Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

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Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby Emerje » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:12 am

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Fans of "third party not-Transformers", bootlegs, and over sized knockoff products tend to defend them by saying such things as, "if Hasbro cared they would do something about them" or "they're legal in China, things are more relaxed there". But that's never been entirely true. We've seen Hasbro do things like ban their sale (and attempted to do so with fan art) at BotCon and once requested the removal of their coverage from news sites while China has protected three dimensional trademarks (like toys) since 2001. They even introduced the administrative raid system for speedy resolutions and special "well-known" trademark protections based on consumer knowledge.

And that brings us to the current topic. Hasbro has announced on their corporate site that they've successfully defended their Transformers trademark in a criminal counterfeit case in a Chinese court based on an administrative raid from 2017. Hasbro claims this is only the latest in a string of cases with more to come. In this case three defendants were found guilty including two unnamed people that have been jailed and fined and an unidentified corporation that has been fined as well.

Hasbro's full press release can be found below (it isn't very long or detailed). We realize this is a hotly debated topic so we ask for some civility when discussing this in the Energon Pub.

Hasbro Trademark Rights Upheld in Criminal Case Involving Counterfeit TRANSFORMERS Products in China

December 20, 2018

PAWTUCKET, R.I.—December 20, 2018-- The Chinese court in Dongguan city of Guangdong Province has issued a judgment favorable to Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) in a criminal case involving counterfeit TRANSFORMERS products.

Hasbro initiated an administrative raid action in 2017, which was transferred to the Public Security Bureau (PSB) due to the volume of counterfeit product and seriousness of the case. After a thorough investigation, three separate defendants, including two individuals and one corporate defendant, were found guilty of counterfeiting Hasbro’s trademarks and fined by the court, and the two individuals were sentenced to jail time. Thousands of counterfeit TRANSFORMERS products were confiscated and destroyed.

With strong support from various Chinese authorities, Hasbro has initiated many actions to enforce its intellectual property rights in China, and this is the latest of several criminal judgments involving counterfeit Hasbro products issued by Chinese courts in recent years.

“We take the protection of our intellectual property very seriously, and we will continue to investigate and pursue those who infringe on our rights,” said Tarrant Sibley, Hasbro’s Chief Legal Officer. “We are pleased with the ruling in this case, and will continue to vigorously enforce our intellectual property rights to combat the manufacturing and distribution of counterfeit products.”

About Hasbro

Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global play and entertainment company committed to Creating the World's Best Play Experiences. From toys and games to television, movies, digital gaming and consumer products, Hasbro offers a variety of ways for audiences to experience its iconic brands, including NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, BABY ALIVE and MAGIC: THE GATHERING, as well as premier partner brands. Through its entertainment labels, Allspark Pictures and Allspark Animation, the Company is building its brands globally through great storytelling and content on all screens. Hasbro is committed to making the world a better place for children and their families through corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. Hasbro ranked No. 5 on the 2018 100 Best Corporate Citizens list by CR Magazine, and has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere Institute for the past seven years. Learn more at http://www.hasbro.com, and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro) and Instagram (@Hasbro).
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby shadowstitch » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:58 am

This reminds me of those photos where a bunch of cops are posing around a table with a hash pipe and a few grams of pot like they just won the war on drugs.
They'll never stop bootlegs from being made and sold; they're probably just salty cause most bootleggers make cheaper, better quality versions of their products than they do.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby -Kanrabat- » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:14 am

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I have mixed feelings on this.

I rejoice because we may finally see a stop to all those "reissues" that try to pass as legit on Ebay. Anime figures are plagued by this as well. :APPLAUSE: :BOWDOWN:

I find it sad because it will put an end to all those ultra modified and improved KOs such as the Wei Jiang ones. :( #-o

And I fear that the entire 3P industry, who have their own molds and own designs, may get hit next. :shock: :-x
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby Ironhidensh » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:19 am

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The only way to win a “war” on KO makers, is for hastak to not be so greedy with their prices. They’ll win a few battles, and take a few players off the board, but as long as they are pricing the average collector out of the market, or not providing what is wanted, another company will always come and fill the vacancy.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby dragons » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:53 am

-Kanrabat- wrote:I have mixed feelings on this.

