Edge Games

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Edge Games, Inc.
Type Private Company
Industry Computer and video game industry
Founded 1990
Headquarters Pasadena, California, USA
Key people Tim Langdell (CEO and Founder)
Website www.edgegames.com
www.edgegames.co.uk

Edge Games is a video game developer and publisher headquartered in Pasadena, California, known for the practices of its chief executive and founder, Tim Langdell, in enforcing trademarks relating to the word "edge", which sources have described as "litigious".[1][2] Langdell has defended these practices citing that Edge has only sued two companies since the late 1980s.[3]

In 2010, Edge Games sued Electronic Arts for trademark infringement,[4] but eventually settled, with Edge surrendering many of its registrations.[5]

History[edit]

Edge Games was founded in California in 1990 by Tim Langdell. At that time, it acquired the intellectual property assets of Langdell's former company, Softek Software, itself founded in 1980 in London, England.[6] Softek's catalog includes several games, including: Fairlight, released in 1985, and Garfield: Big Fat Hairy Deal, released in 1987.

Since the 1989 release of Snoopy and Peanuts Edge Games have released nine games in the last 25 years.[7]

The Edge website stated that two other multi-platform titles: Mirrors,[8] and Mythora 2 are "coming soon", as are the PlayStation 3 and other platform versions of Racers. The website also states that they are porting some of their Commodore 64 games to WiiWare. As of 2014, none of these titles have been released.

Trademark disputes[edit]

Edge Games and Edge Interactive Media have been involved in a number of disputes over the "EDGE" trademark.

Edge (iPhone game)[edit]

In May 2009, game developer Mobigame's iPhone title Edge[9] was removed from Apple's App Store in the US and the UK due to lawsuit threats by Tim Langdell. According to Mobigames, the dispute arose while they were trying to register a trademark for Edge in the US, while Langdell claims he owns the global trademark on "Edge".[10]

According to the email dialogue between Langdell and Mobigames head David Papazian, shared with Eurogamer, Langdell delivered an ultimatum to Mobigames in exchange for a promise not to litigate. If they changed the game's name, he demanded 25% of the game's revenue for the time the title was on sale under the name "Edge", and if they licenced the Edge name, they would give him 10% of the game's revenue in perpetuity and subtitle it "An Homage To [Edge Games title] Bobby Bearing", with the Edge Games logo on the title screen. Papazian claims that he suggested the alternative title "Edgy", but that this was rejected by Langdell as too similar to "Edge". Edge Games subsequently registered "Edgy" as a trademark. An Edge Games spokesperson, writing from Tim Langdell's personal email address and signing off as "Tim Langdell", claims that their registration was the result of a misunderstanding "probably in part caused by David Papazian's less than perfect English".[11] However, many journalists who talked with David Papazian confirmed that Papazian's English is "absolutely flawless".[12]

On the June 18, 2009, it was reported that the game had been restored to the App Store with its original name intact,[13] though later reports indicated that the game had once again been pulled in July 2009,[14] and Mobigames confirmed that they had voluntarily withdrawn the game while considering their options.[11] Mobigames' lawyer, speaking to Eurogamer, stated that "Mobigame's position is that the trademarks owned by Edge Games are not enforceable against Mobigames or any third party in respect of the distribution of the Edge game," because "there is unlikely to be any confusion or association between them and Mobigame's game" and those trademarks "are liable to be revoked".[11]

Soon after, Edge Games published an "open letter" on its website claiming that several of the statements in the Eurogamer article were false.[15] Mobigames' lawyers issued a response to the effect that the Eurogamer article is accurate and that Edge Games's rebuttal is false, and stated that they were gathering evidence to demonstrate that communications Edge Games claims, in its rebuttal, to have made did not actually occur.[16]

The game was eventually put back on the App Store in UK and US markets on October 7, 2009, under the title Edge by Mobigame. Speaking with Kotaku, Papazian said, "on the legal side, (Langdell) cannot claim anything against "Edge by Mobigame" and Apple knows that, so we hope everything will be alright now."[17]

