Our hobby in The New York Times -- sort of

From: Richard A. Cini <rcini_at_optonline.net>
Date: Mon Dec 20 21:36:54 2004

When I re-read this when I got home, I discovered that I must be suffering
from more bit rot than normal. The German company was Escom AG, not Ascom.
The story goes something like this:

Escom wanted only the name Commodore and IP related to the name (marketing
materials, logo, etc.) but the creditors of the Commodore bankruptcy estate
balked -- it was all or nothing.

So, Escom bought the hard IP assets (apparently) and the name. When Escom
went through receivership in 1995, the Commodore name was purchased by the
Escom NL division which was then renamed Commodore NL. That I guess failed,
too, so the names must have been purchased by Tulip. That works with the

However, it seems, from what I've read, is that when Escom tanked the "real"
assets went into a new company, Amiga {something} which was purchased by

This is where things get fuzzy. I don't remember seeing press about Gateway
selling Amiga to Tulip. A quick Googling produces this story from The
Register (among others):


Partial quote: "Gateway has finally rid itself of the legacy of its
acquisition of Amiga with a close-of-year sale of the Amiga hardware spec.,
system software and brandname to Amino on undisclosed terms. And who do we
find runs Amino? Step forward, Bill McEwen, the former Amiga, Inc. marketing

Now, that still doesn't really tell us all we want to know but it provides a
path. The sale documents from Commodore to Escom is public by virtue of the
bankruptcy process. The trail goes cold a bit in Germany, but we know that
the assets we want went to Gateway.

Gateway 2000 is (and was in 1999) a public company. The year-end report
(form 10-K) from 1999 lists Amiga International, Inc., Amiga, Inc. and Amiga
Development, LLC as a subsidiaries. The 2000 10-K no longer lists them.
There is no other meaningful reference to Amiga in the 1999 report. This
means that the sale was not "significant" as defined by the SEC.

So, there's no way for us to publicly access the sale documents to see what
was sold to "new Amiga". I would have to guess that they hold the hardware
assets, though.

Not that I'd want to reproduce a 6510 using 25-year-old MOS-II technology
but at least we don't have to be as fearful of Tulip as we might have been
at the beginning of the thread. They're more interested in pasting the
Commodore name on goods than the 6510.


-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk-bounces_at_classiccmp.org
[mailto:cctalk-bounces_at_classiccmp.org]On Behalf Of Cini, Richard
Sent: Monday, December 20, 2004 4:15 PM
To: 'General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts'
Subject: RE: Our hobby in The New York Times -- sort of

        The intellectual property issues would be key for me, too and could
have been dealt with in a few sentences. As far as the crappy-versus-good
title licenses, I would offer up that the final choice of games comes down
to (1) which IP owner you could locate and (2) successfully negotiate with.

        There's the firm...Tulip I think...that from what I've read seems to
be ready to come down hard on anyone using abandoned Commodore properties
for commercial gain. It's been a long road of failed owners, but I believe
Tulip owns the Commodore trademarks and IP. I can't say for sure if they own
the designs for the 6510 but I would assume that they bought a "package" of
IP from Gateway, who bought it from Ascom AG, who bought it from the
Commodore bankruptcy estate for $5mm (IIRC). There might be another name in
there after Ascom, but I can't be sure.

        I think that Tulip uses the Commodore name for things other than
computers but owns all of the goodies that's of particular interest to this


-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk-bounces_at_classiccmp.org
[mailto:cctalk-bounces_at_classiccmp.org]On Behalf Of John Foust
Sent: Monday, December 20, 2004 3:46 PM
To: cctalk_at_classiccmp.org
Subject: Re: Our hobby in The New York Times -- sort of

At 02:41 PM 12/20/2004, Vintage Computer Festival wrote:
>I can think of at least one more important issue to be concerned with :)

Judging by Slashdot's coverage of Ellsworth and the geek response,
at least 90% of this mailing list's bandwidth needs to be consumed
debating her "hotness."

Sated geek that I am, I'd love to read an in-depth article on the
intellection property issues: Did they get permission from the
CBM's heirs? Who got the 6510's IP rights? What about the software,
was that easy to license? Why do so many of these cheap emulators
license lousy titles, as opposed to the extinct top-sellers?

- John
Received on Mon Dec 20 2004 - 21:36:54 GMT

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