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Tokyo Marui and Licensing


AG1212

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Hi all,

I got into a recent discussion about licensing trademarks in airsoft. I used TM as an example of a company that uses trademarks and produces products (glocks) without licesning agreements.


They claimed that TM has licensing agreements for all their replicas. I know this isn't true for Glocks.

 

Can anyone shed some light on this? Thanks.

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Japanese trademark laws seem to be complex and unintuitive. Japan obviously does have a very strict IP regime - any country that generates that kind of quantities of high technology has to - but it is pretty clear that few of TM's range are licensed. The Glocks obviously aren't and never have been; the same almost certainly goes for the H&Ks, Colts, Berettas and S&Ws, because the licenses for all of those are held by Umarex. The same also almost certainly goes for the SIGs, FNHs, the Desert Eagle and the FAMAS, because the licenses for all of those are held by Cybergun. The only obviously licensed products in TM's catalogue are special-edition videogame tie-ins; Capcom clearly licenses these products to TM.

Exactly why it is TM (and KSC, and Western Arms, and basically every other Japanese manufacturer) is able to get away with this is a subject of much debate. It may be that Japanese copyright law distinguishes between products that are real and those that are replica, or maybe they conclude that because the average citizen will never encounter the real thing they cannot reasonably confuse the two, or maybe the legal system is so byzantine and the effect on real gun makers' sales so inestimably small that the licensees simply don't bother enforcing in the JDM.

There are negotiated exceptions to the rules to get some guns imported. Evike (a major American retailer) is selling TM PS90s "officially licensed by FNH", which so far as I can tell is not a claim TM make. I think it's most likely that Evike have struck a deal with CyberGun to license these guns and Evike themselves are paying the licensing fee, rather than the manufacturer.

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I'll need to check new models but TM trades used to be close to the real steel but different enough not to evcovered by Japanese copywrite. I don't think what they do would stand up in any non Japanese court which is another reason most of the Japanese airsoft companies have ever official exported their gear.

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It was a very long time ago but I remember reading on a Japanese BBS that trademark licensing with TM is only given granted they are only for local distribution. This is why some of their guns don't have the right trademarks (FN 5-7) and some have gone from look-a-like trades to proper trades (S&W) after securing the license. If they didn't care about trademark infringement they would just put trades on everything since they know their customers want it.

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Now I am picturing a group of well-dressed Yakuza members showing up at Cybergun's HQ with TM lapels and intimidating the *suitcase* out of the execs.  At the head of the group is Marui Man naturally, with TM logo tattooed on his back.

A man can dream I guess...

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12 hours ago, Gunmane said:

Now I am picturing a group of well-dressed Yakuza members showing up at Cybergun's HQ with TM lapels and intimidating the *suitcase* out of the execs.  At the head of the group is Marui Man naturally, with TM logo tattooed on his back.

A man can dream I guess...

Oh wouldn’t that be a lovely sight !😈

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They in fact did copyright 'hop up' and 'Marui' within France.  In addition to 'Marushin', 'Maruzen', 'Western Arms', 'KSC' and whole load of other stuff too.  The legal system in France is completely *fruitcage*ed.

*fruitcage* cybergun.

nyUIXNM.jpg

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hopefully the exclusivity gets abolished soon.
I don't mind licencing, but giving excusive right to *suitcasey* manufacturers is just dumb for both customers and real steel manufacturers.
Don't they care about the reputation of a *suitcasey* replica?

Sent from my H8324 using Tapatalk

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