On November 26, 2009, Edge by Mobigame was again removed from the App Store.[18] An unnamed Edge Games representative stated "Adding 'by Mobigame' was determined not to get around infringement." [19] On December 1, 2009, the game returned to the App Store under the name Edgy,[20] but Mobigame soon removed it for fear that Langdell would use the legal precedent in his legal battle against EA.[21]

In May 2010, Edge by Mobigames returned to the App store under the name Edge. MobiGame had the following to say regarding the ongoing legal battle:

Thanks to us the word "edge" is now free to exist on the App Store like on any other marketplace, and games like Mirror's Edge, Shadow Edge, Killer Edge Racing or Edge by Mobigame can live on our iDevices.[22]

Electronic Arts petition for trademark cancellation[edit]

Electronic Arts (EA) petitioned the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) to cancel a range of registrations associated with Edge Games and Future Publishing on September 11, 2009.[11][23] EA stated that it had filed the petition because Edge Games had "continuously" threatened legal action with respect to the title of EA's 2008 game Mirror's Edge, and that the trademarks had either been obtained by fraud or abandoned through nonuse.[24] Edge's Tim Langdell responded that Edge had not threatened EA with legal action, and that the two companies had been in amicable settlement talks over EA's use of the mark "Mirror's Edge" since late 2008.[25][26] Langdell added that a 2008 federal court case[a] had ruled that Edge had not obtained any of its trademarks by fraud, nor abandoned them through nonuse.[25] Prior to filing their petition, EA voluntarily abandoned their application for the "Mirror's Edge" mark on September 8, 2009.[26]

Edge Games filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against EA over the "Mirror's Edge" mark in June 2010.[28][29] Almost a year later, and after a case in the UK court against Future, Langdell claimed that Edge filed the lawsuit against EA at the insistence of its trademark partner Future Publishing.[11][30] Edge charged EA with engaging in willful infringement and unfair competition, and requested damages and a court injunction against further infringement.[29] EA responded with a counterclaim to cancel Edge's trademarks, and argued that Edge obtained the trademarks based on fraudulent representations to the USPTO including doctored submissions of magazine covers and game boxes.[31][32] EA added that the trademarks had not been in commercial use at the time of registration.[31][32] The judge denied Edge's request for an injunction in October 2010,[33] stating that Edge Games had abandoned use of its marks, misrepresented its case to the USPTO,[33][34] and not shown their use of the trademarks to "legitimately extend beyond trolling various gaming-related industries for licensing opportunities."[35][36]

EA and Edge Games reached a settlement in early October,[34][37] where Edge Games would surrender the trademarks "edge" (registered twice), "cutting edge", "the edge", and "gamer's edge".[38] No damages were awarded to EA or Edge Games, and each would pay their own legal fees.[39] The settlement stipulated that neither party admitted fault or wrongdoing and that no party was found guilty of wrongdoing.[38][39] On October 10, 2010, it was reported that the settlement had been approved by the judge, and a final order had been issued.[38][39] The USPTO cancelled the five "Edge" trademarks on April 9, 2013.[40][41]

Future Publishing[edit]

In 2011, it was revealed that Future Publishing, the publishers of Edge magazine, had brought suit against Langdell in the United Kingdom for breach of contract, breach of copyright, and passing off through his use of the Edge magazine logo and his representations of his connection with the magazine. Future had licensed the trademark for the use of the word Edge in magazines from Langdell in 1993, when launching the magazine. The publisher bought the relevant part of the trademark from Langdell outright in 2005. In the intervening years, Future claimed, Langdell had co-opted the magazine's logo as his own, and claimed to have been involved in the creation or publication of the magazine. The action succeeded in all claims, in a decision that described Langdell's own evidence as "invention", "incredible", "totally unconvincing", and "concocted".[42][43] In two lengthy missives sent to online games publications, Langdell indicated that he had lodged an appeal, placing the blame for his actions with Future and the responsibility for his loss with a "gullible" judge [44] who had made "almost 100 errors of fact and law".[45] Future, in turn, indicated that it had not been served with any new proceedings but had received permission to pursue contempt of court proceedings against Langdell.[46]

Other[edit]

