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Langdell set to be stripped of 'edge' trademarks

UPDATED: Edge Games' attorneys agree to cancel USPTO registrations, Mobigame "glad it's over"

A US judge is currently reviewing a proposed final judgement that Edge Games owner Tim Langdell be stripped of the trademarks he has used to assert ownership of the word 'edge.'

Langdell has used his trademarks to force name-changes and settlements from various game companies who used the word in their product titles, but a US judge last week threw out his attempted injunction against EA for its Mirror's Edge franchise.

A further case followed, regarding Langdell's apparently falsified evidence when applying for his various edge-related trademarks.

The former IGDA board member had submitted doctored Edge magazine covers, comic books and game box art to support his claimed rights to the common-language word. EA had presented the fake images as part of its counter-claim against Langdell.

EA attorneys yesterday submitted a proposed final judgement to the same Californian federal judge as in the injunction ruling, William Alsup, stating that Langdell's trademarks should be removed, and now await his sign off.

According to court documents seen by GamesIndustry.biz, Edge Games' attorneys have since signed the proposal, which includes a clause that agreeing to it does not "constitute a concession or admission of, or evidence of, any fault or wrongdoing by any party."

"The undersigned judge is reviewing the parties' stipulation," states the last released court document.

Reads the proposal, "Pursuant to Section 37 of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1119, the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks and the Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks are hereby ordered to cancel U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 2,219,837; 2,251,584; 3,105,816; 3,559,342; and 3,381,826."

These are for 'edge', 'cutting edge', 'edge' again, 'the edge' and 'gamer's edge' respectively.

EA, however, looks to have dropped claims for any relief beyond the trademark cancellations, while the mutually-signed proposed judgement also states that "each party shall bear its owns costs and fees in this matter" - meaning Langdell would not cover EA's legal expenses.

Langdell may yet be subject to criminal or civil action for his allegedly fraudulent USPTO applications, as well as reparation attempts from those developers he threatened. Action against him in other countries is also possible.

Commented David Pazazian of Mobigame, whose iPhone title EDGE was pulled from the App Store and forced to change its name, commented that "I am glad it is now over (in the USA at least) and we have been proved right. Thanks must go to EA for taking the matter on and finally obtaining a decision from a court that supports what most of us already knew."

"We are moving on now, looking at new platforms for the game and we are also excited about our next game which is nearly ready for release."

Added Alex Chapman, a partner at Mobigame's laweyer Sheridans, "this is excellent news and completely vindicates that stand taken by all those involved.

"For our part that includes Mobigame and David Papazian and the community who have worked behind the scenes to gather the evidence that ultimately helped lead to what we always felt should be an inevitable conclusion.

"Of course we can't speak for EA but I think this also goes to show how big companies can really help the little guys - and I think all those supporting Mobigame and the others affected by these matter owe EA a debt of gratitude."

Word on Judge Alsup's final sign-off has yet to be released as of this morning, but appears to be a foregone conclusion at this stage.

Related stories

US Patent Office cancels “Edge” trademarks

A court order sees all of Tim Langdell's Edge trademarks canceled

By Mike Williams

Langdell kicked out of IGDA

Plus Edge Games boss' Associate Professor page on university website disappears

By Alec Meer

Latest comments (52)

James Marsden Managing Director, FuturLab6 years ago
Awesome. About time :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Marsden on 7th October 2010 9:25pm

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Private Industry 6 years ago
Finally that ridicules trademark is almost gone
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Lucas Seuren Freelance, Only Network6 years ago
Good to see that people like Langdell overreach. He could bully small companies, but when you take on the big boys, you eventually lose. Hopefully he'll face some penalties fraud, he deserves is for what he did to other companies.
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Show all comments (52)
Drew Dewsall Editor, Game4Anything6 years ago
What effect will this ruling have on edge in the UK? Surely this is a purely US ruling?
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Justice can be done.' Useless time wasting person gives money to lawyers' shock
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Jonathan McEnroe Freelance 2D artist 6 years ago
Fantastic! Glad to hear this! :D
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Lewis Mills Creative Partner, Ninja Beaver Studios6 years ago
Until EA go "Now WE own the word 'Edge'. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Fear us puny mortals!"
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D6 years ago
Horray!
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Wesley Williams Quality Assurance 6 years ago
Can we have Mirror's Edge 2 now please ;)
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Martyn Brown Managing Director, Insight For Hire6 years ago
Mirrors Langdell would be cool.
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Jordan Woodward Level Designer, Rebellion Developments6 years ago
This just gets better and better! Great news.
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James Poole Managing Director, Sarcastic Hedgehog Ltd6 years ago
Disappointed to see "each party shall bear its owns costs". Let's hope Mobigame have success in their reparations claim.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 6 years ago
I hope this does mean that Mirror's Edge 2 might finally gets made.

