called an epic lawsuit for such a small cottage industry that has lasted over 6 years.  MTH filed suit against Lionel when MTH discovered that new locomotives produced by Lionel were far too similar to those made by MTH.  As it turns out, MTH was right and in 2004 a court ruled that Lionel did in fact steal trade secrets from MTH and awarded MTH $40+ million.  Great for MTH right?  Wrong.  The verdict has had a profound negative impact on the "big 2".  The large verdict in favor of MTH sent Lionel, once the biggest toy manufacturer in the world back in the day, into bankruptcy.  MTH, who has spent millions on legal fees and has yet to collect any money from Lionel, had 57 employees in early 2005, down from 127.  Profits for MTH have dwindled as well from a high of $9.2 million in 1997 to estimated six digit losses in 2005 (according to information in a Inc.com article about the case). Seemingly desperate times for the big "2".  And while the two companies duke it out it the

Continue reading "Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures" »

April 26, 2006

Lionel and MTH Legal Recap By Erol B. Gurcan

April 26, 2006 - Last  week, I posted several  articles concerning  the current state  of Lionel’s  legal matters. However, last week was also a vacation week since it was right after Easter, and  many kids were off  from school. Thus, many O gauge enthusiasts may have been away with their kids  or grandchildren,  and not read some or any of my legal posts. Many also  went to the York meet and  may not have read the on line forums  in the few days before it. This article will bring you up to speed  as there were several important and interesting legal matters last week that directly affected Lionel and/or MTH. Even if you read my posts last week, I think you will learn something new in this article.    

1)    I reported on April 17  the Sanda Kan K-Line sale of assets agreement  was scheduled to be signed and completed in a couple of days. The deal was completed last

Continue reading "Lionel and MTH Legal Recap By Erol B. Gurcan" »

April 24, 2006

MTH 2006 Volume 2 Catalog Now Available On Line

The new MTH 2006 Volume 2 O Gauge catalog is finally available on line.  Check it out here.  The Union Pacific Challenger is one of my favorites in this catalog.

April 19, 2006

TCA Open House - Part 3

Next up was Mike Wolf of MTH.  This was my first time seeing Mr. Wolf in person.  You can definitely sense that he is passionate about the hobby.  Mr. Wolf started by reviewing  the RTR 2006 catalog.  Interesting points of Mr. Wolf's presentation:

  • HO Locomotive will be available at the end of May
  • MTH will be upgrading the details on the Railking line
  • Mr. Wolf made his case for delaying the launch of MTH's newest catalog on line and delivering copies to train shops first.  He feels that by delaying the launch on line it will create traffic at the local train shops.  Support of local train shops is crucial to the growth of the hobby.
  • Mr. Wolf commented that he felt the UP lawsuit will be done by year end.
  • He addressed the issue of "fantasy" trains in response to a discussion on a web forum asking why fantasy trains are necessary.  Mr. Wolf stated that fantasy trains (trains that don't exist in the real world) like the Steeler's super bowl train, the Budwieser Train, etc sell well so he keeps making them.  He gave an example of Atlantic Coast Lines passenger cars that were offered in a prototype paint scheme (silver with purple stripe) and a 'fantasy' paint scheme (entire car body was painted in a purple).  The fantasy paint scheme out sold the prototypical scheme by ten times.
  • In response to a question about selling a grand central station that appeared on a MTH show layout last year, Mr. Wolf stated that he probably would not produce it because it had a very large foot print.  His answer was based on the results of a survey MTH conducted that showed 80% of train operators have layouts that are less then 8' x 8' - no room for large foot print buildings.
  • In response to a question about wireless tenders, Mr. Wolf stated that MTH is working on the technology but made no commitment on when it would be available.
  • There will be many new products added to MTH's G gauge line in the near future.
  • Many people in the crowd asked when specific pieces will be made.  Mr. Wolf responded that product decisions are based on consumer requests so if you want MTH to consider making something send your requests to MTH.
  • Mr. Wolf confirmed that MTH will continue to make subway sets.  Apparently there were rumors that MTH would stop making subway sets.
  • An attendee asked if MTH will make a curved section of the elevated subway trestle and Mr. Wolf responded that they want to make the section flexible to accommodate various radii curves and they haven't sorted it out yet.