In 2001, Edge sought revocation of Namco's United Kingdom trademark "Soul Edge" (for the arcade game Soul Edge) for reasons including an alleged similarity between the Edge and Soul Edge marks. The opposition failed on all grounds. Nevertheless, Namco had already decided to use the name 'Soul Blade' for the PlayStation version in the United States and Europe to avoid potential complications, with the name Soul Calibur being used on all sequels due to this.[47]

In March 2009, Cybernet Systems Corporation filed a lawsuit in Federal court against Edge.[48] In the suit, Cybernet states that they were contacted by Tim Langdell beginning in January 2009 and that he asserted his ownership of the term "Edge." The suit also alleges that Langdell asserted his right to have the trademark for Cybernet's "Edge of Extinction" game assigned to Edge Games, and his further right to require Cybernet to enter into a paid license agreement with him due to their use of the name. Cybernet refused, and when Langdell threatened a lawsuit, Cybernet instead filed suit against Edge.[49] "Edge of Extinction" was released in 2001, and is no longer an active game.[50][51]

As of June 1, 2009, Edge Games applied for a US trademark for the phrase, "Edge of Twilight."[52] This is the name of an upcoming steampunk fantasy game that has been in development by Fuzzyeyes Studios for at least two years.[53][54]

In addition, Edge has been a plaintiff in lawsuits with New World Computing over their title Planet's Edge,[55] Marvel Entertainment over their titles Cutting Edge, Double Edge, and Over the Edge,[56][57] Sony Entertainment over their PlayStation Edge,[58] Edge Tech Corporation over their "The Edge" hardware,[59] and the EdgeGamers online community.[60] Edge's website also claims that the aforementioned Marvel comics, the movie The Edge, the video game Cross Edge and the UK magazine Edge were all released under license from Edge Games, though it isn't clear what, if any, involvement Edge or Langdell had in these products.[61]

In 2014, Edge Games began a trademark case against the game peripherals company Razer, regarding its Razer Edge gaming tablets. Edge filed an application for "SL8" in tablets in 2012, serial number 85704825, indicating that it would sell Windows 8 tablets at some point.[62]

In July 2009, members of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) began circulation of a petition calling for a special meeting of the membership to vote on the removal of Langdell from that organization's board of directors citing, among other things, his use of his position on the IGDA to "work directly against the mission of the organization."[63][64] In late August, the IGDA announced that a special meeting of the membership would be held on October 3, the sole purpose of which was to vote on whether Langdell should be removed,[65] and on August 31, 2009, Langdell resigned from the IGDA board.[66] Langdell had served on the board since March 2009.[65] In a statement, Langdell said he resigned "with the best interests of the IGDA at heart".[67] He stated he was confident that if a quorum was formed the vote would go in his favor, but feared that a quorum would not be attained and the "vocal minority" would not accept the outcome and continue to cause further disruption to the IGDA.[67] On October 13, 2010, his IGDA membership was terminated due to his "...lack of integrity or unethical behavior, as determined by the Board of Directors."[68][69]

See also[edit]

