EA & Edge Games in Trademark Spat

Aggressive trademark defender Tim Langdell has found his company on the receiving end of an Electronic Arts trademark battle.

Langdell, the CEO of Edge Games Inc., has been notorious for his attempts to stop the use of the word “edge” by other game developers in their titles. As a result of what some might term his overzealousness, a petition was started earlier this year to have Langdell removed from his spot on the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) board, a post he eventually resigned from in August.

DowJones reports that Electronic Arts Inc., and its subsidiary EA Digital Illusions CE AB, have filed a Consolidated Petition for Cancellation against a series of trademarks registered to Edge Games, including: “The Edge,” Gamer’s Edge,” “Edge” and “Cutting Edge.”

At the center of the fight is the EA-published and EA DICE-developed Mirror’s Edge game. EA claims that Edge Games has continuously threatened to sue EA over the game’s title, even though EA DICE owns U.S. common law trademark rights to the term Mirror’s Edge.

One of EA’s arguments is that Edge Games did not utilize “The Edge” trademark in commerce, a statement it attempted to backup with a graphic showing a Snoopy computer game (pictured left), complete with “The Edge” labeling. EA noted that the game was for the Commodore Amiga platform, a system that “on information and belief, was discontinued years before the filing of the application.” The application was filed "on or about" March 22, 1996.

For those interested, TIGSource has been keeping a running tally of information related to Tim Langdell and Edge Games.

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  1. strathmeyer says:

    Clicking on "games" lists the 756 games they’ve made (oh, each version, system, and LANGUAGE counts!) none of which were made on systems made in the past ten years. If you click on the comics section, you can read where they claim to have bought the rights to Edge comic and are doing another issue with Steve Grant, which he denies.

    Don’t miss Edge’s new game Mirrors, coming out some time in 2009 or 2010*.


    *or longer depending upon how long this lawsuit lasts.

  2. Father Time says:

    IIRC parker brothers or hasbro tried to claim they hold a trademark over the term monopoly a long while ago and the courts rejected them.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  3. HarmlessBunny says:

    I was reading Tim Langdell’s response to EA’s lawsuit. Talk about full of yourself. This guy is almost as nutty as Thompson (except Langdell is pro-gaming). To be honest if those two had a contest to see which one was the biggest douchebag, I wouldn’t know who to vote for.

    Langdell has accomplished the impossible though: Getting majority of gamers to cheer for EA. I hope EA smites this idiot.

  4. Wormdundee says:

    I hope EA smashed him into the ground. Everybody has had enough of this guy and him stopping the indies from being able to release their games. Not to mention that he somehow forced the gaming magazine EDGE to pay him licensing fees. I don’t understand that one at all.

  5. Ratros says:

    Two things must be said.


    First, people are cheering on EA, hell must’ve frozen over.


    Second, this is hilarious and has made my day.


    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  6. nighstalker160 says:

    "one of these things is not like the others…one of these things just doesn’t belong" *must be read in a sing-song voice*

  7. Austin_Lewis says:

    Alright, comparison time.

    Edge games: http://www.edgegames.com/

    I would post sites of their games, but I couldn’t really find any.

    Electronic Arts: http://www.ea.com/

    Notice any differences?

    Have some more.

    Activision: http://www.activision.com/index.html

    Infinity Ward: http://www.infinityward.com/

    Codemasters: http://www.codemasters.com/

    Square Enix: http://www.square-enix.com/na/

    One of these things is not like the others.

    They all have lists of their games.  Many link to sites for individual games.  Many have pictures or videos of in-game footage.  The only one that doesn’t is edge games.  Just saying, one of these seems like a scam.

  8. nighstalker160 says:

    Did he seriously trademark "The Edge?" Couldn’t U2 sue him for that?

    There we go, EA and U2 an consolidate their claims into a single case, try beating the lawyers THOSE guys could afford together.

  9. Defenestrator says:

    I believe someone who was in touch with NAWAR to ask about Langdell’s involvement with Mythora mentioned that NAWAR is "considering their options" regarding the matter.  It might be too much trouble for too little gain to bother, so I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  10. Neeneko says:

    *lol* wow.

    I wonder if Tim might be finding himself on the wrong end of a suit from NAWAR now since this makes it look like he took an unpublished version of the game left over from negotiations and ‘sold’ it via his ‘one order’ store.

  11. Defenestrator says:

    If you read back a bit on the ChaosEdge blog, yes, they did get the Mythora CD they ordered.  And there was a great amount of hilarity that came with it.  (I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you, though.)

  12. Austin_Lewis says:

    Yeah, I saw that article.  Is that the whole reason he went to ‘smart cart’?  I mean, I saw the whole 1001 and 1002 order bit, but I was wondering why, if he’s going to fake the whole thing, he wouldn’t at least go into some detail.  Also, did they ever get the CD they paid for?

    Also, the graphics for the games that he says he’s selling remind me of things from the early 90s late 80s like the graphics for Descent I/II/III. 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:D3_Merc_Box_Art.jpg  For reference.

  13. sirdarkat says:

     I was thinking the same thing … this complt3ly r3minds m3 of Paris Hilton and h3r stupid ass I cam3 up with th3 phras3 that’s hot 3v3ryon3 ow3s m3 mon3y.


