Here’s Kai from the Lazydogs Typefoundry. Since months we’re sitting on a font family ready to release. Unfortunately we have some legal issues to be solved. Therefore we wanted to discuss this problem with everybody in the community.
Our fellow designer Holger Königsdorfer began a new interpretation of Jan van Krimpen’s Romanée during his time at KABK. On our impulse he overworked the font and completed it the last two years. We checked the name rights … and found them ended. Pretty good for our release plan! But … as we informed teff about our plans the following happend …
The Enschedé Font Foundry (teff) claims, that they had acquired the rights from the former Enschedé Foundry to commercialise certain typefaces of Jan van Krimpen. This seemingly concerns the shape and name, although no real evidence to this »ownership« was shown by teff on our request and the international trademark registry does not file »Romanée« as a typeface name.
Meanwhile, we found out that teff had made some efforts in the past to digitise Romanée. Unfortunately they couldn’t develop a design, that suits both the commissioned designer and the foundry. So the project was terminated according to our knowledge.
Lazydogs tried to approach teff with a variety of ideas concerning our release-plan of Holgers interpretation: We suggested to compare the designs to maybe differenciate them more. We thought about a »double-release« to gain media attention. Even to promote both versions on our websites and let buyers decide, which one they like better. We would even offer teff royalties if they proved ownership of the design. But every effort we made to find a good solution that serves all parties in this discussion culminated in the phrase »We own the rights to Romanée, and we don't negotiate on them«.
We would love to make Jan van Krimpen’s remarkable Romanée typeface available to users again. We believe, that it is not in his sense to withhold his design for such a long time. And we would love to honour Holgers work by releasing his family. What we certainly don’t want is to hassle with anyone in our branch or to infringe any of our colleagues rights. Releasing the font and being blamed as copycats makes some real headache to us.
So we’re pretty interested in your opinion in this case. Let us know what you think is the best way to go.
(The Lazydogs Typefoundry)