Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.comAmazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

LEGO acquires BrickLink

1235»

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,005
    These statements from a LEGO/BL employee say it all.

    The custom sets were removed for IP violation. Halo, Star Trek, Neo-Blacktron.
    These all break the rule as stated here: Custom Sets: Custom sets or instructions may be listed, provided they do not infringe on any intellectual property rights, including those of the LEGO Group.
    Then: https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1180253
    It's being done by a small team headed by myself. We are the ones who interpret the TOS on a day-to-day basis.

    And contrary to your assessment, I think the BrickLink user sentiment is at an
    all-time high right now.
    ...
    I think this is a big win for the community. We managed to separate out the things
    that could get us into real legal trouble while still maintaining a custom items
    section.




    I can understand LEGO not wanting other companies' IPs such as Halo and Star Trek. But Neo-Blacktron? LEGO are banning the sale of MOCs based on one of its own IPs so they do not take legal action against themselves.  They are saying that users cannot make a MOC based on any LEGO theme and sell it. And they interpret if a MOC is infringing. Surely any MOC with, for example, a Classic Spaceman or a Blacktron figure in it, or using the same colour scheme, can be interpreted as infringing on their themes and so could be removed without warning. In the same way a police car MOC with a City policeman can be seen as infringing on the City IP and can be removed.

    And LEGO think that this is a big win for the community.

    I don't see why they don't just remove the possibility to list any custom sets. It would be less work for them policing it and people would know where they stand.




    LordmoralPyrobugsid3windrBrickfan50
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,520
    CCC said:
    I can understand LEGO not wanting other companies' IPs such as Halo and Star Trek. But Neo-Blacktron? LEGO are banning the sale of MOCs based on one of its own IPs so they do not take legal action against themselves.  
    Agreed - it's absurd. Welcome to the world of corporate law.
    gmonkey76LordmoralPyrobugBrickfan50
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,151
    edited February 13
    Agreed - it's absurd. Welcome to the world of corporate law.
    And Intellectual Property Law.  If you don't take steps to prevent infringement, your rights can be deemed waived.  Thus, if LEGO permits infringement of its own IP on a subsidiary's website, then that may bar LEGO from stopping other third parties from doing the same.
    drdavewatfordbrickedinLordmoralReesesPieces
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,151
    Lordmoral said:
    I don't have any sympathy for these folks.  If you choose not to protect your invention with a patent, you have no recourse if the invention is 'stolen'.

    Obviously, if the invention has value, you need to invest in that value with a patent.
    LusiferSamLordmoralKungFuKenny
  • izxizx USAMember Posts: 36
    edited February 13
    SumoLego said:
    Lordmoral said:
    I don't have any sympathy for these folks.  If you choose not to protect your invention with a patent, you have no recourse if the invention is 'stolen'.

    Obviously, if the invention has value, you need to invest in that value with a patent.
    Absolutely. From Brickstuff's Medium post (emphasis added):
    We invested tens of thousands of dollars to develop the industry’s first truly modular lighting system for LEGO® ...
    ...
    Many have asked why we didn’t patent our ideas. Since the beginning, we have worked with an intellectual property law firm on these discussions. Who knew that patents typically cost $10,000 each to file, take up to three years to issue, and are typically valid only for one country? We currently sell more than 100 products on our website, and our business today is global. We’ve always considered it better to invest in amazing new products than to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars we didn’t have on lawyers.
    Penny wise, pound foolish.
    SumoLegoLusiferSamLordmoral
  • izxizx USAMember Posts: 36
    edited February 13
    ^^^ Perhaps just plain foolish too. They seem to think they need patents for each of the 100 product variations they currently sell(!) (though the per-country part is true, although in practice just a US patent for a LEGO accessory should be sufficient deterrent against large-scale global infringement).
    560HeliportLordmoral
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,005
    I don't think they would have got a patent. They essentially glued a surface mount LED onto a lego tile to create their pico light. And the LED strips are not a new invention, neither are the connectors. The expansion adapter is not new, I guess the only thing that might be is the spacing of the holes so it matches LEGO dimensions. This stuff all exists in the electronics world and in other model hobby worlds (like trains, scale models, etc).
    VorpalRyuizxLordmoral
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,313
    CCC said:
    I don't think they would have got a patent. They essentially glued a surface mount LED onto a lego tile to create their pico light. And the LED strips are not a new invention, neither are the connectors. The expansion adapter is not new, I guess the only thing that might be is the spacing of the holes so it matches LEGO dimensions. This stuff all exists in the electronics world and in other model hobby worlds (like trains, scale models, etc).
    I read the article & I was wondering myself on what grounds they thought they reason to gain patents on the products they were selling, from what I've been able to dig up, pico & nano LEDs have been a thing long before they claim to have created them, by the sounds of it, the model train community has been using them for a number of years now.
    Lordmoral
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,005
    Yeah, I learnt a lot from railway modellers about lighting and getting LEDs into places you wouldn't think they could get them. But they could not help out with LEGO's lamp posts.