Photos of some of the models displayed by MTH can be viewed here.  It was tough to get good photos because of the crowd around the podium.  The samples were quickly removed after the presentation ended.

April 18, 2006

Legal Matters Update

Erol Gurcan posted his latest update on several legal matters within the O Gauge industry on the OGR Forum.  Check it out here.

UPDATE: Here is another update from Erol:

Hi,Dave-here is the latest on the K-Line Sanda Kan deal. You can post it on ogaugewatch.com

In my legal article yesterday, I stated the asset purchase agreement between Sanda Kan and K-Line was scheduled to  be signed the same day (April 17). I also stated the closing should occur in a couple of days. I can now confirm based on my two sources closely involved with the deal that both the asset purchase agreement was signed  today (April 18) and the closing also took place today. The closing involved Sanda Kan paying K-Line and Merrill Lynch. Thus, the agreement is now a done deal.  It will be interesting to see when Lionel makes a formal announcement that they have obtained the licensing rights pursuant to its agreement with Sanda Kan now that they own the assets.    

On a related matter, some have asked about the K-Line products which are still in their  possession for repair and have not been returned. I have been informed that beginning last week, a former K-Line employee began making repairs, and the items are being sent back to their owners. However, this will take a little time. It is expected that most or all items will be repaired before they are returned. Concerning parts for K-Line products, I was not able to find out what will happen with this.   

Erol B. Gurcan

Please note that I normally will post Erol's articles on OGaugeWatch.com in their entirety but due to a glich with my email I didn't receive a copy of Erol's original article that he posted on OGR so I linked to the OGR version. Dave

April 12, 2006

New MTH Catalog Due At Train Shops This Weekend

MTH announced in their Electronic Newsletter that 2 new catalogs will be arriving in train shops on Saturday, April 15th.  One catalog will cover the Tinplate Traditions line and the other the RailKing and Premier product lines.  If you are attending the TCA show in York, Pa you can pick up a copy of the catalogs at the MTH booth starting on Thursday, April 20.  MTH also stated that the catalogs would not be available on line until 4/23.

April 06, 2006

MTH Announces Special Box Car for 2006 Spring TCA York Show

MTH will be offering a special Premier Line Box Car commemorating the Spring 2006 Train Collectors Association Show in York, Pa.  The Box Car features the cover of MTH's 2006 Volume 2 catalog.  The catalog will be released just prior to the York show.  The car will be offered to MTH Railroaders Club members on a first come first serve basis for $25.  MTHRRC members attending the York show can pick up the car at the MTH Booth in the Orange Hall for a price of $20.  A very limited number of cars will be produced.

  Mthyorkcar

April 05, 2006

MTH Bus Depot Back In Demand

Back in 2000, MTH Electric Trains  created an O Gauge Bus Depot modeled after an Art Deco style Greyhound bus depot in Evansville, Indiana.  MTH produced 600 pieces in 2000 and then another  500 in 2004.  According to an article in the Evansville Courier & Press newspaper, Greyhound is moving out of the depot and the future of the historic property is in question.  The questionable future of the depot  has sparked renewed local interested in the MTH model, prompting  Andy Edlemen, Vice President of Marketing for MTH to comment in the article "We might have to dust that puppy off and run it."   The MTH model isn't an exact replica of the original.  The article states:

The model is slightly trimmed down in comparison to the prototype. But most eyes would notice only upon careful comparison with a photograph of the original. The reason for the slightly condensed version was limited space on most train layouts, especially with larger size trains such as M.T.H.'s O scale. "That's a big problem in the model train industry," Edleman said. "These structures take up a fair amount of real estate."

