Metrosuplex wrote:(From Wikipedia)As with other pre-Robotech borrowings from Macross (for instance, Battletech), the licensing situation for the toy became murky with two different companies (Big West and Tatsunoko Production) asserting exclusive rights to license Macross merchandise outside Japan. Due to these legal issues, Jetfire has not been among the Transformers toys reissued in the 21st century .
This toy is patented in the U.S. as patent number D287037.
Now I understand the suit!
This was never about how similar the SDCC jet looks to Robotech's jet.... this is about how Jetfire IS a Robotech character!
Hence, this is really Hasbro using a Robotech character without permission, regardless of how he looks in toy form. Historically, this IS a Robotech character, and Harmony thus has a right to require financial/legal permission for his use.
Actually another thought occurred to me while reading this overall thread and this post in particular. This is quite possibly a "hail mary" attempt to clarify the copyright and firmly put it in Harmony Gold's hands. There was talk about their copyright mess a few months back when one of the Japanese companies started to advertised for a potential Masterpiece-esque/Hybrid Style-esque version of the VF-1S Super Valkyrie. I don't know where that went, but I got the impression that the plans fell through. Could be wrong though...
To sum up HG saw that jet and thought this was the perfect chance to lock down copyright they've always had a problem with.