I disagree about the IP thing. GW has no need to keep that IP locked down. Squats have already proven to be an unpopular army. Its why they went to the wayside in the first place. Additionally, GW has already lost so many legal battles over IP as it is, there is no way that they can reasonably expect nobody else to make orks in space, or space elves, so on and so forth. The ideas behind them came from other sci fi and fantasy sources. I think you guys have just been sitting in your own cynicism too long Its a new squat model, which is for the very cult-like following of squat fans that still exist. There are still many other ranges of sci-fi dwarves out there, and you don't see GW going into crazy legal battles with these miniature ranges over them.
Oh but how wrong you are! "First of all, Squats were *not* dropped because they were not selling well. There were then, and are now, plenty of other figure ranges that sell in the sort of % quantities that the Squats pulled down, especially when you look across all of the ranges produced by GW rather than just those for 40K." -Jervis Johnson. This was from back in '04.
The remarkable thing IMO, is despite not having a great range (even then) they still did pretty well. Dorfs are popular, for some reason.
And GW definitely will keep its hands on every bit of IP it can trademark, particularly an old piece of IP like this. At the very least, it's just business be it miniatures or any other sort of thing. Squats, and whatever stylings particular to it they can claim, is their little slice of the sci-fi miniature world, and they'll protect it even if they have no intention of ever making a squat-dex.
GW probably wants to sue Mantic. But seeing as they only barely won against Chapter House, they know better of it. They are however if anything over-vigilant and over-concerned with their own IP and names. Their changes to AoS have been about MAXIMUM COPYRIGHT names. GW thinks far more about how legally sound its produce is than whether or not their new characters have decent names. Which they invariably don't.
100% the case IMO Dim. I think a big factor in AoS happening (and declining fantasy sales) was the fallout of the chapterhouse suit. The name changes for 'umie, Dpanzee, etc in 40k- it's all to protect their product from the other model co vultures. Never mind the irony of things like "Lion El'Johnson" and all the other unoriginal origins. After a point, it all becomes the distinct melange of 40k/fantasy. Orks certainly evolved into something original though.