LGB Germany news from http://www.gartenbahnprofi.de/28229/home.html,
posted May 12, 2007
David Buffington, owner of LGB
USA who is closely related to the former owners of LGB Germany, has
offered 7.5 Million Euro to the Credit holding companies for the Purchase
of LGB Germany. It was felt that they wanted to keep the owner ship
in Germany in order to save the jobs for the One Hundred Thirty Employee's
that worked for LGB. However with the Christmas Clock ticking, time
is critical and LGB would suffer if product was not available this
Christmas. Marklin has
offered 9 Million Euro and Peco has also looked at the acquisition of LGB.
denies the MTH application for a rehearing of appeal April
from Jerry Calabrese, CEO Lionel. Yesterday,
the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Cincinnati, reaffirmed its earlier decision, in
favor of Lionel, to vacate the MTH judgment.
In short, MTH had asked the court to rehear Lionel’s successful
appeal, and the court rejected its request, effectively putting to bed the
lawsuit Lionel lost in 2004, that began this long and costly process.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the legal battles between
Lionel and MTH are over. MTH
is free to ask for a new trial, and while we hope that the mediation
process in which we are now engaged will lead to a settlement, we’re
also prepared to do whatever we need to do to prevail. Thanks again to all of our fans and supporters for your
Union Pacific, M.T.H. Electric Trains
Settle Trademark Dispute (Press Release from
8, 2006 - M.T.H. Electric Trains and Union Pacific Railroad are pleased to
announce that they have amicably settled the trademark infringement case
that U.P. filed against M.T.H in Omaha, Nebraska federal court. The
settlement benefits both parties, as well the entire model railroad
industry. It allows Union Pacific to continue to protect its
intellectual property, and authorizes M.T.H.’s use of Union Pacific’s
trademarks and paint designs on model train products and accessories.
Union Pacific has also
decided to change its trademark-licensing program so that model railroad
manufacturers will no longer have to pay a royalty, and will enjoy
a perpetual license to use Union Pacific trademarks and paint designs on
model railroad products.
In reacting to the end of the yearlong legal battle, M.T.H. recognized the
commitment of U.P. to make a change. “UP deserves a lot of the
credit here,” M.T.H.’s founder and President Mike Wolf stressed.
"UP's willingness to reconsider its position with regard to model
train manufacturers' use of its trademarks allowed a deal to be struck.
UP has long been a friend and a steward of the hobby and this new
license reflects that."
Wolf added that the case was a big drain on M.T.H.’s resources but worth
the effort. “For seventy
years, Union Pacific and the other railroads have worked with our industry
to develop and nurture the model-railroading hobby. The UP license
that had been in effect did not properly reflect that mutually beneficial
and rewarding relationship."
Turner, Senior Vice President Corporate Relations for Union Pacific, said,
"Mike Wolf is to be commended for his commitment to the model
railroad industry. His energy and passion helped us find a solution
that will better reflect the positive relationship that Union Pacific and
the model train industry have enjoyed for many years."
QSI claims ESU infringed on there
patents! June 14, 2006
QSI (QS Industries) has sued ESU (Electronic
Solutions Ulm) for infringing on three of there patents. Information
from Model Retailer/Kalmbach Publishing.
Marklin to be sold to an investment
firm! June 14, 2006
The Marklin family owners have agreed
to sell the company to Kingsbridge Capital Ltd.
LIONEL PRESS RELEASE from Jerry
Calabrese June 13, 2006
On June 12, 2006, MTH (Mikes Train House Electric
Trains) sued Lionel for alleged infringement of its smoke and speed
related patents, seeking unspecified damages
and injunctive relief. MTH also asked the court to preemptively rule
that its own trains do not violate four of
Lionel's Patents, or to declare Lionel's patents invalid. Lionel
does not believe that it infringes MTH's patents and intends to vigorously
contest these claims and defend its patents, which pre-date the MTH
patents in question.
Announcement from Jerry Calabrese
must confess that I so enjoyed the speculation and armchair
lawyering about the future of K-Line that I
almost hate bringing it to an end. But, as one
of my former mothers-in-law used to say, “Appoint a day and it
will come.” After a lot of legal wrangling,
the K-Line transaction has finally been concluded.
