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Langdell set to be stripped of 'edge' trademarks

Thu 07 Oct 2010 7:41pm GMT / 3:41pm EDT / 12:41pm PDT
PeoplePublishing

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.

52 Comments

James Marsden
Managing Director

6 1 0.2
Awesome. About time :)

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

Posted:4 years ago

#1

Private
Industry

1,176 182 0.2
Finally that ridicules trademark is almost gone

Posted:4 years ago

#2

Lucas Seuren
Copy Editor

26 2 0.1
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.

Posted:4 years ago

#3

Drew Dewsall
Editor

11 0 0.0
What effect will this ruling have on edge in the UK? Surely this is a purely US ruling?

Posted:4 years ago

#4
Justice can be done.' Useless time wasting person gives money to lawyers' shock

Posted:4 years ago

#5

Jonathan McEnroe
Freelance 2D artist

47 20 0.4
Fantastic! Glad to hear this! :D

Posted:4 years ago

#6

Lewis Mills
Creative Partner

18 0 0.0
Until EA go "Now WE own the word 'Edge'. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Fear us puny mortals!"

Posted:4 years ago

#7
Horray!

Posted:4 years ago

#8

Wesley Williams
Quality Assurance

133 72 0.5
Can we have Mirror's Edge 2 now please ;)

Posted:4 years ago

#9

Martyn Brown
Managing Director

138 33 0.2
Mirrors Langdell would be cool.

Posted:4 years ago

#10

Jordan Woodward
Studying Interactive Games Design

79 0 0.0
This just gets better and better! Great news.

Posted:4 years ago

#11

James Poole
Managing Director

36 0 0.0
Disappointed to see "each party shall bear its owns costs". Let's hope Mobigame have success in their reparations claim.

Posted:4 years ago

#12

Terence Gage
Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
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.

Posted:4 years ago

#13

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

954 182 0.2
As the saying goes, justice has been served!

So Langdell, you now leave with nothing, Goodbye!

Posted:4 years ago

#14

Sten Selander
Business Development Director

2 0 0.0
Heard that Langdell now seeks to register "Border"...
[just kiddin]

Posted:4 years ago

#15
"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, ;)

Posted:4 years ago

#16

Simeon Paskell
Free Lance Writer

6 0 0.0
Fantastic news.

Posted:4 years ago

#17

Dave Mitchell
Founder

24 7 0.3
I'm so pleased that justice has finally been done. Well done EA and all those behind this.

Posted:4 years ago

#18

Dave Conley
Lead Programmer

5 0 0.0
My own action against Activation for use of my trademark on the word "Duty" will have to wait... :)

Posted:4 years ago

#19

Mike Rusby
3d character modeller

21 1 0.0
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

Posted:4 years ago

#20

Josef Brett
Animator

296 0 0.0
I just want to say - can we have Mirrors Edge 2 now, too.

Posted:4 years ago

#21

Ken Addeh

37 0 0.0
hah! the Edge pun's come out.

Everyone's a comedian. :P

Posted:4 years ago

#22

James Finlan
Studying Information Systems

62 0 0.0
Langdell can go hide in the Edge'row now with the other rodents! :D

Posted:4 years ago

#23
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.

Posted:4 years ago

#24
Maybe the EDGE of Darkness for Mr Langdell

Posted:4 years ago

#25
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.

Posted:4 years ago

#26

Gonzalo Figueroa
Game Designer

9 1 0.1
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! :)

Posted:4 years ago

#27

Russell Watson
Senior Designer

86 34 0.4
Langdell will now forever be relegated to the ... edge .. of the industry.



(couldnt let everyone else hog all the fun!)

Posted:4 years ago

#28

Howard Newmark
Managing Director

5 0 0.0
Time for me to start working on 'Sonic The Edgehog'

Posted:4 years ago

#29

Antony Cain
Lecturer

263 21 0.1

Posted:4 years ago

#30

Bobby Farmer
Development Director

9 2 0.2
Good to see those much hated Edge Fund Managers getting their comeupance!

Posted:4 years ago

#31

Christopher McCraken
CEO/Production Director

111 257 2.3
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.

Posted:4 years ago

#32

Jeremy Del-Guidici
Principle Consultant

1 0 0.0
It's good to see the big boys like EA Edge-ucating criminals like this :)

Posted:4 years ago

#33

robert troughton
UK General Manager

222 96 0.4
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

Posted:4 years ago

#34

Kelly Flock
consultant

8 0 0.0
Videogame titles should be like book, movie, or song titles and not subject to broad trademark protection.

Posted:4 years ago

#35

Jas Purewal
Solicitor

35 0 0.0
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?

Posted:4 years ago

#36

Josef Brett
Animator

296 0 0.0
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)!

Posted:4 years ago

#37

Tameem Antoniades
Creative Director & Co-founder

196 164 0.8
What a bloody waste of everyone's time!

Posted:4 years ago

#38

Ashley Tarver
Indie

41 1 0.0
The guy made a good living out of owning a word ... It's a joke that he lasted this long.

Posted:4 years ago

#39
+ 666

Posted:4 years ago

#40

Darren Adams
Managing Director

254 518 2.0
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.



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

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

Posted:4 years ago

#41
This is such a long time coming. May the games industry rejoice. :)

Posted:4 years ago

#42

Max Priddy

64 12 0.2
Looks like someone...

*puts shades on*

...Just lost their edge.

YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Posted:4 years ago

#43
I'm going to have a beer to celebrate :)

Posted:4 years ago

#44

Miguel Melo
Software Engineer

65 0 0.0
Enough with the puns already. You guys are driving me over the edge... no, wait...

Posted:4 years ago

#45

Gregor Manby
Producer

13 0 0.0
Great news here! But the puns in the comments are edging ever closer to ridiculousness... oops :P

Posted:4 years ago

#46

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

817 652 0.8
"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 :)

Posted:4 years ago

#47

James Anderson
Studying Game Art & Design

4 0 0.0
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.

Posted:4 years ago

#48

Gregor Manby
Producer

13 0 0.0
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.

Posted:4 years ago

#49

Al Campbell
Studying Computer Games Technology

24 0 0.0
@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.

Posted:4 years ago

#50

Jordi Rovira i Bonet
Lead Engineer

21 19 0.9
Good news, but not good enough in my opinion. This guy deserves more punishment.

Posted:4 years ago

#51

Stephen Northcott
Senior Consulting Engineer

76 0 0.0
@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.

Posted:4 years ago

#52

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