A fascinating new predicament has recently come up from the always over protective Games Workshop. This time, they’re trying to add “Space Marine” to the their already extensive list of trademarked names (“board games, parlor games, war games, hobby games, toy models and miniatures of buildings, scenery, figures, automobiles, vehicles, planes, trains and card games and paint”).
Why now, you might ask? Well, author M.C.A. Hogarth had his ebook ‘Spots the Space Marine Defense of the Fiddler’ removed from Amazon, due to a complaint made by Games Workshop.
Now, before you rush to judgment, let me ask you a question. What was the first thing that you think of, when you hear Space Marine? Most everyone that I know, immediately thinks of Warhammer 40k, or a vague image of a man in a heavily armored suit that strongly resembles that of Games Workshop’s Space Marines.
Even my 60 year old hair stylists (hey, I need to look pretty, too!) knows of, and talks about Warhammer 40k Space Marines.
Games Workshop has been around for decades and their reach and influence is massive. Take a good look at just about any sci fi video game. Just about all of them take some sort of inspiration from Space Marines, be it in size, strength, armor, or weaponry.
Gears of War is probably the most obvious of offenders, yet even it is smart enough to do everything but use the name Space Marine in their universe.
So why yes, it’s quite silly that Games Workshop is trying to lay claim to the name Space Marine, maybe we should just come up with more creative names for our characters in the mean time. Given its over protective history (just look at all its trademarked names), we should let Games Workshop use the name Space Marine until they’re done with it. Then the rest of us can play with it!