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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:


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 01, 2006

Lionel Announces UP Heritage Collection

Yesterday, Lionel announced in a press release that they will produce an "officially licensed" version of Union Pacific's Heritage Locomotive series.  The series consists of 6 locomotives decorated in paint schemes from the fallen flag railroads Union Pacific has acquired over the years.  Lionel also announced a Lionel/Union Pacific joint release of a 7th paint scheme sometime in 2008. 

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Lionel Announces UP Heritage Collection" »

September 15, 2006

Lionel Releases Statement About Union Pacifc Lawsuit

Lionel Lionel's CEO, Jerry Calabrese, released a statement about Lionel's settlement with Union Pacific concerning trademark infringement.  Read it here.


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September 13, 2006

Union Pacific and Lionel Settle Trademark Infringement And Enter Into Trademark Licensing Agreement

September 13, 2006-Lionel has settled the trademark infringement lawsuit brought against it by UP. Additionally, the two have also entered into a trademark licensing agreement. However, the court where Lionel’s bankruptcy has been pending since November 15, 2004, must approve the deal since they are in bankruptcy. To that end, Lionel’s attorney’s filed two motions (an application for a court order) in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on September 13, 2006, requesting, 1) the court approve the agreement entered into by the two parties, and 2) requesting the court make some of the terms of the agreement confidential. The motions are currently scheduled to be heard on October 11, 2006. The information for this article was obtained from the two motions.

It is expected the motion requesting the court to approve the lawsuit settlement and

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Union Pacific and Lionel Settle Trademark Infringement And Enter Into Trademark Licensing Agreement " »

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 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" »

February 15, 2006

Union Pacific is at it Again!

Union Pacific, who recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Lionel and MTH, has filed a similar suit against photographer Nils Huxtable for publishing a calendar.  A group has set up a web site and a legal defense fund to assist Mr. Huxtable in his fight against UP.  Here is an excerpt from the site:

Ron Paludan, working on behalf of the Steamscenes Legal Defense Fund, stated recently, "Union Pacific Railroad Company's use of its vast legal resources is harming Steamscenes, a small company that produces publications that ironically enhance U.P.'s public image. In no way could Union Pacific Railroad Company's calendar and the Steamscenes' calendar be confused, as "A Steamscenes Publication" is printed right on the cover of every calendar. In our opinion, the Union Pacific Railroad's case lacks merit and its interference with Steamscenes' business is unwarranted. We seek to ensure that this suit is settled by revelation of facts and fair application of law, rather than won by the company who has the most financial resources.".

UPDATE 2/16/06:  More information on this story can be found in the  2/15/06 edition of the newswire.

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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