HomeAll postsGames Workshop's response to Spots the Space Marine publicity

Games Workshop’s response to Spots the Space Marine publicity

Games workshop posted a really ambiguous response to this debacle on Facebook

Amazon took Spots the Space Marine, a book about a cookie-baking mom, off sale because Games Workshop laid claim to the term ‘space marine’ in literature after branching out into electronic books.

On Facebook, Games Workshop said:

Games Workshop owns and protects many valuable trademarks in a number of territories and classes across the world. For example, ‘Warhammer’ and ‘Space Marine’ are registered trademarks in a number of classes and territories. In some other territories and classes they are unregistered trademarks protected by commercial use….To be clear, Games Workshop has never claimed to own words or phrases such as ‘warhammer’ or  ’space marine’ as regards their general use in everyday life, for example within a body of prose… Trademarks as opposed to use of a word in prose or everyday language are two very different things. Games Workshop is always vigilant in protecting the former, but never makes any claim to owning the latter.

My thoughts are that the above statement from Games Workshop comes across as self-justification mixed in with some obfuscation.

“Unregistered trademark” – WTF?!

So why exactly has Games Workshop gone after this particular novel and author while leaving other space marines books alone? The Spots series is NOT a rip-off ofWarhammer 40k.  Games Workshop is not sharing.

[Previously posted in the original Spots article]

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


  1. There was a previous example of them settling out of court with the producers of the game Princess Ryan’s Space Marines, which I think is now Princess Ryan’s Star Marines ( the agreement is bound by confidentiality) but that was a tabletop game.

    I think perhaps its just trying to bully its way into prominence on Amazon, when you search for Space Marine it wants its books first.

    If you type Space Marine Kindle as a search on Amazon GW features on the first page but bellow Hogarth.


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