MTH also produced a matching Greyhound bus with Evansville on the destination board. 


Busdepot_1

 


March 14, 2006

The Latest on the newest MTH v. Lionel "Lawsuit" from Erol B. Gurcan

By way of background, on Saturday, March 11, 2006, D. Railer posted on the Hi Rail Times of the Coilcouplers web site,  that according to their inside sources at Lionel, "MTH recently sued Lionel for patent infringement", involving  synchronized smoke, and asking for $15,000,000 in damages.  This information  made its way on to the OGR forum under a thread called "guess what,  another lawsuit."   I posted a response to this thread, stating that no one had seen the lawsuit papers, namely a complaint, which must be filed with the court to start  a legal action. This would need to occur before a defendant is served with the complaint, usually by a process server.  I also stated I asked Charlie of Nassau Hobbies to get a copy of the complaint and that I would publish a summary of it in a few days.

On Sunday, March 12, Charlie forwarded me an e-mail sent to him by MTH president Mike Wolf, stating that a lawsuit had NOT been filed by MTH against Lionel for patent infringement. Charlie posted this information on the AOL message board and I posted it on the OGR forum. Later on Sunday, Mike Wolf,  emailed me directly from China where is presently on business, and again stated MTH had  not sued Lionel, and called the coil couplers post a "lie."      

Thinking there could be a mistake or misinformation  on Coilcouplers end since Mike Wolf was adamant that a lawsuit had not been filed, I emailed them seeking an explanation and asking for proof that a lawsuit had been filed, such as by sending me a copy of the complaint.   I never received a  response.

However, on Monday evening, March 13, 2006,   The Coilcouplers web site posted a "correction" stating "MTH recently filed a 17 million dollar claim against Lionel for patent infringement." It basically altered its earlier "lawsuit"  statement and replaced it with one stating a "claim" had been filed with the court. Specifically, the current statement reads, "There was some confusion caused by our describing the MTH claim as a lawsuit in our previous article which this one replaces. In essence this MTH claim is the same as a lawsuit. Lionel is required to respond and defend against this outrageous MTH claim of 17 million dollars in damages before leaving bankruptcy."    The web site also posted two documents as links which I have reviewed. They are a proof of claim for patent infringement (and not a complaint which starts a lawsuit) filed with the bankruptcy court where Lionel's bankruptcy is pending, on August 3, 2005 (over 7 months ago).

The following is what I have determined from the above facts. Firstly, Mike Wolf was correct that a lawsuit by MTH against Lionel for patent infringement  has not been filed.

Second, the Coilcouplers web site statement that Lionel is "required to defend" the claim in the same way since it is in essence a lawsuit, is not accurate since a defendant must file an answer when a complaint has been filed with the court and served on the defendant.

Moreover, it was Coilcoupers that initiated this whole matter by wrongly stating  MTH had recently sued Lionel, and then having to alter its statement when confronted with the fact it was incorrect. Perhaps it should have better checked it facts before posting its first article, instead of having to later correct it. Tensions in the three rail  run high when lawsuits are involved, and I'm sure Clyde Coil as his associates are well aware of this. MIke Wolf has informed me it is Neil Young, that set up and paid  for the Coilcouplers web site, and  posts some of the material on it. As a 20% owner of Lionel, he should know if a lawsuit has been filed as opposed to a claim being made even though he is not an attorney.    Mike Wolf's proof that Neil Young is involved in the Coilcouplers web site is by way of a copy of a check  he has in his possession, and the web site manager who stated under oath that he gets material to post from Neil via e-mail. Mr. Wolf has offered to send me a copy of the check once he returns from China in two weeks.   

Lastly, the claim is not  that "recent", since it was filed over 7 months ago. If Coilcouplers was so concerned about it, why didn't they mention it earlier? The two documents it linked to its March 13 statement are public documents since they are required to be filed with the court, and have been  for some time.