    One thing that bugs me about LEGO's lamp posts is there is no hole down the middle, so you cannot pass wires through them. I have tried very narrow drills, but the posts always deform when trying to drill them out. So I am intrigued how LEGO have managed to light the lamp post in the diner set. It may be they are using wireless technology, if so well done to them. If they are just looping a couple of pieces of wire from the main build then not so good! It would be nice to be able to hide all wires under a board then up inside street lights.

    izxLordmoral
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,112
    They could have just made a new piece. In fact a number of new pieces.

    I've looked at custom kits in the past but never liked the 'push bricks on top of wires' solution that many seem to use.
    Lordmoral
  • izxizx USAMember Posts: 36
    edited February 14
    CCC said:
    I don't think they would have got a patent. They essentially glued a surface mount LED onto a lego tile to create their pico light. And the LED strips are not a new invention, neither are the connectors. The expansion adapter is not new, I guess the only thing that might be is the spacing of the holes so it matches LEGO dimensions. This stuff all exists in the electronics world and in other model hobby worlds (like trains, scale models, etc).
    Thanks for this info. Being unfamiliar with their products and not really getting a clear idea from their website, I just watched Sariel's review. As you noted, the only possibly novel aspect of their 'system' is essentially control boards sized to snap to studs and surface-mount LED packages with thin wires that will fit on a single stud or under a tubeless element. All the blather about setting "standards" for the LEGO lighting world is just that.

    I'm no expert, but in the US a good patent lawyer could probably have described this system and its features in a form sufficient to obtain a patent. Defending such a patent against any attack is a completely different story.

    If the story about the Australian company being resellers that eventually began cloning their products is true, not having at least tried to obtain a patent as soon as they had an inkling is negligent. Devoting just a few hours to skimming some of the NOLO IP resources (available online for free with pretty much any US public library card) would have cleared up some misconceptions they still seem to have. I also learned that the US patent office facilitates free legal assistance for low-to-middle income inventors.

    It's understandable why they're feeling hurt and 15-20 years ago such naivete could have been excused. When their 'system' is not all that unique and they didn't bother seeking some kind of IP protection in this day and age, it's hard to sympathize with their current predicament. Mottos like "Don't be evil" and "Fair Play" are invariably just that when it comes to multi-billion dollar mega-corporations--besides, Fair Play is all about LEGO IP rights as applied to the public, not the other way around.
    Lordmoral
  • LordmoralLordmoral Puerto RicoMember Posts: 705
    izx said:
    CCC said:
    I don't think they would have got a patent. They essentially glued a surface mount LED onto a lego tile to create their pico light. And the LED strips are not a new invention, neither are the connectors. The expansion adapter is not new, I guess the only thing that might be is the spacing of the holes so it matches LEGO dimensions. This stuff all exists in the electronics world and in other model hobby worlds (like trains, scale models, etc).
    Thanks for this info. Being unfamiliar with their products and not really getting a clear idea from their website, I just watched Sariel's review. As you noted, the only possibly novel aspect of their 'system' is essentially control boards sized to snap to studs and surface-mount LED packages with thin wires that will fit on a single stud or under a tubeless element. All the blather about setting "standards" for the LEGO lighting world is just that.