    3 was us3d inst3ad of th3 l3tt3r normally us3d to avoid trad3mark infring3m3nt all3gations from the abov3 comm3ntor. 

  14. Zero Beat says:

    I’m going to go trademark the use of the letter ‘e’ in print, and have penalties of $5,000 per word.  You owe me $70,000.  Have a nice day.


    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  15. Kabyk says:

    This is almost as retarded as Paris Hilton and Trump trying to trademark "That’s Hot" and "You’re Fired", respectively.

    Maybe I should trademark the word "The". I’d sure make a lot off royalties.

  16. nighstalker160 says:

    The old "You can’t sit on your rights" argument. God I hope EA wins this one (and how often do you hear THAT!?)

  17. Defenestrator says:

    They actually did release a lot of games back in the 80s, but as near as anyone can figure they haven’t released a game of any sort since 1990.

    That Smart Cart thing is Tim’s apparent attempt to prove that he is indeed involved with commerce, but more reading here:  http://chaosedge.wordpress.com/  would suggest otherwise.

  18. Austin_Lewis says:

    Has this company ever even actually made something?  I haven’t heard of any of their games, any of their programs, and I’ve never seen a working website for them.

    Oh, and while we’re at it, when did Marvel sell rights for anything to them?

    Also, what the fuck is this? http://www.smartcart.com/EDGEGAMES/about.htm

    It looks like their ‘store’, but it’s barely operational.  I wouldn’t buy anything from these people, and the more I look at the site, the more this looks like a scam.

  19. Defenestrator says:

    If you hold a trademark, you must use it in commerce in some way.  Langdell has (allegedly) done nothing in commerce with these trademarks.

    Saying you own the trademark and threatening to sue people for using the word "edge" in any configuration does not constitute commerce.  The problem is that Langdell has used his position to target small, independent developers who lacked the resources to fight back.  Additionally, he tends to go after them right before a product is being brought to market, leaving the target with three choices:

    1) Delay the release of your movie, comic book, video game, etc. for months or YEARS while you fight it out in the courts,

    2) Rename your heavily advertised and marketed movie, comic book, video game, etc.

    3) Give in to Tim’s demands.

    Most companies have chosen option 3.

    Then Tim decided to threaten Electronic Arts for "Mirror’s Edge."  That was about as smart as poking a sleeping grizzly bear with a sharp stick.

    Also, keep in mind that EA has made two arguments: that the trademark has been abandoned and that the trademark was issued fraudulently (and thus should never have been in Tim’s hands in the first place).  There is a ton of evidence that Tim has been manipulating his filings with the USPTO for quite some time:



  20. Adrian Lopez says:

    "It is interesting that EA’s primary argument boils down to the idea that ‘Edge’, as a trademark, was abandoned.  Yet Langdell has gained ire for defending the trademark."

    That’s because it takes more than suing people in defense of a trademark in order for that trademark to remain valid. Trademarks have to be used in commerce for them to be valid, but the last game actually published by Edge Games was published quite a long time ago.

  21. Neeneko says:

    It is interesting that EA’s primary argument boils down to the idea that "Edge", as a trademark, was abandoned.  Yet Langdell has gained ire for defending the trademark.

    I can not say I want either side to win this one.  Langdell is a problem, but EA seems to be stretching a bit here.  This same lawsuit could easily be applied to small developers who legitimatly are trying to defend a trademark.

  22. lordlundar says:

    It’s The Metallica Offensive. Basically, Metallica will issue a lawsuit for tradmark violations on anyone who uses ‘Metallica’ in any matter that doesn’t refer to their band on their terms.

    It’s a wierd precident, but a precident none the less.

  23. Defenestrator says:

    I never thought I’d side with EA on anything, but I hope they squash Langdell like a bug.

    I think in one of the earlier threads on this issue, I even posited that this is exactly what it would take to stop Langdell — a big company like EA stepping to the plate to get Langdell’s copyright and trademarks stripped from him due to abandonment.  There is plenty of evidence to suggest that Langdell’s copyright was abandoned, but only a company like EA would have the resources to slog it out in court with him.

  24. Zero Beat says:

    I would’ve been fine with Edge if they limited it to having them be the only gaming company that uses the word Edge, but they grossly overstepped the line of reason when they wanted it applied to everything gaming-related.


    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  25. hellfire7885 says:

    I side with EA on this one. I hope they tear Edge games apart.

    This whole Edge games thing shows what is inherintly wrong with copyright right now. Someone can copyright or trademark something, then just o ntheir ass for year and years and laughs at people because they can’t use it, then sue when someone tries even though they don’t do anything with it.

    Makes me think of all those patent lawsuits against Nintendo where we didn’t hear a thing about these patents until Nintendo had their product out, like they filed the patents for no other reason than to be able to sue if something remotely similar comes out.

  26. chadachada321 says:

    I side with EA here. "Edge" and "Cutting Edge" are so widely used that it would be pretty unfair to give one company/group rights to it. Hell, even "Gamer’s Edge" (or alternate forms of gamer’s edge) are used by many gaming sites to talk about just that, a gamer’s edge in a game/issue.

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

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