I rejoice because we may finally see a stop to all those "reissues" that try to pass as legit on Ebay. Anime figures are plagued by this as well. :APPLAUSE: :BOWDOWN:

I find it sad because it will put an end to all those ultra modified and improved KOs such as the Wei Jiang ones. :( #-o

And I fear that the entire 3P industry, who have their own molds and own designs, may get hit next. :shock: :-x


It’s bound happen sooner or later companies make there own figures are targeted to be knock off figure
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby ZeroWolf » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:01 am

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@Ironhideish the only way to get hasbro to stop being greedy is if Shareholders do something but considering they are the ones who are the constant drive for profit...We're never going to get to that point.

Remember this news is only affecting KOs who are deliberately using trademarks, 3P are unaffected by this and will continue to do so. In essence the 3p biggest threat isn't hasbro anyway, but other 3p companies and companies who make kos of their products.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby Hellscream9999 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:08 am

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Ironhidensh wrote:The only way to win a “war” on KO makers, is for hastak to not be so greedy with their prices. They’ll win a few battles, and take a few players off the board, but as long as they are pricing the average collector out of the market, or not providing what is wanted, another company will always come and fill the vacancy.

Agreed, I don't think there's a huge problem with 3p companies, so long as they aren't really stepping on has/tak's feet. I think the only one that's really taken the hint and tried to really do their own thing is mmc; they've gotten away from the mainstream stuff and gotten into the idw and comic stuff the we know hasbro isn't going to give us anytime soon.

I think the prime trilogy really sucked the wind out of the 3p sails, and it shows, especially with the very affordable combiners and then the headmasters - the two bigger areas that 3p companies were really trying to fill. Now a lot of them don't really seem to know what to do, based on pre-orders, it seems like they've gone back to circle-jerking mp's and combiners like they can't get the hint :roll:

I think the only one that's really going to take a hit are the one's making actual knock-off tf's
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:09 am

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ZeroWolf wrote:@Ironhideish the only way to get hasbro to stop being greedy is if Shareholders do something but considering they are the ones who are the constant drive for profit...We're never going to get to that point.

Remember this news is only affecting KOs who are deliberately using trademarks, 3P are unaffected by this and will continue to do so. In essence the 3p biggest threat isn't hasbro anyway, but other 3p companies and companies who make kos of their products.


Yeah, this is more to do with stuff that outright copies Hasbro's own products. Especially things like the high-end counterfeit G1s that were obviously made with the intent of passing themselves off as the genuine article. Nowadays those are generally labeled as "reissues" and priced substantially lower than authentic MISB G1s, but that wasn't always the case.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby -Kanrabat- » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:18 am

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ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:Yeah, this is more to do with stuff that outright copies Hasbro's own products. Especially things like the high-end counterfeit G1s that were obviously made with the intent of passing themselves off as the genuine article.


I got screwed over with a G1 Shockwave "reissue". I paid 100$ for it. I managed to sell it off for 50$ last year.

Then I got screwed with a G1 Grimlock "reissue". I paid 70$ for it. The bot ASSPLODED in my hands the 4th time I transformed him. I used the parts for customs and I used the accessories to complete a 60$ naked but great condition authentic G1 Grimlock bought at my local geek shop.

Those G1 and MP KOs that pass as legit need to be killed with FIRE. :-x
Now if only Ebay would get their **** together and allow us to filter out all search results from China, it would make things easier.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby Aimless Misfire » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:28 am

ZeroWolf wrote:Remember this news is only affecting KOs who are deliberately using trademarks, 3P are unaffected by this and will continue to do so.


That's good to know because I'm very close to finishing my Combiner Wars collection & my plan is to drop Hasbro/Takara & move to 3rd party. Hasbro has made collecting their products a total nightmare. Collecting the Prime Wars Trilogy has been so freakin difficult. Horrible distribution, even worse QC problems, too many exclusives, ridiculous ebay prices & the whole Quickslinger/Alpha Bravo Break-Neck/
Off-Road stupidity. Also the tiny combiner feet & ridiculously huge Devastator & Predaking that don't fit with the rest of the collection. And they don't bother making characters they should like combiner limbs of Sideswipe, Hoist, Red Alert, Tracks or Grapple. And the Botcon & collector club combiners that nobody can ****ing afford.