  • King (website), a company that attempted to trademark the word "Candy" in 2014

Notes and References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Langdell was referring to EDGE Games, Inc. vs Velocity Micro.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Purchese, Robert (2010-03-25). "EA wants all EDGE Games trademarks". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2013-04-08. 
  2. ^ Charny, Ben (September 29, 2009). "EA Gets Aggressive In 'Edge' Trademark Spat With Game Maker". Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ Dutton, Fred (2011-07-21). "Tim Langdell refutes "trademark troll" tag". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  4. ^ "Edge Games, Inc. v. Electronic Arts Inc". Dockets.justia.com. Retrieved October 11, 2010. 
  5. ^ http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/ttabvue-92051465-CAN-32.pdf
  6. ^ http://smtp1.patent.gov.uk/types/tm/t-os/t-find/t-challenge-decision-results/o37299.pdf
  7. ^ "EDGE Games EDGE/THE EDGE Indie Game Developer and Publisher". Edgegames.com. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  8. ^ Owen Good (2009-05-30). "Trademark Troll Gets Mobigames' EDGE Taken Down". Kotaku.com. Archived from the original on 2013-08-19. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  9. ^ "Mobigame.net". Mobigame.net. Retrieved September 2, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Update: Edge Pulled Over Alleged Trademark Infringement - Gaming on the iPhone and iPod Touch". Finger Gaming. May 28, 2009. Retrieved June 1, 2009. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Parkin, Simon (August 3, 2009). "The Edge of Reason?". Eurogamer. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  12. ^ Dunn, Matt (August 4, 2009). "Edge Lawsuit: New Info!". 
  13. ^ "Mobigames' EDGE returns to App Store". Touch Arcade. June 18, 2009. 
  14. ^ Yu, Derek (July 15, 2009). "Tim Langdell and Edge Games: Still at It". The Independent Gaming Source. Retrieved July 18, 2009. 
  15. ^ Edge or Edgy: Part Two. "| | The Escapist". Escapistmagazine.com. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  16. ^ Mobigame: ‘Edge Games’s open letter is false’, Pocket Gamer
  17. ^ "Mobigame's "Edge" is Back on iTunes". Kotaku.com. October 7, 2009. Retrieved October 11, 2010. 
  18. ^ Dredge, Stuart (November 26, 2009). "iPhone game Edge disappears from App Store (again)". Mobiel Entertainment. Retrieved December 1, 2009. 
  19. ^ Crossley, Rob (November 27, 2009). "Langdell: ‘Edge by Mobigame’ isn’t fair". develop-online.net. Retrieved December 1, 2009. 
  20. ^ Crossley, Rob (December 1, 2009). "Edge arrives on App Store for third time". develop-online.net. Retrieved December 1, 2009. 
  21. ^ Crossley, Rob (December 4, 2009). "Mobigame to pull Edgy amid EA legal fears". develop-online.net. Retrieved January 8, 2010. 
  22. ^ "'Edge' Back on the App Store Again And on Sale". 
  23. ^ Brightman, James (September 29, 2009). "EA Looking to Get Edge Trademark Thrown Out". IndustryGamers. Archived from the original on 2012-03-18. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  24. ^ Graft, Kris (September 29, 2009). "EA, DICE File Complaint To End Trademark Issues Over Mirror's Edge". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  25. ^ a b Chalk, Andy (September 30, 2009). "Tim Langdell Responds to EA Trademark Petition". EscapistMagazine.com. Retrieved September 30, 2009. 
  26. ^ a b Good, Owen (September 29, 2009). "Electronic Arts Sues to Cancel Langdell's Trademarks". Kotaku. Retrieved September 30, 2009. 
  27. ^ EDGE Games, Inc. v. Velocity Micro, Inc., 11 (E.D. Va. 2008).
  28. ^ Chalk, Andy (2014-06-15). "Edge Games Sues EA Over Mirror's Edge". Escapistmagazine.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  29. ^ a b Meer, Alec (2010-06-17). "Edge Games files new lawsuit against EA". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  30. ^ Walker, John (2011-07-26). "Edge Of Our Seats: The Return Of Dr Langdell". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  31. ^ a b Brightman, James (2010-08-30). "EA Fires Back at Edge Games, Says It's Deceiving USPTO". Archived from the original on 2011-08-28. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  32. ^ a b Meer, Alec (2010-09-01). "EA files counter-claim against "fraudulent" Tim Langdell". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  33. ^ a b Meer, Alec (2010-10-05). "Court rules in favour of EA over "trolling" Langdell". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  34. ^ a b Meer, Alec (2010-10-07). "Langdell set to be stripped of 'edge' trademarks". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  35. ^ Purchese, Robert (2010-10-05). "EA beats "nuisance litigator" Langdell". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  36. ^ Hodapp, Eli (2010-10-05). "EA Wins Court Case Against Edge Games Founder Tim Langdell". Touch Arcade. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  37. ^ Bailey, Kat (October 7, 2010). "Tim Langdell Set to Lose 'Edge' Trademarks". 1up.com. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2010. 