We will probably  never know if the first Coilcouplers on-line post was an honest mistake or intended to distort the real facts. However, trying to spin  a correction by stating a claim is the same thing as filing a lawsuit or suing, is not accurate.

As a side note, prior to the  Coilcouplers  correction on March 13, Mike Wolf emailed me  the same day  and stated he does not have any plans to file a suit, unless Lionel, who has just threatened to recently sue him for infringing on its patents for TMCC  and speed control, does so. He also claims part of Lionel's goal is to ask the court take DCS (MTH's digital remote control system)  off the market.  If Lionel sues him, MTH plans to counter sue, concerning Lionel allegedly infringing on MTH's patent for  synchronized smoke. Mike's position is MTH  is 100% confident it has all the prior art necessary to defend DCS against Lionel's claim, and they have let Lionel know this.             

Erol Gurcan, ESQ

Thanks for the update, Erol.

March 13, 2006

Rumors of New MTH Lawsuit Not True

Erol B Gurcan confirmed to me in an email yesterday that Mike Wolf is denying a patent infringement lawsuit has been filed against Lionel by MTH.  Mr. Gurcan's email reads:

In yesterday's ogaugewatch.com, you posted Clyde Coil's message  that MTH had filed a patent infringement  lawsuit against Lionel involving synchronized puffing smoke. Since then, Mike Wolf, owner and president of MTH has contacted Charlie of Nassau Hobbies who then emailed me, to report that MTH has NOT filed such a lawsuit. Mike even emailed me directly this evening stating the coilcouplers statement is a "lie." Your readers should know that MTH disputes a patent infringement lawsuit against Lionel has been filed as of this time. 
Feel free to post this on your web site.

Erol Gurcan ESQ.

Thanks for the update Erol.  The report of the alleged lawsuit has yet to be recanted by Hi-Rail Times.

UPDATE 3/13/06:  Hi Rail Times has posted a "correction" that contains links to two documents that seem to prove that MTH filed patent infringment claims (not lawsuits) against Lionel.  One document is dated 2005 and the other seems like it is from 2004.  Given the age of the documents, I'm not sure why the original Hi Rail Times article suggested these claims are new.  More to come.

March 12, 2006

Report of MTH Lawsuit on Hi Rail Times Not True?

 The buzz on the various O Gauge forums is that MTH did not sue Lionel and that the story posted on Hi Rail Times alleging that MTH has file a lawsuit against Lionel is some sort of smear tactic.  Charlienassau of Nassau Hobby posted on the AOL Lionel Model Trains discussion board that Mike Wolf, owner of MTH, is denying that MTH has sued Lionel.  This is interesting because Hi-Rail Times is said to be run by Neil Young, rock star and part owner of Lionel.

March 11, 2006

Hi Rail Times Reporting Another MTH Lawsuit

D. Railer of Hi Rail Times is reporting today that MTH has filed a patent infringement suit against Lionel.  From Hi Rail Times:

MTH's view is that LIONEL's command controlled trains featuring the Odyssey speed control system with synchronized smoke and sound effects infringe MTH patents.

According to D. Railer the lawsuit asks for $15 million.  Stay tuned.

View the entire article on Hi Rail Times

March 02, 2006

New Catalogs from Lionel and MTH Due Out Soon

Charlie from Nassau Hobby posted on the OGR forum that both Lionel and MTH will be releasing new catalogs soon.  In Lionel's catalog, due out this weekend, he hinted that there will be add ons for the Polar Express.  According to Charlie, the MTH catalog, 2006 Vol. 2 is due out in a "few weeks"

View CharlieNassau's Lionel catalog post on OGR
View CharlieNassau's MTH catalog post on OGR

February 28, 2006

An "Oldie but Goodie"

Yesterday I found a very informative article about the MTH lawsuit on INC magazine's website.  The article is from February 2005 and is entitled "Train Wreck".  It's worth a read if you haven't seen it yet.