    I'm no expert, but in the US a good patent lawyer could probably have described this system and its features in a form sufficient to obtain a patent. Defending such a patent against any attack is a completely different story.

    If the story about the Australian company being resellers that eventually began cloning their products is true, not having at least tried to obtain a patent as soon as they had an inkling is negligent. Devoting just a few hours to skimming some of the NOLO IP resources (available online for free with pretty much any US public library card) would have cleared up some misconceptions they still seem to have. I also learned that the US patent office facilitates free legal assistance for low-to-middle income inventors.

    It's understandable why they're feeling hurt and 15-20 years ago such naivete could have been excused. When their 'system' is not all that unique and they didn't bother seeking some kind of IP protection in this day and age, it's hard to sympathize with their current predicament. Mottos like "Don't be evil" and "Fair Play" are invariably just that when it comes to multi-billion dollar mega-corporations--besides, Fair Play is all about LEGO IP rights as applied to the public, not the other way around.
    True enough but that is a topic that needed discussion and I am glad we developed a welfare of knowledge. 
    izx
  • TkattTkatt MNMember Posts: 427
    izx said:

    I'm no expert, but in the US a good patent lawyer could probably have described this system and its features in a form sufficient to obtain a patent. Defending such a patent against any attack is a completely different story.


    I'd guess that their lawyers told them something like this. It's probably why they chose not to spend the $10,000 for the patent if it was likely they'd end up spending even more defending the patent.
    Lordmoral
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 1,452
    CCC said:

    One thing that bugs me about LEGO's lamp posts is there is no hole down the middle, so you cannot pass wires through them. I have tried very narrow drills, but the posts always deform when trying to drill them out. So I am intrigued how LEGO have managed to light the lamp post in the diner set.
    Brickset, lightmybricks and many others sell "real" LEGO lamp posts with a light in them. As evidenced above, the demo model from LEGO right there is a LMB post.

    I have bought a column drill in December + a long 1.5mm drill bit and have LEDed out just about all my lamp posts. 8 of them died in the process while I figured out how to do it. But it can definitely be done... keyword being patience, otherwise you melt the plastic :-)
    KungFuKennyLordmoral
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,005
    sid3windr said:

    I have bought a column drill in December + a long 1.5mm drill bit and have LEDed out just about all my lamp posts. 8 of them died in the process while I figured out how to do it. But it can definitely be done... keyword being patience, otherwise you melt the plastic :-)
    I only have a freehand drill, so my chances of doing it right are probably next to zero. If LEGO do go down this route, presumably they will mould them with holes and so no need to waste any more lamp posts.

    I wonder how long it will be before LEGO start doing speakers in official parts. That's something else similar I play about with. The sound bricks only go so far, being able to record and / or play back custom sounds from a model is fun too. A bit like Wazo from Duplo Zooters.

    Lordmoral
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 1,452
    Yep, would be great if they have a hollow lamp post mould. Even better if it's not different on the outside compared to current ones :P

    Freehand drill won't work indeed - I bought this column one specifically for this.

