Games Workshop sued by store owner for $US62.5 million

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Games Workshop sued by store owner for $US62.5 million

Another very interesting page in the long history of Games Workshop's legal woes.

Games Workshop is no stranger to using litigation to get its way. It doesn't always work - as in the now infamous Chapterhouse Studios case - but often just the threat of GW dropping a tonne of lawyers on some poor fan-film or copycat mini producer is enough to get things to go its way.

Now, however, a US game store owner is taking the fight to GW in his own way, suing the miniatures giant for a massive $US62.6 million.

SpikeyBits reports that the case revolves around six points that basically claim that GW is taking undue control over the retail process, ripping off local stores in the process. And, for good measure, David Moore - store own and legal counsel in his own right - has dug up a couple of old chestnuts that have been dogging GW for decades - namely that they stole the whole Space Marines thing in the first place from Robert E. Heinlein, and its Warhammer Fantasy setting more or less from Tolkien.

Basically, in Moore's words:

In America we have a Free Enterprise & Free Market system of law different than the socialist-base of Europe. Our Sherman Anti-Trust Act and the UCC insure that companies like GW don’t unfairly play/steal all roles. GW violates these Laws against your Stores by continually stealing sales and pre-ordered products from 1,500 American retailers.

And Games Workshop kind of does just that - Moore appears to have a point. He also claims that he has it on good authority that GW's plastic figures cost merely three cents per figure to make, yet end up with a 50,000 per cent mark up. These are toys - very much luxury goods - but it's an alarming markup nonetheless.


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Interestingly, a good portion of the sum that Moore is hoping to win will go into a basically a trust to support local gaming stores that have been screwed over by GW for years.

It's a fascinating bit of legalese and well worth checking out. But GW has some pretty serious lawyers if its own, so it'll be interesting to see how this plays out when it eventually finds itself in front of the US Federal Court of Southern Florida, where Moore has filed the complaint.

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