Glad to see Langdell finally get his comeuppance. I hope other smaller companies are able to seek reparations from him.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 6 years ago
As the saying goes, justice has been served!

So Langdell, you now leave with nothing, Goodbye!
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Sten Selander Business Development Director, Nordic Game6 years ago
Heard that Langdell now seeks to register "Border"...
[just kiddin]
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Julien Heanley Programmer, Dark Energy Digital6 years ago
"Word on Judge Alsup's final sign-off has yet to be released as of this morning, but appears to be a foregone conclusion at this stage."

Bar one hell of a pay-off, ;)
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Simeon Paskell Free Lance Writer 6 years ago
Fantastic news.

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Dave Mitchell Founder, Two Tails6 years ago
I'm so pleased that justice has finally been done. Well done EA and all those behind this.
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Dave Conley Lead Programmer, Fuzzy-Frog Games6 years ago
My own action against Activation for use of my trademark on the word "Duty" will have to wait... :)
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Mike Rusby 3d character modeller 6 years ago
Don't push Langdell 'cuz he's close to the edge
I'm trying not to lose my head
Uh huh ha ha ha
It's like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin' under
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Josef Brett Animator 6 years ago
I just want to say - can we have Mirrors Edge 2 now, too.
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Ken Addeh6 years ago
hah! the Edge pun's come out.

Everyone's a comedian. :P
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James Finlan Studying Information Systems, University of Manchester6 years ago
Langdell can go hide in the Edge'row now with the other rodents! :D
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D6 years ago
Can we have Over the Edge, where you play an utter retard trying to sue everyone, everywhere, for everything, every time?

Not sure the general public would get it, but it'd be a MASSIVE hit among the games industry folk.
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Maybe the EDGE of Darkness for Mr Langdell
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Julien Heanley Programmer, Dark Energy Digital6 years ago
He may have made a lot of money by screwing people over, but his methods turned out to be a bit of a double edged sword.
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Gonzalo Figueroa Game Designer, CNG Studios6 years ago
Awesome news!!!!! I may be on the Edge but I feel secure now... :D Too bad he will not have to pay EA's attorneys, because I do believe they really deserved it! Thanks EA! :)
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Russell Watson Senior Designer, Born Ready Games6 years ago
Langdell will now forever be relegated to the ... edge .. of the industry.



(couldnt let everyone else hog all the fun!)
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Howard Newmark Managing Director, HPN Associates Ltd6 years ago
Time for me to start working on 'Sonic The Edgehog'
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Antony Cain Lecturer in Computer Games Design, Sunderland College6 years ago
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Bobby Farmer Development Director, EM Studios6 years ago
Good to see those much hated Edge Fund Managers getting their comeupance!
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Christopher McCraken CEO/Production Director, Double Cluepon Software6 years ago
I think this is also victory for the sanity inclined among us. Edge, being a common word never should have been trademarked in this manner in the first place. Let's hope that Langdell does indeed suffer some criminal penalties for this. He perpetrated a fraud using the USPTO. Our patent and trademark system in the US is bad enough without guys like this using pure bad faith in trying to lock up common words.

I am also betting NAMCO is kicking themselves for spending all that money to re-brand Soul Edge. They certainly have money to do what EA did. Let's hope Mobigames gets some reparations. Let's also hope Langdell is finally and completely tarred, feathered and run out of the game development world on a rail.
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Jeremy Del-Guidici Principle Consultant, NJF Gaming6 years ago
It's good to see the big boys like EA Edge-ucating criminals like this :)
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robert troughton Managing Director, Coconut Lizard6 years ago
Wait... So... Edge actually has a game that was recently released...? :-

[link url=http://www.amazon.com/Racers-Pc/dp/B002PXUZU0/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1283302437&sr=1-1
]http://www.amazon.com/Racers-Pc/dp/B002P...[/link]

The reviews are great - "This game is delivered on a blank recordable DVD which cannot be read in any machine, not surprising because the DVD was not recorded. The packaging is ink-jet printing and not professionally printed. The box is a cheap DVD case. There was no printed instruction booklet, just a piece of paper with more cheap ink-jet printing. The DVD label was a sticker. The seller refused to give any kind of refund or accept any returns."

