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Board Gamers Shocked by Meeple Inc Take Down.

What is a Meeple? Well a Meeple is a usually wooden figure that resembles a human shape and is used colloquially by gamers since 2000 to refer to these pieces. Carcassone is a tile laying board game that came out in the year 2000 published by Hans im Glück and it is the focus of the lawsuit. How did we get here? Well in the year 2000 Alison Hanselk was playing a game of Carcassone in Massachusetts and shortend up "My People" and born was the term Meeple.

"We thought Meeples belonged to all board gamers..."

The term Meeple is extensivley used through the board game community. You can find shirts, podcasts, accessories, meeple upgrades and even games with the word Meeple in the title. Which brings us to the situation at hand. Cogito Ergo Meeple Crowdfunded a game in early 2024 called Meeple Inc. This game is the focus of a cease & desist letter from publisher Hans im Glück. The claim is that the game violates their copyright in the EU and Germany. Hans im Glück has trademarked Meeple in 2019 in both Germany and the EU.

Meeple Inc Game
Meeple Inc Game

Cogito Ergo Meeple responded with the following statement “We thought Meeples belonged to all board gamers, it appears they don’t. We of course have zero interest in using anyone else’s IP so we think the best option is to do as they ask.“ Cogito Ergo Meeple has changed their name to Cotswald Games changed the game from Meeple Inc to Tabletop Inc. The best part is they are branding Meeples to Mumans.

Now Board Games Insider podcast co-host Corey Thompson and GenCon Event Manager Marian McBride have filed for the trademark in the United States. This was done to protect the term Meeple in the US. This was to prevent further “predatory actions” in the US and protect the term for the gamming community. There is surely more to come on this issue in the comming months.




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