    Brickstuff wants like 17 EUR for a lamp post which costs me only 1.5 eur for the parts+LED. Of course they need to spend time (and risk damage) drilling the posts, too... but I didn't want to be the one paying for that, so I figured I'd quickly be making a 'profit' while also having a column drill for whenever I need it for non-LEGO related things :D
    LordmoralKungFuKennyCCC
  • izxizx USAMember Posts: 36
    Yeah, you'd need a column/drill press running at really low rpm with the lamppost securely braced to do this. Another one of these third-party-lighting-providers - Brickloot -- seems to have lighted lampposts for $5-7.
    CCC
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 545
    Another thing I recently thought of, is that perhaps since the takeover Lego may be more amenable to other sites such as Rebrickable using the IDs used by Bricklink. No idea if that's on the cards but it would certainly help the community.
    Lordmoral
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,151
    edited February 16
    (Any chance we could correct the spelling of the thread title? @CapnRex101; @drdavewatford )
    stluxAstrobricks
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,322
    SumoLego said:
    (Any chance we could correct the spelling of the thread title? @CapnRex101; @drdavewatford )
    And maybe moving it to the proper section since it isn’t one of the automatic topics.
    benbacardi
  • LordmoralLordmoral Puerto RicoMember Posts: 705
    SumoLego said:
    (Any chance we could correct the spelling of the thread title? @CapnRex101; @drdavewatford )
    Good idea, specially since this turned into more of a discussion of the sale.
  • LordmoralLordmoral Puerto RicoMember Posts: 705
    SumoLego said:
    (Any chance we could correct the spelling of the thread title? @CapnRex101; @drdavewatford )
    And maybe moving it to the proper section since it isn’t one of the automatic topics.
    You do realize that there have been a gew people making Forum posts of Brickset articles before the Modders created them right? You are likely seeing this as it has garnered more discussion than the re post of the team.
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 461
    sid3windr said:
    I have bought a column drill in December + a long 1.5mm drill bit and have LEDed out just about all my lamp posts. 8 of them died in the process while I figured out how to do it. But it can definitely be done... keyword being patience, otherwise you melt the plastic :-)
    Just like when I cut track and switches.  Slow is key.
    Lordmoral
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,005
    LEGO have now shut down Sohobricks, it didn't take them long!

    Lordmoral
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,519
    Was Sohobricks the in-house bricklink store?
    Lordmoral
  • LordmoralLordmoral Puerto RicoMember Posts: 705
    Sohobricks can still be found online but you won't ses it on BrickLink.
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,344
    Was Sohobricks the in-house bricklink store?
    Sohobricks and BL had the same owner and were under the same corporate structure that was sold to TLG.

    What is more surprising they lasted for another 4 months after the deal was officially closed somewhere at the end of December. Possibly simply a case of negotiating the financial packages of Sohobricks' 34 employees and setting up the outplacement service. And Covid-19 might have delayed things a bit.
    Lordmoralgmonkey76
  • LordmoralLordmoral Puerto RicoMember Posts: 705
    stlux said:
    Was Sohobricks the in-house bricklink store?
    Sohobricks and BL had the same owner and were under the same corporate structure that was sold to TLG.

    What is more surprising they lasted for another 4 months after the deal was officially closed somewhere at the end of December. Possibly simply a case of negotiating the financial packages of Sohobricks' 34 employees and setting up the outplacement service. And Covid-19 might have delayed things a bit.
    What was Sohobricks role for services provided? I know of one who worked on LEGO "paintings."
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,322
    Lordmoral said:
    Sohobricks can still be found online but you won't ses it on BrickLink.
    Their web site is currently just a placeholder with nothing but a logo.
    Lordmoral
  • LordmoralLordmoral Puerto RicoMember Posts: 705
    Lordmoral said:
    Sohobricks can still be found online but you won't ses it on BrickLink.
    Their web site is currently just a placeholder with nothing but a logo.
    Oh ok, thank for your input. Maybe it's because LEGO was coming up with something similar or they saw the potential for people to make "paintings" put of their bounds but, why not just control the type of product if it was the latter case?
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 545
    That will have happened the last 12 hours or so - I scoped out their site earlier as I'd not heard of them and wanted to know what they did that would make LEGO axe them!
    Lordmoral
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,151
    Who knows, they could be re-branding.  Or they bought it to absorb the staff and eliminate the product.  Big family-corporations be crazy!
    Lordmoral
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,005
    They were a clone brick manufacturer that also did sets for charity. The relationship with BL was unclear, as occasionally BL fee payments went to sohobricks.
    gmonkey76Lordmoral
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.