TSR Drops Wizards of the Coast Lawsuit, Gets Sued Back

TSR LLC's logo, currently under trademark dispute by Wizards of the Coast.

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TSR Drops Wizards of the Coast Lawsuit, Gets Sued Back

December 14, 2021

By: Tyler Chancey

 
 

The hits keep coming for the studio formerly known as TSR. As we have covered before, this new version of the company attempted to launch a crowdfunding campaign claiming Wizards of the Coast was actively bullying and defaming them by way of a disclaimer included before the sale of any of Wizard's legacy products. It seems that TSR has decided to stop moving forward with this lawsuit. Wizards of the Coast meanwhile have filed a new lawsuit against them.

As mentioned above, TSR were the original creators of Dungeons and Dragons back in 1979 until the company and all of its intellectual property were purchased by Wizards of the Coast (WOTC) in 1997. This current version of TSR LLC, the third one by certain accounts, was attempting to claim that WOTC unjustly used their power and money to subdue and oppress the creative freedoms of this company through negative association. In addition to their (still ongoing) crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo, the studio actually filed a formal complaint against WOTC in North Carolina's Eastern District Courts.

But TSR LLC doesn't really have a leg to stand on. When WOTC purchased TSR back in 1997, they didn't just buy the rights to Dungeons and Dragons, they bought all of TSR's intellectual property, including not just the rights to their games, but to their company's logos and labels. This is important since among the body of evidence that TSR themselves submitted to the courts was an attempt to reboot their Star Frontiers franchise. Except TSR does not own the rights to Star Frontiers, WOTC does. In fact, WOTC still actively sells the original Star Frontiers materials through outlets like DriveThruRPG, which puts to bed the idea of the company neglecting ownership rights to the IP.

A clip of legal text stating TSR's commitment of fraud according to WOTC
A certain highlight of WOTC's response to this whole mess.

While TSR LLC's CEO Justin LaNasa have formally dismissed these claims, he has since updated the IndieGoGo page claiming that he will formally try again.

 
 

As for WOTC, their lawyers have officially gone on the offensive. In addition to the aforementioned issue with Star Frontiers, WOTC are suing TSR LLC for the ongoing use of the TSR logo now associated with LaNasa's company. Since WOTC owns this specific logo and TSR have been wrongfully using it, there is legal precedent for fraud. Worse still, the body of evidence for this can be found in TSR's own filed complaints against WOTC.

In fairness, trademark fraud isn't the kind of case that leads to serious jail time, but considering the longstanding antagonism between the two companies, this can lead to serious financial distress for TSR LLC.

a candid selfie of the staff writer, husky build, blond hair, caucasian.
Staff Writer

Born in 1990, Tyler Chancey's earliest memories were of an NES controller in his hands, and with it a passion that continued into his adulthood. He's written for multiple sites, has podcasted, and has continued to shape and encourage new talent to greater heights.

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