  38. ^ a b c Chalk, Andy (2011-10-11). "Langdell Loses Trademarks in Finalized Judgment". Escapistmagazine.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  39. ^ a b c Meer, Alec (2010-10-11). "Final Langdell judgement issued". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  40. ^ Phillips, Tom (2013-04-19). "Edge developer celebrates as Tim Langdell trademark finally cancelled". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  41. ^ Rose, Mike (2013-04-19). "Tim Langdell's 'Edge' trademarks are finally cancelled". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  42. ^ "Tim Langdell Loses In Future "Edge" Trial". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  43. ^ "Future Publishing Ltd v The Edge Interactive Media Inc & Ors [2011] EWHC 1489 (Ch) (13 June 2011)". Bailii.org. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  44. ^ "Edge Of Our Seats: The Return Of Dr Langdell". Rockpapershotgun.com. Retrieved 2013-04-08. 
  45. ^ Dutton, Fred. "Langdell: judge made "almost 100 errors"". Eurogamer. 
  46. ^ Dutton, Fred (2011-07-26). "Langdell faces contempt of court threat News • News •". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2013-04-08. 
  47. ^ "Trade mark decision". UK Intellectual Property Office. August 14, 2002. Retrieved June 1, 2009. 
  48. ^ "Cybernet Systems Corporation v. Edge Games Incorporated et al". Justia.com: Federal District Court Filings and Dockets. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  49. ^ Carless, Simon (June 10, 2009). "A Brief Statement On The Mobigame/Edge Games Article". Gamasutra. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  50. ^ "Edge News". Cybernet Systems Corporation. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  51. ^ "Cybernet Copyright Notice". Cybernet.com. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  52. ^ "United States Patent & Trademark Office". June 1, 2009. 
  53. ^ "Edge of Twilight" (in Multiple). Fuzzy Eyes. Retrieved July 12, 2009. 
  54. ^ "Edge of Twilight News". Gamespot. Retrieved July 12, 2009. 
  55. ^ "THE EDGE INTERACTIVE MEDIA, INC. v. NEW WORLD COMPUTING, INC. (number 92021684)". Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved July 18, 2009. 
  56. ^ "THE EDGE INTERACTIVE MEDIA, INC. v. MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT GROUP INC. (number 91104138)". Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved July 18, 2009. 
  57. ^ "THE EDGE INTERACTIVE MEDIA, INC. v. MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, INC. (number 91104135)". Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved July 18, 2009. 
  58. ^ "Edge Games, Inc. v. Kabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment (a/t/a Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.) (number 77126808)". Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved July 18, 2009. 
  59. ^ "Edge Games, Inc. v. EDGE TECH CORPORATION (number 75321910)". Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved July 18, 2009. 
  60. ^ Brown, Mark (October 8, 2010). "Langdell stripped of Edge trademarks, could face charges". Pocket Gamer. Steel Media. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  61. ^ EDGE Games from EDGEGAMES.COM
  62. ^ "USPTO TTABVUE. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System". Ttabvue.uspto.gov. 2014-01-19. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  63. ^ "It’s Fun to Stay at the IGDA". Archived from the original on March 17, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2009. 
  64. ^ Good, Owen (July 17, 2009). "Effort Begun to Remove Trademark Troll from IGDA Board". Kotaku. Retrieved September 21, 2009. 
  65. ^ a b Good, Owen (August 31, 2009). "Tim Langdell Resigns from IGDA Board (Updated)". Kotaku. Retrieved August 31, 2009. 
  66. ^ "IGDA Announces Dr. Tim Langdell has stepped down from IGDA Board" (PDF). Mt. Royal, NJ: IGDA.org. August 31, 2009. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2009. 
  67. ^ a b http://www.vg247.com/2009/09/01/tim-langdell-left-igda-to-avoid-damaging-it-believes-all-accusations-unfounded/
  68. ^ "Tim Langdell removed from IGDA Membership " International Game Developers Association Board". Igdaboard.wordpress.com. October 13, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  69. ^ Andy Chalk (October 14, 2010). "Tim Langdell Loses IGDA Membership". Escapistmagazine.com. Retrieved October 14, 2010. 

External links[edit]