As of last week, right before York, Lionel took control of
all K-Line assets, including its inventory, intellectual property,
tooling, and trademarks.
deal is with Sanda Kan, K-Line’s principal manufacturer and
creditor, who, in turn, worked out its own deal with K-Line’s
bankers before we could move forward. Under the
terms of our arrangement, Lionel will control and run the K-Line
brand, in all respects, and will have the exclusive right to buy
it outright sometime in the near future.
first step was to take possession of the existing K-Line inventory
and move it from its former headquarters in North Carolina.
As of today, that’s just about done. Our
next challenge is to sort through K-Line’s books and records to
make sure that everyone who pre-paid for products receives them.
This will take some time, as most of what’s owed to
individuals and clubs is not in existing inventory and will have
to be manufactured.
I’ve said before, Lionel is committed to making good on
unfulfilled orders. I anticipate that it will
take us at least 60 days to sort out what is owed to whom.
During that time, I cannot stress strongly enough how much
we will need your patience and cooperation. As
hard as it may be to control the urge to call us throughout this
transition, I would really appreciate it if you will give us a
couple of months to figure things out.
bit of good news is that we’ve already managed to get most of
the trains that had been stuck in K-Line’s repair department
during its bankruptcy fixed and shipped back to their owners.
the smoke clears, we plan to re-launch K-Line later this year, in
our second catalog. Because getting the deal
done took so long, there will be only a limited line of new
products in 2006. But we plan to make them very
special. Next year, in 2007, we plan to make
K-Line a larger part of the Lionel product line, positioning it
with our own LionMaster offerings, in our ongoing effort to offer
you even more quality mid-priced choices.
I’d just like to say thanks to all of the people who worked so
long and hard to get this deal done.
awards MTH $40.7 million; says Lionel wrongly benefited from
stolen "trade secrets"
federal court jury has awarded MTH Electric Trains, Columbia, Md.,
more than $40 million in damages after it found Lionel and
manufacturing partner Korea Brass unfairly profited from stolen
MTH blueprints used in the production of high-end Lionel steam
The decision came on June 7 after an 18-day trial in Detroit.
Jurors found Chesterfield, Mich.-based Lionel liable of
misappropriation of MTH's trade secrets. The exact amount of the
award was $40,775,745. The decision came four years and two months
after MTH first filed its claim against Lionel and Korea Brass Co.
"Despite the wishes of some model railroading enthusiasts
that pursuing a lawsuit against Lionel wasn't in the best interest
of the hobby, I felt our firm had no choice but to seek justice
against those who wronged us," MTH president Mike Wolf said
in a press release sent to Kalmbach Publishing Co.'s Classic Toy
MTH sued Lionel in April 2000, charging that Lionel knew - or
should have known - that blueprints used to build the Lionel
locomotives had been stolen. MTH said the Korea Brass-built models
were created in too brief a time for a company that had no
previous experience producing die-cast metal articulated O-gauge
The digital blueprints were stolen in 1998 or 1999 from Samhongsa,
MTH's former South Korean manufacturing partner, and, according to
the lawsuit, were discovered in the hands of a design firm that
did sub-contract work for Korea Brass. Four South Koreans were
arrested by South Korean authorities and were subsequently
convicted, according to the lawsuit.
The jury was asked to determine whether the stolen drawings fit
the definition of trade secrets and whether Lionel wrongly
profited from the drawings. MTH sought $33 million in damages.
The drawings showed mechanical and electrical subassemblies for
O-gauge articulated locomotives and tools and dies to produce
those subassemblies, Wolf had told Classic Toy Trains. The
drawings were not for complete locomotives. The locomotives
involved included MTH's Premier line C&O Allegheny, Union
Pacific Big Boy, and Norfolk & Western A-class 2-6-6-4
from Model Retailer!
has posted the below message.
Due to threats of litigation by
Mike's Train House (MTH), the Regulated Throttle Control and Speed Control
features originally offered in BLI locomotives are no longer available at
this time. Please note that this has no effect on the sound aspects or
basic locomotive control. We believe that the claim by Mike's Train
House is unfounded because these control features were developed by QSI
and others and have been in use long before Mike's Train House claims to
have "invented" them. Neither Broadway Limited Imports, LLC nor
QSI believes that the Quantum Sound system infringes any MTH patent.
However, until this matter is resolved, Broadway Limited Imports, LLC and
QSI want you, the consumer, to be protected from any harassment or
interference with your use and enjoyment of the Quantum system. We
apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and trust that you can
look forward to years of uninterrupted enjoyment of your BLI locomotives.
Union Pacific Licensing
The Union Pacific is serious about its
licensing program and claims it only costs pennies
on a $10.00 item. You may click
here to review some of the details.