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Hello, I just wanted to submit my first premium MOC of my Venator-Class Star Destroyer, only to find out that it can not have 'star destroyer' in its name. Yet if I browse through existing premium mocs, there are dozens with such name. Not sure if this restriction is some new cause, but it feels quite discriminating towards new MOCs, given how strong keyword 'star destroyer' is. I would like to get some clarification/explanation on this. Thanks

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Hi Kristof;

The term Star Destroyer is a trademark of the Disney Corporation and should not be used commercially. Premium MOC are a commercial product, and by using trademarked terms in the MOC title, both the designer (as seller) and Rebrickable (as shop) are risking legal claims for trademark infringement. Fair use does not apply as Star Destroyer is not a term commonly used in normal conversation.

We are in the process of removing trademarks from MOC titles, and, to make sure no new problems would arise, we have placed restrictions on the MOC title. In other words, the other Premium MOC you refer to also need to remove the term.

This is just a precaution, we don't want to get you or anyone else in any trouble. Hope you understand.

Take care,
Simon

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Are you sure 'Star Destroyer' is an official trademark though? I can't find any European trademark on boip.int and on the global search engine wipo.int I can only find a US trademark (which can also be found on US trademark database uspto.gov ). But that one US trademark has been cancelled/rejected in 1989 👀

Furthermore, that one trademark is in category 022 for 'Games, Toys & Sporting Goods' and if you'd be very literal, building instructions (without any bricks) alone aren't toys 😜 

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I don't think the name Star Destroyer is as much problem as selling stuff for an IP without license. ie selling something from Star wars without making a deal with Disney. if the MOC was free I don't think it would be a problem but as soon as you start charging your in for a lawsuit if they bother going for the small fishes.

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We decided to follow LEGO in this matter: if the official LEGO website adds a TM sign to a term, we consider it trademarked. In this case:

https://shop.lego.com/en-CA/Super-Star-Destroyer-10221
https://www.lego.com/en-us/themes/star-wars/products/imperial-star-destroyer-75055

These trademarked terms can not be used in a Premium MOC name. The restriction does not apply to normal MOCs, regular sets, or blog-posts and such.

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@Simon Hello, I understand where you're coming from, but as @legolijntje pointed out, there is no (according to mine and his research) existing trademark on that term. LEGO is putting the trademarks wherever possible, likely because they really want to avoid a misstep in that. Hence, I thin, a lot of their TM marks are unnecessary, but present.

I completely understand the approach of being safe rather than sorry, but I would like you to re-visit this issue and maybe look more into what actually is or isn't required. I would not mind a mandatory inclusion of the TM symbol within the names that are potentially sensitive, but rejecting the terms on the whole seems excessive. All it will cause is people having to cripple the words, and we will end up with multitude of 'StarDestroyers', 'Star Destoyers' e.t.c... Seems unfortunate to me :)

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Kristof;

I fear you are making a common mistake: acknowledgement of copyright does NOT give you the right to violate that copyright. Including a TM sign shows that you are aware of the trademark, but that awareness, by itself, does not grant you permission to use the term. You need written permission from the trademark owner if and when you use the trademarked term in a product name. Infringement makes you liable for legal repercussion. Sure, the risk is low, but the stakes are high. A single complaint from a company like Disney would immediately result in the shutdown of this website, and it might never return. It would be unfair to the 200,000 regular users of Rebrickable, to risk such a shutdown on account of a limited number of Premium MOC designers.

To be sure, the trademark restriction only applies to the product name, in this case, the name of your MOC. You can still use these terms in your MOC description, and/or add a "Star Destroyer" tag. In other words, your MOC would still be found when someone searches for Star Destroyer. You don't have to cripple the words. The access to your MOC is not limited. The only requirement, which is a legal one, not ours, is that you respect the IP of others, hence not use trademarked terms in your product name.

Take care,
Simon

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Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

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Actually Star Destroyer is not trademarked :) This is the same problem like with Citadel Miniatures "Space Marines" and "Imperial Guard" - they changed names in order to trademark these new names because it wasn't possible to trademark as vague and general names like "Imperial Guard" and "Space Marines".

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4 hours ago, Simon said:

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

and suffering leads to free Mocs😀 or less Mocs😪 depending on the author, no more premium IP Mocs or the threat from Disney, Nintendo and other giants remains. Because I think they are as likely to shut down a site that makes money on their IP as one that does both use their Trademarks and makes money on their IP. ie they follow the trail of Money not the trail of minor IP usage. Money == lawsuit the more money involved the bigger chance you get targeted, IP usually only a letter telling you to stop and only a lawsuit if they think you hurt their trademark.

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Folks,

we have anticipated these kind of discussions - for every term we consider trademarked there's bound to be a member who does the research and claims the term free of IP (99% certainty). Problem one: we can't verify the quality of the research. Problem two: the non-existence of proof is NOT proof of non-existence. Problem three: the legal situation is dynamic and changes with time. Yesterday X was trademarked, today it is free, tomorrow trademarked anew. Which is why we decided to follow LEGO's use of trademarks. LEGO has a legal department of several hundred full-time employees, Rebrickable is maintained by a mere handful of part-time volunteers. Yet we both follow the precautionary principle for the same objectives. Finally, we depend heavily on LEGO's IP for our set and part images, and we are a website about LEGO, so it makes perfect sense to follow LEGO's example.

If LEGO uses a term with TM on their main website - we consider the term trademarked.

Take care,
Simon

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