Hadn’t though of stickers o anything like that. That would make using other peoples customs easier. I think though, that putting the scans out thee would have to be fee, otherwise you’d have creators competing with whoever was selling the blank packs. That said,if the game came back, and IF blank packs became a thing and IF what you and I are hypothesizing about came to be, you could have custom designed ships become pat of the official game, similar to the at contest the WK held, which gave us the Abomination, Nox, and a few others in FS.
However, you point about legal issues not resolving themselves is valid, since I don’t think anyone who has a say in the matte is going to do anything. Therefore it does bear researching what exactly the patent is. If its on the actual physical construction of the ships, (punching them out, putting them together, etc.) then you’re up a creek and there’s no way that blank slate packs would eve be released. If the patent is on the characters, and a few of the game mechanics (like shooting, moving, etc.) however, then you might have a legal leg to stand on.