Support our Sponsors:

Go Back   Touch Arcade > Games and Apps > General Game Discussion and Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-28-2009, 08:12 PM
dudehuge dudehuge is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 294
Default A deeper look at the EDGE trademark dispute

Quote:
IGDA Board Member Tim Langdell, IGF Mobile Nominee Edge, And A Sorry Trademark Tale
[In this analysis piece, Gamasutra/GSW publisher Simon Carless looks at the trademark infringement case against Mobigame's Edge to discover why Soul Edge never made it to the West under that name and the litigious habits of IGDA board member Tim Langdell.]

So, browsing our sister iPhone game site FingerGaming.com just now, I was surprised to learn about 'Edge Pulled Over Alleged Trademark Infringement', a news story about why Mobigame's excellent iPhone title (and IGF Mobile nominee) Edge was pulled from the App Store recently.

Quoting a statement from the article: “We have legal issues with a man named Tim Langdell,” says Mobigame’s David Papazian. “If you already asked why Soul Edge (the Namco game) was called Soul Blade and later Soulcalibur in the US, you have your answer.”

Langdell, CEO of EDGE Games and Lead Game Faculty at National University, contacted Mobigame and Apple in April asking that the game be pulled. Langdell claims his company owns the worldwide “trademark” EDGE. Despite this, the game remains up in other territories. “We have the trademark EDGE in Europe (where the game is still available),” Papazian tells FingerGaming. “And we are trying to register it in the US.”

Somewhat amazed by this, I went and checked Langdell's Wikipedia page, and discovered that, according to a massive section of the voluminous page, he's been asking for licenses for his apparent trademark 'Edge' in any manner of media or technology fields - generally gaming-related - for the past few years.

For example: "Langdell worked with Future Publishing to license the rights to the trademark EDGE to launch a new high-end games magazine, Edge, which was published by Future under license from EDGE starting in 1993. Langdell also took EDGE into comic book publishing and in 1995 worked with Gil Kane to license the trademark EDGE for a series of comic books published by Malibu Comics... Langdell also brokered a movie deal, too, licensing the trademark rights to 20th Century Fox for The Edge which starred Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin."

To be fair to Langdell, he certainly was publishing video games in the UK as 'The Edge' back in 1984 or so, as MobyGames shows, with Bo Jangeborg's Fairlight probably the most famous title produced by them.

But interestingly, the entirity of Tim Langdell's complex, detailed Wikipedia page on these licenses has been created by 'Cheridavis' - in fact the name of Tim's wife appears to be Cheri [Davis] Langdell, according to an online search. Even more interestingly, after Langdell's Wikipedia page entry was disputed, with user Frecklefoot commenting: "From your edit history, it's apparent you're either Tim Langdell or are somehow closely related to him", 'Cheridavis' comments: "I am writing a book on founding members of the game industry and noticed that Tim Langdell was one of the only people missing from Wikipedia. The article I created is based on my research, not on being Tim Langdell or knowing him personally."

Although user 'Cheridavis' is writing a book on the game industry, her Wikipedia contributions have never mentioned another person, but has, variously, changed the old AIAS entry to include Langdell as co-founder, and insert references to the word 'Edge' being licensed in graphics card articles, plus set up 'THE EDGE' as a page devoted to Langdell's trademark, and then complain when it gets removed.

It looks like trademark suits based around the word 'EDGE' and anything game-related are still occurring, too, too - here's one from March 2009 against Cybernet, who are making an obscure, long-dormant game called Edge of Extinction.

According to the suit, brought by Cybernet, Langdell started writing to them in January 2009, demanding that the 'Edge Of Extinction' trademark be assigned to him for free and that a license agreement be signed with Edge Games. When Cybernet refused, and asked for money for the domain transfer, Langdell said to "expect... [a] Federal Law Suit", so Cybernet sued Langdell and Edge. The case appears to be ongoing.

And there's some evidence, via a Virginia-based website's PDF, of a series of similar discussions with computer manufacturer Velocity for their 'Velocity Edge' gaming PCs. In this particular document, which is based around a suit by Velocity, the Court finds Edge Interactive liable for several falsehoods related to the suit, including untrue claims that Langdell had resigned from the company and could not receive the countersuit.

Overall, the Virginia District Court found a "deliberate strategy [on the part of Edge Interactive] to obfuscate and mislead this Court in order to delay the Court's determination of default." (However, the companies settled confidentially in December 2008 and Langdell now lists 'EDGE game PCs (made by Velocity Micro)' as an 'EDGE branded venture' that he has 'spawned'.)

Overall, I think we can see the pattern here. Tim Langdell strongly believes that he owns the word 'Edge' across game-related (and in some cases entertainment and technology-related) media. He will aggressively dispute the legality of anyone launching a game using the name - even if Edge is only part of the name, and if the game has been dormant for many years, as in Edge Of Extinction.

In fact, we're probably only seeing a fraction of the cases spill out into the public eye via lawsuits, since the vast majority will be settled privately - and many are settled confidentially after juddering into the courts for a while.

But now we're seeing great indie developers like Edge creator Mobigame hobbled because Langdell is aggressively enforcing his trademark based purely on a four letter name - rather than a particular style of game or character similarities, if that is even a more justifiable reason to do so. I think that's a major shame and, at least from my personal point of view, a morally repugnant thing to do.

