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EA Looking to Get Edge Trademark Thrown Out

Posted September 29, 2009 by James Brightman

Tim Langdell, the founder of Edge Games, has been filing lawsuits against anyone he believed infringed on the "Edge" trademark, including game developers such as Mobigame, whose iPhone title Edge was removed from the App Store due to Langdell's legal shenanigans. There's a fantastic summary of events here, if you want to read more about the angst this guy caused many in the industry. What made it even worse was that Langdell was elected to the IGDA Board in March of this year. He resigned at the end of August, following much pressure from fellow Board members.

Now, Electronic Arts is doing what it can to not only protect its game Mirror's Edge, but also to stand up for the developer community. The publisher has filed a petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (read the full document sent to us here) over a trademark dispute on Mirror’s Edge. As EA states in the petition, Langdell "has continuously threatened to file suit against EA for distributing the Mirror's Edge game on the basis of his purported 'family of registed Edge marks.' Petitioners reasonably believe that Registrant will contest their right to use the Mirror's Edge mark." EA goes on to note that Langdell "has no independent use that could support the registrations of the marks," which include not only "Edge" but also "The Edge," "Gamer's Edge," and "Cutting Edge."  Translation: the guy hasn't created jack and he simply squats on these trademarks.

A spokesperson told IndustryGamers, "While this seems like a small issue for EA, we think that filing the complaint is the right thing to do for the developer community. A lot of small developers who are faced with this situation settle claims because they don’t know how, or can’t afford to fight for their rights.  We hope that as a result of this action, other developers will be less intimidated by unwarranted legal threats."

Update: Langdell issued a statement: "This petition by EA is clearly a desperate attempt by EA to see if they can win the right to use Mirror's Edge by forcibly removing Edge's legitimate rights to [the trademark] EDGE." Langdell added, "None of EA/DICE's claims in its petition have any basis in fact and their petition is thus certain to fail." [Thanks Gamasutra]

James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer ever since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously the EIC of GameDaily Biz.

3 Comments

Steve Peterson
September 30, 2009

Having been through an expensive trademark dispute (and won!), I can tell you that the court will look to see that the trademarks are, in fact, used in products currently for sale in interstate commerce. You can't register a trademark unless you are using, or can show that you will soon be using, the mark on a product. This could be an expensive dispute for an individual or small company.

Blaiyan
September 30, 2009

This is just Ridiculous.

TJ Spyke
September 30, 2009

I hate squatters. Be it patent squatter (these companies that patent a general concept, then just sit on it for years waiting for a company to develop it and USE it; then sue the company for actually using it), trademark squatter (like this, trademarking a term and not using it because they trademarked the term just to sue those who actually use a related term), or domain squatters (registering a domain name and then forcing a company known by that name to have to pay a large sum to get it).




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