With the huge growth in the 3D printing and CNC areas over the past few years, you are starting to see a lot of custom pieces for existing board games. For instance, Risk boards made of walnut or Settlers of Catan pieces made from various exotic hardwoods and a plethora of customized replacement pieces. In the vast majority of cases, the items being made are of vastly superior quality and in some cases were designed to replace boards or game pieces that are no longer in print.
So my question is, what legal ramifications are there when creating these items in the U.S.? Technically it's a copy of an existing game both in name and rough design, but the actual product is often very different.