This is even more unfortunate because it seems that Langdell was recently appointed to the IGDA Board Of Directors, a not-for-profit organization that is ostensibly set up to look after the little guy. How on Earth can he reconcile his position there with his role in getting Edge removed from the App Store? I've mailed him for comment -- and will update if he has particular things to say -- and I would hope members of the IGDA (both at lower and higher levels) will ask him similarly hard questions.
Read the whole article at

Source - GameSetWatch.com

EDIT: Article was removed for unknown reasons (for now), most likely because of Tim Langdell's lawyers. I should have pasted all of it.

EDIT 2: Full Article.

Last edited by dudehuge; 05-30-2009 at 09:52 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-28-2009, 08:39 PM
redsoxsrule424 redsoxsrule424 is offline
Senior Member
iPod Touch (4th Gen), OS 4.x
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 987
Default

Wow just wow, its amazing what people will do for more money!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-28-2009, 08:43 PM
HJJ HJJ is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 854
Default

Can a lawyer or someone please come in here and explain how this is possible? Can we all just start "trademarking" random words taken from the dictionary? I'm about to go trademark the word BALL.

Unbelievable.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-28-2009, 08:48 PM
DaveMc99's Avatar
DaveMc99 DaveMc99 is offline
Moderator
iPad
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 4,762
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HJJ View Post
Can a lawyer or someone please come in here and explain how this is possible? Can we all just start "trademarking" random words taken from the dictionary? I'm about to go trademark the word BALL.
Well the word is not "random". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Langdell
"Langdell has been lead producer, designer and writer on all of EDGE's more than 180 games since 1979."

What do you think about Apple trademarking the word apple in the computer industry?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-28-2009, 08:50 PM
Kamazar Kamazar is offline
Senior Member
iPod Touch (3rd Gen)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,522
Default

Kinda reminds me of how certain companies copyright their phrases.

"We make good chicken. "
"Building a better tomorrow. "
"Cars are vroom vroom fast! "

It's stupid. And this even more so. A word? Forget "ball", I'm trademarking the words "the", "it", "an", and "and".
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-28-2009, 09:24 PM
HJJ HJJ is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 854
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMc99 View Post
Well the word is not "random". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Langdell
"Langdell has been lead producer, designer and writer on all of EDGE's more than 180 games since 1979."

What do you think about Apple trademarking the word apple in the computer industry?
I'm sorry, but the word "Edge" is as random as it gets. It's just a word that has an actual meaning in the dictionary. It's not a phrase, image, logo, symbol, or design. It's not a made up word specifically created to describe a given product. I realize that you can trademark a word. I just think it's being implemented, here, in a bullshit way.

The following developers currently have apps in the App Store: "Apple Dabble", "Apple Juice Innovations, Inc.", "Red Apple Games" and "Bad Apple Software". Apple Inc. has not gone after them to remove the word "Apple" from their company names. (While these companies may not sell hardware, "computer software" is covered under the trademark.) If the examples were comparable, Apple would have gone after all of these developers - Just like Langdell did with "Edge of Extinction". I mean, come on, is there any question whether someone would confuse a game called "Edge of Extinction" with whatever projects Langdell is associated with?

It's very important to protect your trademarks, but this Edge situation is just ridiculous.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-28-2009, 09:32 PM
DaveMc99's Avatar
DaveMc99 DaveMc99 is offline
Moderator
iPad
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 4,762
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HJJ View Post
It's very important to protect your trademarks, but this Edge situation is just ridiculous.
I agree with you mostly.. just saying he has a case which is why it is not thrown out of the courts.. not the same as you trying to trademark the word "ball" unless you did business for 10+ years with that word.

BTW there are a number of hardware companies with the word "Edge" http://www.google.com/search?q=edge+computers

It is comparable to Apple protecting its name on the hardware side.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-28-2009, 10:11 PM
HJJ HJJ is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 854
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMc99 View Post
I agree with you mostly.. just saying he has a case which is why it is not thrown out of the courts.. not the same as you trying to trademark the word "ball" unless you did business for 10+ years with that word.

BTW there are a number of hardware companies with the word "Edge" http://www.google.com/search?q=edge+computers

It is comparable to Apple protecting its name on the hardware side.
I understand the comparison. I just think it's completely unfair to go after games with the word "edge" as only part of the names.

Also, "Apple" is more of a unique term in the hardware/software industry. Unless some marketing exec has some kind of personal love of apples, he would have no other reason to associate apples with the name of his company. Whereas, the word "edge" is a word with more of a wide range, like "point" or "ball" -- words that are more likely to appear in any context.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-28-2009, 10:15 PM
DaveMc99's Avatar
DaveMc99 DaveMc99 is offline
Moderator
iPad
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 4,762
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HJJ View Post
I understand the comparison. I just think it's completely unfair to go after games with the word "edge" as only part of the names.
Unfair probably. His company is "EDGE" and the iPhone game is "EDGE".. so who is right in this specific case?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-28-2009, 10:28 PM
Kamazar Kamazar is offline
Senior Member
iPod Touch (3rd Gen)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,522
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMc99 View Post
Unfair probably. His company is "EDGE" and the iPhone game is "EDGE".. so who is right in this specific case?
But we're talking about a game vs. a company. It makes no sense.
Reply With Quote

Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Copyright 2012, TouchArcade.com, LLC.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2008 - 2011, TouchArcade.com. Privacy Policy / DMCA Copyright Agent