Looking back at the Prime Wars Trilogy I'm questioning my sanity for trying to collect it. No more Hasbro or Takara for me. F*** that S#!t!
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:50 am

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News flash: The 3P stuff isn't going to be any nicer to your wallet than official TFs. A lot of it is in fact going to be pricier. Yes, even compared to some of the bonkers eBay prices.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby Ironhidensh » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:56 am

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ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:News flash: The 3P stuff isn't going to be any nicer to your wallet than official TFs. A lot of it is in fact going to be pricier. Yes, even compared to some of the bonkers eBay prices.



False. That may have been true at the beginning, but Takara has raised their prices substantially, while the 3rd party market has stayed level. At least on the Masterpiece end, which is what I collect.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby -Kanrabat- » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:03 am

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ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:News flash: The 3P stuff isn't going to be any nicer to your wallet than official TFs. A lot of it is in fact going to be pricier. Yes, even compared to some of the bonkers eBay prices.


Any 3P collectors are already aware of this. The real complains from the "cheap" collectors are for the MP KO's that were an alternative to HasTak's. Especially now that MP prices are going through the roof.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby ZeroWolf » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:09 am

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-Kanrabat- wrote:
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:News flash: The 3P stuff isn't going to be any nicer to your wallet than official TFs. A lot of it is in fact going to be pricier. Yes, even compared to some of the bonkers eBay prices.


Any 3P collectors are already aware of this. The real complains from the "cheap" collectors are for the MP KO's that were an alternative to HasTak's. Especially now that MP prices are going through the roof.
Dat 600$ Optimus...

It will interesting to see how well that sells, and what production run it has.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby Ironhidensh » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:12 am

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ZeroWolf wrote:
-Kanrabat- wrote:
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:News flash: The 3P stuff isn't going to be any nicer to your wallet than official TFs. A lot of it is in fact going to be pricier. Yes, even compared to some of the bonkers eBay prices.


Any 3P collectors are already aware of this. The real complains from the "cheap" collectors are for the MP KO's that were an alternative to HasTak's. Especially now that MP prices are going through the roof.
Dat 600$ Optimus...

It will interesting to see how well that sells, and what production run it has.

Yes. It has a lot of preorders, but they are all in paid. I'll be very interested in seeing how many people actually go through with it come next August.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:21 am

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Ironhidensh wrote:
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:News flash: The 3P stuff isn't going to be any nicer to your wallet than official TFs. A lot of it is in fact going to be pricier. Yes, even compared to some of the bonkers eBay prices.



False. That may have been true at the beginning, but Takara has raised their prices substantially, while the 3rd party market has stayed level. At least on the Masterpiece end, which is what I collect.

I'm talking more pseudo-Classics stuff.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby -Kanrabat- » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:28 am

Motto: "Love it? GET IT!
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ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:
Ironhidensh wrote:
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:News flash: The 3P stuff isn't going to be any nicer to your wallet than official TFs. A lot of it is in fact going to be pricier. Yes, even compared to some of the bonkers eBay prices.



False. That may have been true at the beginning, but Takara has raised their prices substantially, while the 3rd party market has stayed level. At least on the Masterpiece end, which is what I collect.

I'm talking more pseudo-Classics stuff.


Those are priced pretty high too.
Only the naive noob will think he will save money by going 3P for the more "standard" transforming robots.
However, it will ironically be true for the MP scene soon enough.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby gantzrunner » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:30 am

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While I respect hasbro protecting its ip, I feel like this is only happening in response to the backlash on their ever increasing pricing. It seems they saw the writing on the wall that people were looking for an alternative, especially now that recent releases like dinobot, bw Megatron and prime 3.0 are so expensive. I limited my collection to MP only but I can't justify their prices anymore, especially considering the qc issues that seem to plague the MP line. My ko Megatron is better quality than my official release, which broke on his first transformation (which is why I got a ko. Why spend another 200+ on him after the first one broke?). Rodimus lost an arm by simply rotating it. Soundwave reissue had cassette door that won't close all the way. TRU starsscream had stress marks all over fresh out of the box.

