I'll make a newbie post later but I saw this at the top of your main page. I work for a similar company in their licensing and copyright department. I am on the road, a lot, but I do meet the licensing people from Wayne Enterprises from time to time because several of us belong to an organization that helps each other deal with the ever changing licensing problems, especially internationally.
I will say that some of you are right and wrong on this issue. You're right in saying that they have to license everything, every event, every promotion and every advertising aspect that has to do with John Wayne, Duke, his signature, etc. because they have all this protected through trademarking, registering and copyrighting. But the catch is people, groups or companies have to ask for a license or permission. Where your wrong is they have to put their name on everything, that's how you know it's legit. Not everyone gets that permission or license but if they do they have to agree to special requirements. The rights for almost all of the films stayed with the studios. Most of the phony stuff comes from China and other countries but if you don't see the company name and stamp of approval you're not helping the families first priority, the JWCF. Whatever else is left over is divided "per stirpes".
They have standards, and they have to approve everything that is manufactured. For instance items from the larger companies have to have their artist approved and then they go through a multi-step proofing approval process. Once the final say is put on an item, which is only done by Ethan, the item is manufactured and the proofs are destroyed.
John Wayne Enterprises, JWCF and Team DUKE are all in the same office. Patrick is not involved with the JWCF, he is the Chairman of the JWCI. Totally separate from the others because they are at St. John's Health Center.
Yes, there are a lot of items out there that don't have their name on it and when you buy these items you've only helping some overseas company make money off of a name and image without permission. This newest legal battle is more of a sibling rivalry. With Aissa and some of the grandchildren on one side and Ethan on the other. It's not a publicity stunt and it won't effect anything.
I found that quite informative, and quite interesting as well. Thank you for your insight.