Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Discussion relating to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia Metro Area). Official web site can be found here: www.septa.com. Also including discussion related to the PATCO Speedline rapid transit operated by Delaware River Port Authority. Official web site can be found here: http://www.ridepatco.org/.

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mcgrath618
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Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by mcgrath618 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:16 pm

I was browsing Bachmann's store today, and I discovered that they now have a Sprinter numbered SEPTA 905 in addition to their 901. This got me thinking, why has SEPTA been so historically protective of their brand? I know of two separate occasions:
1. When Walthers made the Comet cars, SEPTA ordered them to pull them off shelves. Why?
2. Dovetail apparently approached SEPTA about making an add-on for the NEC, which was turned down. Why?

SEPTA loses nothing from letting either of these things happen. Why do they do stuff like this?

ExCon90
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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by ExCon90 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:00 pm

Possibly the Law Department; protecting a registered trademark can be tricky, as Coca-Cola, Xerox, Frigidaire, and others have demonstrated. (How much of a risk that would pose to SEPTA is a matter of judgment, but you can't be too careful ... )

Backshophoss
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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by Backshophoss » Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:54 pm

In some cases,there wasn't a licence granted to produce the model,in other cases,they are protecting a trademark.
Believe SEPTA has a Vendor that does some of their "official" models. (IHP Hobbies)
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

mcgrath618
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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by mcgrath618 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:17 pm

Backshophoss wrote:In some cases,there wasn't a licence granted to produce the model,in other cases,they are protecting a trademark.
Believe SEPTA has a Vendor that does some of their "official" models. (IHP Hobbies)
At the time, however, no one anywhere was making SEPTA models, license or not.
In addition, why would Train Sim threaten their trademark?

Backshophoss
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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by Backshophoss » Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:43 pm

All the Commuter operations are very protective of their "Brand", service marks, and paint schemes,are covered under various copyright laws.
Most of us remember what UP did a few years back after all their mergers were done,they went to the hobby Manufacturers and demanded
licence fees for all the reporting marks now under the UP corporate "shield".
CSX does the same but directs the fees to the B&O museum.

The BASIC GIVEN:All Logos,trademarks,service marks,paint schemes,etc are covered under some form of copyright law,and cannot be used ,
UNLESS permission is granted by the owner.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

glennk419
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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by glennk419 » Tue May 07, 2019 8:36 am

As noted, despite what we might think is "free advertising", many railroads are very protective of their service marks or trademarks. I always thought that SEPTA was a little less restrictive than some of the other agencies and seems to work with Bachmann more openly than other manufacturers, maybe due to Bachmann's HQ being in Philadelphia. In addition to the ACS-64 models, Septa PCC trolleys are also readily available. The availability of the Walthers cars seems to be more a matter of a discontinued run than any other factor.

Another case in point are the currently available Atlas Bombardier multi level commuter cars. Those painted for MBTA are 10-15% higher in price than the NJT or AMT cars due to the licensing fee that was charged.
Glenn

R36 Combine Coach
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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Tue May 07, 2019 9:13 pm

Backshophoss wrote:The BASIC GIVEN: All Logos,trademarks,service marks,paint schemes,etc are covered under some form of copyright law,and cannot be used UNLESS permission is granted by the owner.
How are fallen flag brand names licensed? In the case of UP heritage carriers (SP, MoPAC), UP usually does the rights (as some of their acquired carriers also remain UP subsidiaries in some forms). For pre-Conrail carriers, does that mean CSX or NS holds rights? (CSAO has a intellectual property office for Conrail brands.) CSX used the NYC reporting mark and NS PRR for some years.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.

ekt8750
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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by ekt8750 » Wed May 08, 2019 9:17 am

R36 Combine Coach wrote:
Backshophoss wrote:The BASIC GIVEN: All Logos,trademarks,service marks,paint schemes,etc are covered under some form of copyright law,and cannot be used UNLESS permission is granted by the owner.
How are fallen flag brand names licensed? In the case of UP heritage carriers (SP, MoPAC), UP usually does the rights (as some of their acquired carriers also remain UP subsidiaries in some forms). For pre-Conrail carriers, does that mean CSX or NS holds rights? (CSAO has a intellectual property office for Conrail brands.) CSX used the NYC reporting mark and NS PRR for some years.
I'm pretty sure Conrail still holds the rights to their heritage brands as well. CSX and NS inherited the NYC and PRR reporting marks and used them to deal with overlapping fleet numbers. NS subsequently got the CR mark as they acquired more rolling stock in the split.

Backshophoss
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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by Backshophoss » Wed May 08, 2019 5:16 pm

UP Holds the rights to all RR's merged into UP(SP,WP,CNW,DRGW)
BNSF holds the rights to all RR's merged into BNSF(BN,ATSF,GN,NP,FRISCO,SP&S)
CSXT hols the rights to allRR's merged into CSX(CO,BO,RF&P,ACL.SEABOARD SYSTEM,L&N,CLINCHFIELD,N,,YC,PC,NH)
NS holds rights to a rr's merged into NS(N&W,SOUTHERN,VIRGINAN,NKP,PRR,CNJ,PC,NH,NYC)

Remember CR was split 60/40 between NS and CSX,so both have rights to CR's Fallen Flags.

AGAIN,any Trademsrks,Service Marks,logos,etc are controlled by the owner,and CANNOT be used unless permission is granted by that owner!
That does include the government "owned"" transit/commuter operations!
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

mackdave
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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by mackdave » Wed May 08, 2019 5:46 pm

NYC trademarks stayed with the Penn Central estate, only certain trackage and rolling stock assets went into Conrail, no intellectual property was involved. Penn Central became American Premier Underwriters, I forget the name they adopted last. They did not renew the railroad trademarks, which are now in the realm of free use. Conrail did use NYC and PRR reporting marks when split, that did nothing to affect the trademarks, contrary to what CSX would like you to believe.

Dave Mackay

glennk419
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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by glennk419 » Wed May 08, 2019 8:14 pm

Any chance we can bring this back to SEPTA?
Glenn

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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Thu May 09, 2019 12:55 am

Is Island Modelworks of Long Island an official licensed SEPTA product? They produce shells, which can be assembled and completed by the customer, including decals. I could see this as a way of bypassing trademark/brand licensing, as the company supplies the shell (kit) with no logos or decals and the customer does the rest.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.

mcgrath618
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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by mcgrath618 » Mon May 13, 2019 2:09 pm

R36 Combine Coach wrote:Is Island Modelworks of Long Island an official licensed SEPTA product? They produce shells, which can be assembled and completed by the customer, including decals. I could see this as a way of bypassing trademark/brand licensing, as the company supplies the shell (kit) with no logos or decals and the customer does the rest.
They sell decals as well. I bought their SLIVs; they're pretty nice. I just was a terrible model builder back then.

I get what everyone says about "protecting" their brands, but what would SEPTA stand to lose by, say, letting Dovetail make a SEPTA route? It's not like someone can really abuse that...

NorthPennLimited
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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by NorthPennLimited » Thu May 16, 2019 6:01 am

It’s funny.

I just noticed the May 2019 trail pass has little PRR keystones along the top edge next to the purple flower

BuddCar711
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Re: Why is SEPTA so stingy with their brand?

Post by BuddCar711 » Thu May 16, 2019 9:29 am

NorthPennLimited wrote:It’s funny.

I just noticed the May 2019 trail pass has little PRR keystones along the top edge next to the purple flower
I notice that too, in fact, those TrailPasses feature almost every other watermark, but they never have the Reading Diamond (and isn't 1/2 of SEPTA's regional rail network used to be Reading?).

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