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EA files counter-claim against "fraudulent" Tim Langdell

Wed 01 Sep 2010 8:08am GMT / 4:08am EDT / 1:08am PDT
Publishing

Publisher accuses Edge Games of deceiving US patent office

Electronic Arts has accused Edge Games' notoriously litigious boss Tim Langdell of "fraudulent misrepresentations", as it battles against his claim that EA title Mirror's Edge infringes his trademark of the word 'edge.'

The publisher has filed a counter-suit against Langdell, claiming his failure to release any games involving the contested trademark for some years constitutes deception of the US patent office.

EA is demanding that Langdell's trademarks are wiped out – something that a number of smaller developers who have suffered the former IGDA board member's threatened legal wrath would no doubt welcome.

"Through a series of fraudulent misrepresentations to the United States Patent and Trademark Office ('USPTO'), Langdell has obtained federal registrations for a purported 'family' of EDGE marks," reads EA's court filing, obtained by IndustryGamers.

"Neither Langdell nor his alter ego companies have made any legitimate and good faith use of those marks in commerce, but they have instead used the marks to assert baseless claims against third parties and to extract undeserved settlements, consisting of invalid naked licenses and assignments in gross which Langdell has used to maintain his fraudulently obtained registrations.

"Through this counterclaim, Counterclaimants seek cancellation of the invalid registrations maintained by Langdell's alter egos and a declaration that his companies have no common law rights in the purported marks that are the subject of those registrations."

The suit also claims that Langdell "intended to deceive the USPTO," and that his actions have harmed both it and other companies. EA is additionally seeking to have its legal fees and further compensation paid.

19 Comments

Good luck EA! Show Tim that he messed with the wrong company this time.

Posted:3 years ago

#1

James Prendergast
Research Chemist

730 411 0.6
I'm surprised that they didn't throw in some sort of comment about being able to trademark a word in common usage (or maybe i didn't read it properly).... It still gets me that a word i use about as frequently as 'wood' (and with many modifiers and descriptive additions) can be claimed by anyone. Maybe that's just harder to argue in the legal system?

The worry here is that by contesting on lack of use of the mark, though he has been 'defending' it and also using it as his development/publishing name, Langdell might prevail - setting terrible precedent and irreparably damaging every creative industry in the process.

Posted:3 years ago

#2

Terence Gage
Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
I concur with your comment, Khaled.

It seems like a very reasonable filing by EA - Edge Games haven't released any titles in God knows how long, and besides their company name and sueing other companies, they don't even appear to make use of said trademark. Whether this is strictly fraudulent I don't know, but clearly dodgy business is afoot as far as their practices and income are concerned.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 1st September 2010 9:57am

Posted:3 years ago

#3

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

766 574 0.7
Nice move!. People like this guy should be removed from the industry.

Posted:3 years ago

#4
I really hope someone points him in the direction of "Epic Mickey", if he claims that no company would stand for their name being used in the title of another company's game.

Posted:3 years ago

#5

Nic Van 't Schip
MMO Channel Manager

1 0 0.0
Didn't expect to be cheering for EA today when I got out of bed this morning!

Posted:3 years ago

#6

Pierre Vandenbroucke
Assistant de production

47 0 0.0
I can remember of a few case opened by EDGE games.
There was also a magazine, right?
It seems Tim Langdell lives on the edge.. oops, can I be sued for that ?

Posted:3 years ago

#7

Terence Gage
Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
Also, something that has just occurred to me: is Edge Games' sitting on the gaming trademark 'Edge' any different to companies registering a web domain and squatting it, a la the legal trouble Take Two <a href="http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2010-08-25-take-two-loses-legal-battle-over-domain-name">has had recently</a href>? It seems to be a very similar situation; the only difference being that Edge Games' trademark of the world 'Edge' seems to be considered more legitimate in a legal sense.

(Multiple edits to sort link).

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 1st September 2010 11:00am

Posted:3 years ago

#8

Joe Bognar
PR Account Executive / Journalist

99 2 0.0
Edge, edge, EDGE, EdGe, eDgE!

Pathetic looser! Sorry but it's like McDonalds would sue everyone who's got 'Mc' in their names.

I can't really find the best word to describe this guy...

Posted:3 years ago

#9

Joe Bognar
PR Account Executive / Journalist

99 2 0.0
George Lucas can sue StarCraft! They used 'STAR' !!!

Posted:3 years ago

#10

Jordan Woodward
Studying Interactive Games Design

79 0 0.0
I can't believe people like Langdell just sit on a Trademark and wait till a large company uses it, it's pathetic really. EA need to take this guy down.

Posted:3 years ago

#11

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
James, you are correct. I too was expecting some reference to the the 5 tiers of trademark distinctiveness.

Langdell's trademarks are only suggestive marks and not prima facie. Further more, he's failed to maintain distinctiveness.

Posted:3 years ago

#12
Someone had to do it. Well done EA!

Posted:3 years ago

#13
I knew I should have trademarked the full stop. :P

Posted:3 years ago

#14

Jordi Rovira i Bonet
Lead Engineer

19 8 0.4
Get him! Dead or alive!

Posted:3 years ago

#15

Alex Bunch
Proof Reader

5 0 0.0
I can feel a T-shirt coming on 'Tim Langdell sued me... and lost his Edge'

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alex Bunch on 1st September 2010 8:15pm

Posted:3 years ago

#16

Miguel Melo
Software Engineer

65 0 0.0
I heard U2's guitarist is next in Tim's list (j/k). What a waste of protein this guy is.

Posted:3 years ago

#17

Stephen Woollard
Online Infrastructure Specialist

146 71 0.5
Unleash the Flying Monkeys™!!11!11eleventyone!

all ur edgez r belong 2 us

Posted:3 years ago

#18

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

945 161 0.2
Never thought I'd be supporting EA so avidly but best of luck!

Posted:3 years ago

#19

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