So, you want to do a sword "inspired by ..."

I recently had a smith ask me if he could just do Gandalf's Glamdring.  Sure, he could forge a sword (and it might even glow in the dark from anger at the presence of evil), but he couldn't call it Glamdring, Gandalf's sword from The Lord of the Rings.  The Tolkien estate has that covered.  They enforce their trademarks like no one else (even Elvis Presley's estate, "the king" of enforcement, pales besides the wizards).

However, you can do sword that is  "inspired by."

E.g.:

The White Crane Sword was inspired by Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series <link to MRL dealer site>.  Unlike the MRL authorized sword, this uses a slender Kris Cutlery blade instead of the heavier curved stainless steel broadsword blade favored by MRL.  It uses the traditional Japanese Crane, two of them set into the rayskin handle, which is secured by a wire wrap.  It also features a woven guard rather than the solid guard Robert Jordan approved.

Or

Foe Hammer is the name I gave this sword, inspired by Gandalf's Glamdring.  It features a blade that is midway between a cut and thrust sword and a rapier, with a simple cross hilt -- similar to the sword Gandalf is shown holding in Tolkien's "The Three Trolls are Turned to Stone" illustration. It has excellent harmonics and is forged from a damascus blend that uses a little nickle for brightness.  Balanced for one hand, it can be used in a hand and a half grip. 

Generally, if your sword has real differences from the licensed work and is "inspired by" rather than "derived from" or a copy of (using the same name) you won't be bothered -- especially if you provide a link to a site where the official weapon is sold.

However, people can and will sue, and my guesses are not promises that you will be safe from being sued or that you will win if you are sued. See the caveats.


BWT, if you want to make that sword "inspired by" yourself, for your own use, these links are good ones:

To learn how to make a handle: Handle making.

For a good "working blade" to use (or practice with): http://www.kriscutlery.com/. (Less than $90.00 for a "real" blade, properly tempered and sharpened).

For ideas:  "Swords" (the core of this site) and Fantasy Swords.

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Copyright 2001 Stephen R. Marsh
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Swords -- Home Page

Personal Comments, Reflections

Sword Links

Fantasy Swords

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Vendor LinksArmor Links

Swords "Inspired by ..."

Swords for Stage and Enactment

Caveats

Damascus sources

Cleaning that Sword

Kanji Graphics

Angel Sword Article

Three Good Starter Swords

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Bengoshi Waza

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