The seller information shows "Edge Games", http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B... ...

Classy bloke this Tim Langdell... ripping off the consumer as well as publishers/devs?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by robert troughton on 8th October 2010 4:02pm

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Kelly Flock consultant 6 years ago
Videogame titles should be like book, movie, or song titles and not subject to broad trademark protection.
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Jas Purewal Partner, Purewal & Partners6 years ago
Two comments:

(1) I am amazed that EA is not pushing for Langell to pay its costs. I suppose they just want to draw a line under the matter.

(2) If Edge Games' 'ownership' of the Edge trademarks is cancelled, that leaves the way open for anyone else to apply to register them. The two obvious candidates are EA and Future Publishing. I wonder what will happen?
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Josef Brett Animator 6 years ago
Robert - cheers for posting that link.

The reviews are brilliant. I'm guessing the 5 star one was maybe Mr Langdell himself? I particularly like the review that copies (and takes the mick) out of that same review.

Brilliant.

I don't have a great deal of knowledge or experience of his previous legal endeavours, but I've followed this case closely and it seems like he has got exactly what he deserved.

@ Christopher - is that why Soul Edge became Soul Blade? I never knew (but always wondered)!
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Tameem Antoniades Creative Director & Co-founder, Ninja Theory Ltd6 years ago
What a bloody waste of everyone's time!
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Ashley Tarver Indie 6 years ago
The guy made a good living out of owning a word ... It's a joke that he lasted this long.
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Laurent Benadiba CEO, SDP Games6 years ago
+ 666
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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend6 years ago
Talk about 'most hated guy in the industry' lol.

I know the guy is a bit of an asshole and should never have been granted the trademark 'edge'. But is this more the fault of the people who gave him the trademark or Langdell for naturally exploiting the cash giving cow that the USPTO gave him in the first place?

It does make you wonder if anyone else had been given a trademark for a single common-use word, would they have done the same thing? Or more to the point would EA (if they had the edge trademark) go around suing people who used the mark in their game title?

Quite probably.

But that’s not why we are here.

Down with the Langdell!!!! Death to all trademark infidels!!! :D

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 8th October 2010 6:04pm

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Richard Foligno6 years ago
This is such a long time coming. May the games industry rejoice. :)
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Max Priddy6 years ago
Looks like someone...

*puts shades on*

...Just lost their edge.

YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
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I'm going to have a beer to celebrate :)
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Miguel Melo Principal Software Engineer/Product Manager 6 years ago
Enough with the puns already. You guys are driving me over the edge... no, wait...
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Gregor Manby Producer 6 years ago
Great news here! But the puns in the comments are edging ever closer to ridiculousness... oops :P
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany6 years ago
"Of course we can't speak for EA but I think this also goes to show how big companies can really help the little guys"

Looking forward to see this happen more often. Great news nevertheless :)
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James Anderson Studying Game Art & Design, Westwood College6 years ago
What kind of game company can you have all by yourself? I wonder if his artists and programmers kept their options open with regard to moving to other companies. I hope so. These guys/gals are our brothers and sisters in the industry and shouldn't have their names splattered with bad press over this man's bad behavior.
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Gregor Manby Producer 6 years ago
Fairly certain Edge is a one man operation (with the exception of Langdell's wife, and a number of made-up staff). In fact there's plenty of reports of Langdell not paying people back in the day, and even skipping the UK to avoid court action for not doing so.
So I don't think we have to worry about that.
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Al Campbell Studying Computer Games Technology, University of Abertay Dundee6 years ago
@James, The kind of games company that manages to survive solely on ridiculous court cases without making a single game for 16 years.

Good to see that common sense finally won through, shame that it needed EA's legal team behind it to do so.
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Jordi Rovira i Bonet Lead Engineer, Anticto6 years ago
Good news, but not good enough in my opinion. This guy deserves more punishment.
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Stephen Northcott Senior Consulting Engineer 6 years ago
@Al That's a good point. At the end of the day (although this was the right outcome in this case) the real moral of this story is that when it comes to any kind of Trademark battle the guy with the biggest legal guns (implied, imagined or otherwise) still wins. Nothing has changed there.
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