We live in a litigious society...Woodland Scenics is suing MTH for using their products in the MTH catalogs. Companies go after other companies all the time to protect what they feel is their intellectual property (just look at Apple and Samsung). From the eyes of the consumer these activities are frivolous, and end up costing us more. But, at the same time I know that if I had invented and patented some new technology, I'd be pretty upset if someone used it for their own personal gain, regardless if their product competed in my market space or not.
I like my MTH products (Challenger and SD70AcE). I had to send the Challenger back to MTH for repair right after I got it from a retailer in Florida...seems a connection in one of the trucks was broke. It took a little while, but then taking to the next day was too long. I wanted my loco to work right then and there. But I got it back in reasonable time, had good communications with the tech support there, and cost me only shipping to get it there. They didn't charge me for the repair even though I had purchased it through eBay.
And the whole DCS thing, people complain that DCC is antiquated and needs to be updated for current times and demands. Yet, when a company makes an attempt at it they get hammered. Can't have it both ways. MTH recognized that the HO community did not want their proprietary system and adjusted accordingly by offering DCC-ready units. I for one am glad companies are willing to step outside the box and attempt new things...otherwise we might not have disc brakes, microwaves, and these neat little computer thingies
Modeling my own reality: Cole River...