These hurt, but imagine getting prime 3.0 and having something like this happen. At his price it's unimaginable. So I also understand the ko market. I feel like it only grew as a response to demand.much like the 3rd party market, which is where my money will go from now on. My fans toys have all been perfect out of the box with better construction. Only their version of arcee was missing an alternate face, and they sent it to me immediately whereas getting a response from hastak is next to impossible.

If hasbro really wants to win the war on ip infringement, they need to realize $20 deluxes and $400-600 mps are gonna hurt their margins. I don't buy any standard releases anymore because they've gotten so expensive I feel like the money should be saved towards a masterpiece. But then I see the current prices and either go 3rd party or just don't buy anything because I can't justify it.

Also, regarding the argument that 3rd party is not cheaper, there is already a 3rd party anime version Optimus coming out that while not as impressive as 3.0 still looks great and has a price tag under $200. Fans toys dinobot are also $200,huge, have die cast and great joints, and lots of accessories. If hastak released one of them exactly the same, they would charge as much if not more than prime 3.0 due to size and construction.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby Skritz » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:10 am

The moment they start cracking down on Third Party for good is the moment, I think, Hasbro will start imploding at least in the eyes of the long term and adult collectors. Also that part about banning fanart: what the flying **** was that about? Is Hasbro this horribly protective of its IP? :shock:
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby Randomhero » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:18 am

Aimless Misfire wrote:
ZeroWolf wrote:Remember this news is only affecting KOs who are deliberately using trademarks, 3P are unaffected by this and will continue to do so.


That's good to know because I'm very close to finishing my Combiner Wars collection & my plan is to drop Hasbro/Takara & move to 3rd party. Hasbro has made collecting their products a total nightmare. Collecting the Prime Wars Trilogy has been so freakin difficult. Horrible distribution, even worse QC problems, too many exclusives, ridiculous ebay prices & the whole Quickslinger/Alpha Bravo Break-Neck/
Off-Road stupidity. Also the tiny combiner feet & ridiculously huge Devastator & Predaking that don't fit with the rest of the collection. And they don't bother making characters they should like combiner limbs of Sideswipe, Hoist, Red Alert, Tracks or Grapple. And the Botcon & collector club combiners that nobody can ****ing afford.

Looking back at the Prime Wars Trilogy I'm questioning my sanity for trying to collect it. No more Hasbro or Takara for me. F*** that S#!t!


So this is coming from someone who’s known for jumping message boards throwing hissy fits on the price of stuff but admits spending hundreds of dollars on 3rd parties?

Got it. ;)^
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby f-primus-unicron » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:19 am

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and that is without taking in account that official hasbro figures are 2 or 3 times as expensive in all southamerica, some parts of europe and also many parts of asia...
understand that as long as their prices are so high people will keep buying knockoffs thus perpetuating that industry

also then there are the insane mp prices for figures that are not that better in quality or complexity or paint or details than regular figures of the same "size"
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:37 am

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Welp, this thread is turning into a whirlpool that'll suck down most of the attention in the toys discussion forum for the next two weeks
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby Ironhidensh » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:46 am

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Considering the history of such topics, I think this thread is being remarkably civil.
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:12 am

Motto: "It's unnerving and insulting when people in a toy-based fandom, whatever it is, make statements to the effect that general consumers and fans of lesser financial means should be deprived entirely of the ability to partake of the primary market."
Weapon: Galaxial Rocket Launcher
Ironhidensh wrote:Considering the history of such topics, I think this thread is being remarkably civil.

Well yeah, it's not full of people chanting "Hasbro is the devil" and worse like I sometimes see. But it still seems to be hoovering up people's attention big-time :P
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Armada Optimus front left trailer strut, cheekguards
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Re: Hasbro wins legal battle against bootlegs in China

Postby -Kanrabat- » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:26 am

Motto: "Love it? GET IT!
It's that simple."
Weapon: Mace
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:
Ironhidensh wrote:Considering the history of such topics, I think this thread is being remarkably civil.

Well yeah, it's not full of people chanting "Hasbro is the devil" and worse like I sometimes see. But it still seems to be hoovering up people's attention big-time :P

No wonder because the KO and 3P scene is a pretty big part of the TF fandom.
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