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Re: [T3] RMMW, Type 3 owners will likely loose :-( My little rant

On 17 Mar 2004 at 8:46, Cybernotchback wrote:

> I agree with everything you say Jim.  Now this may or
> may not matter but the parts that I checked on were:
> 311 809 511X
> 311 809 512X 

I don't think there is any copyright issue with just part numbers, simply 
because it would be too much trouble for VW to register every one, and we see 
those numbers used lots of places in the marketplace. Where they are changed, 
they are usually changed to conform to some distributor's number scheme, or 
they are changed to hide the identity of the part so that you can't just take 
that number to the dealer and buy the same thing. Suffixes are often added to 
clarify the country of origin, so we often see B or BR added for Brazilian, or 
J or JP added for Japan.

> This may not be that bad, if it turns out that MAM
> will sell T3 parts, then I hope MAM tells it's sales
> people sooner rather than later.   

I suspect that very little of what RMMW sold was actually genuine VW OE parts 
(with the logo.) It's important to understand that most OE suppliers are free 
to sell to the aftermarket as long as they don't include the logo. So we get 
Hella relays, Bosch injectors, and Leistritz mufflers, all with or without the 
VW logo. In many cases you can see where the logo would have been or where it 
was ground off (camshafts!)

It's possible that VW has agreements with some companies that forbid them from 
reproducing for the aftermarket, but if someone out there was violating that 
agreement, then VW would be going after that manufacturer, not the retailer.

I talked to someone at one of the V-belt companies once, and he told me that 
they had separate divisions, one for OE production and one for aftermarket. The 
OE division would work with Ford, for example, to produce the belts that Ford 
wanted, and designed to Ford specs. The aftermarket people were not allowed to 
get any of this proprietary info from the OE people, but they could still go 
out and buy a dozen of the OE belts, test them, rip them apart, determine their 
own specs, and produce a perfectly legal aftermarket belt that did not violate 
the belt maker's non-disclosure agreement with Ford.

Since the finished aftermarket belt is not an actual Ford product (it's just a 
belt made to work on a certain Ford), there's nothing that Ford can do to 
restrict its sale, or to limit its import/export.  

One place where RMMW probably needed a real license agreement with VWOA was on 
"accessories" like T-shirts, keychains, and Kleenex dispensors, which RMMW 
made, or had made, with the VW logo on them. Those were probably made under 
license and VW may be trying to restrict this kind of merchandise. Frankly, I 
think that's their right, and really don't care much about those items anyway.  

Jim Adney
Madison, WI 53711-3054

List info at http://www.vwtype3.org/list | mailto:gregm@vwtype3.org

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