February 23, 2006

MTH Announces Super Bowl XL Box Car

MTH announced yesterday that they will be offering a box car commemorating Super Bowl XL.  Delivery is scheduled for April 2006.  The box car retails for $44.95.
Sbxlbc

February 15, 2006

MTH Announces New Uncataloged Items

MTH Electric Trains announced 4 uncataloged Pittsburgh related items today.  Items include an Olde Frothingslosh Tank Car - $44.95, a Pittsburgh PCC Trolley with Allegheny Fair livery featuring special Proto-Sound® 2.0 trolley stop sounds for the stops from South Hills Junction to Mesta - $229.95, a 40' High Cube Pirates All Star Box Car - $49.95 and a Premier Line Aliquippa and Southern Hopper - $42.95.

Frothingslosh_4

Allegheny_fair_3

Pitts_allstar_1

Aliquippa_1

February 09, 2006

MTH Files Lawsuit Against Korea Brass, Inc UPDATE

Charlienassau of Nassau Hobbies and his lawyer/friend Erol come through yet again with some interesting details about the legal proceedings in the O Gauge industry.  This time, on the OGR forum, Charlie posts Erol's explanation and findings about why MTH filed a new lawsuit against Korea Brass. 

View Charlienassau's post on OGR

February 08, 2006

2006 MTH Ready to Run Catalog Now Online

MTH has posted their new 2006 Ready to Run catalog on-line today.  There is a new Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer set which is interesting and the tin plate offereings are very nice. 

View the MTH Ready to Run Catalog

February 03, 2006

MTH Files Lawsuit Against Korea Brass, Inc

From the Detroit Free Press:

A Maryland model train maker that won a $40.7-million judgment in 2004 against Macomb County-based Lionel LLC and a Korean supplier has returned to U.S. District Court in Detroit to collect damages from the Korean firm.

Mike's Train House Inc. of Columbia, Md., charges in a lawsuit filed last week that Korea Brass Inc. of Charlottesville, Va., transferred all of its assets to a new company, Hagye Trading Co., to avoid paying the judgment.

In 2004, a federal jury in Detroit awarded $27.7 million to Mike's Train House, which alleged that Lionel of Chesterfield Township and Korea Brass had stolen its design for making zinc die cast O gauge steam engines.

The judgment forced Lionel to file for bankruptcy protection while it appealed the judgment.

Hagye Trading Co. isn't listed in the Charlottesville phone directory and could not be reached for comment.

January 28, 2006

Criticism of UP Lawsuit Against MTH

A reader of the Coshocton Tribune, a small town paper in Ohio, had some poignant criticism of Union Pacific's lawsuit against MTH Electric trains.  UP is suing MTH for unauthorized use of it's company logo.  The reader writes:

As I have been a railroad fan for many years, this action by Monstro (the UP whale) to gobble the few minnows of profit earned by small model makers sickens me to the point of nausea. The modest profits of companies like Lionel, MTH and others probably total a miniscule percent of UP's income. And yet, UP can't muster an atom of goodwill toward an industry which has kept UP's name and logo in the forefront for decades (not to mention all the free advertising).

Read the entire article at the Conshocton Tribune

January 06, 2006

Union Pacific Sues MTH

From the Sun Sentinel's Business Section today:

Union Pacific Corp., the biggest U.S. railroad by sales, sued to stop the nation's second-largest model-train maker from using logos for the Union Pacific and other rail lines it owns. The lawsuit seeks damages from closely held Mike's Train House Inc., based in Columbia, Md. Mike's Train House, owned by MTH Electric Trains, pushed larger rival Lionel LLC into bankruptcy in 2004 by winning a suit over theft of trade secrets.

Read the entire article in the Sun Sentinel.

Read the thread on OGR Forum.

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