Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK Court

June 20, 2011 -

Tim Langdell, the owner of Edge Games and the litigious defender of the trademark "Edge" has taken a serious thrashing in the UK courts at the hands of Future Publishing over its popular gaming publication, Edge Magazine. The company took Langdell to court in 2010 over breach of contract, breach of copyright, and misrepresenting the brand as belonging to Edge Games, causing brand confusion.

While the blow-by-blow is entertaining, it is also long-winded and mentally taxing to read as Langdell bobs and weaves in court, taking great liberties with the truth. If you are interested, Rock, Paper, shotgun offers an in-depth accounting of the court battle.

The short story is that Future Publishing wanted to avoid any litigation with Langdell so it reached a licensing deal with Edge Games that allowed them to use the "Edge" trademark. The deal started to crumble when Langdell started using Edge Magazine's logo on its letterhead and sent out documents that confused people as to the association between Langdell and Edge Magazine. Future filed a lawsuit against the company.

Needless to say, the judge sifted through all of Langdell's claims and evidence - including his assertion that he designed the original Edge logo. His "evidence" was a floppy disc that he claimed was from 1991, but it turned out that the disc was formatted using Windows 95. Windows 95 came out in... 1995. You can read the tap dance that followed that revelation in court at RPS. Langdell was stripped of his trademarks by a U.S. court for filing too many lawsuits.

Source: Joystiq


Comments

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Just poked the 'Rock Paper Shotgun' description,.. and right in the first paragraph I saw an example of why people's reactions to Langdell piss me off so much.

 

This is likely to do with his not doing particularly well in his increasingly ludicrous attempts to claim ownership of a noun.

Ownership of a noun.   People are confusing Langell and his specific case with the arguments.  Langdell is a lier, and should be judged on that.  If he was not lieing, he would have a pretty strong case and legit case.. and people should remember that. Instead I see a lot of thowing babies out with the bathwater.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Heh, this keeps up and he might literally experience what he's been metaphporically trying to do to people.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Too bad people like Mr. Langdell never see themselves as anything other than the victim.  

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Though I think the real tragedy with people like Langdell is every time he pops up people overreact and it feeds into a very anti-IP sentiment,.. making people who have a legit case look like villains.  Even worse it turns a lot of indy developers away from legal tools that can really work to protect them.

 

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Besides DRM, because, seriously, no one likes DRM.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Investers, insurers and content owners like DRM, and small startups like having injections of cash, insurance coverage, and access to content.

While consumers might dislike it, they have to remember that without it many of the products they love would never have seen the light of day.  This may change over time as those who hold the purse strings get more comfortable without it, but it was a critical piece in getting us where we are today.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Depends on if it lets you play what you payed for. Sadly in cases DRM can prevent that. I guess this is one of those necessary evil" things.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Well, the cases of DRM being so broken that you can not access content you payed for at all have been pretty rare (and usually only temporary)... now, being able to access it using an untrusted device or software package is another matter.

I am guessing that long term DRM will go away, so I see it as a temporary necessary evil.  Enough to get the money on board, but in a generation new marketers and risk analysts will decide it is not worth it.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Ding dong, the troll is dead...

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Heard about this yesterday, and even today it makes me smile.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

His "evidence" was a floppy disc that he claimed was from 1991, but it turned out that the disc was formatted using Windows 95. Windows 95 came out in... 1995.

It´s like an episode from Harvey Birdman. What a moron.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

No, Harvy Birdman has got nothing on this case.

To start off with, Tim Langdrell's "reliable" witness, a Mr. Jack Phillips, was declared to be a false persona made up by Langdrell. Langdrell did not supply any proof to counter that declaration.

Next up, and this is the best part, is that while Langdrell loved to sue people for simply using the word "edge", he himself was using the exact same logo (not just the name, but the logo itself) as EDGE Magazine, published by Future Publishing, which is what this lawsuit is about. So the trademark troll is himself breaching copyright laws.

This is altogether made worse by the fact that he tries to defend himself by claiming a multitude of things (this is a long list):

-First by claiming that because he had used it for years he was entitled to do so (shot down)

-Next was that Future Publishing couldn't copyright it because it was just the word typed out in standard font (also shot down)

-Next he claimed he was granted permission in 2005, despite the man he claimed gave the permission testified that was not the case (shot down)

-The next claim was that he intentionally breached copyright by sending a letter with their logo in the letterhead to challenge their copyright claim by saying that if they don't challenge it, it means they allowed it. (you guessed it, shot down. Honestly, it's like taking out clay pidgeons with a flak gun)

This brings us to the disks. Langdrell produced a pair of 5.25" floppy disks that supposely held the logo that he's no claiming he made in 1991, which would predate the magazine. An expert hired by Langdrell declared they were legit but an independant expert discovered they were made on a Windows 95 machine, meaning they could not have been created before 1995. After he was confronted with this, he then claimed that they were clones and later on he mysteriously produced a third disk that he claimed was the original with all the traces to the previous issues missing. The judge outright removed the third disk as evidence because of the possibility of it being created after the independant expert's report was made available. (In short, because of the issues of the first two disks, any further disks are considered tainted)

Here's the real kicker. Future Publishing paid Langdrell's company 250k and langdrell himself 25k to buy out all tradearks (which means all of Langdrells lawsuits since then are baseless because he didn't have the rights in the first place) though it all went to Langdrell's personal account (funny that...). Even after they paid, Langdrell used the magazines logo and even tried to trick customers into thinking his company makes the magazine (a letter to Apple stated specifically that) to garner revenue and access to services.

Finally, confirming what we knew all along, Langdrell tried to produce evidence of sales figures and partnerships with distributors to prove he was still making and selling games, but no distributor had corroborating evidence and no independant sales figures corroborating his own could be found.

So for the final rundown, Tim Langdrell has been commiting perjury for years to extort money from companies based on a trademark that he didn't have at the time and that he himself was abusing. I really hope that any company that he extorted reads that report and goes after him. I will happily see him a broken man when this train wreck he made comes at him full force.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

OTher than the fact that this is a TRADEMARK case and all issues were about trademark and not copyright, you have summed it up pretty well.

E. Zachary Knight
Divine Knight Gaming

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Thanks very much for the summary. It is hilariously unbelievable.

I don't understand how Future effectively paid him $275K ... yet he didn't stop and in fact he went out of his way to use the trademark he's been PAID not to use. That really is outright greed with a dosage of megalomania, so I'm sure real justice will be served.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Matthew WilsonI am going to pax east, any games you guys want me to check out?03/02/2015 - 11:23pm
ZippyDSMleeNo one remembers the days of Cinemagic and Cynergy eh? :P, meh even MGS is getting to film like....03/02/2015 - 8:44pm
MechaTama31I was about to get all defensive about liking Metal Gear Solid, but then I saw that he was talking about "cinematic" as a euphemism for "crappy framerate".03/02/2015 - 8:29pm
prh99Just replace cinematic with the appropriate synonym for poo and you'll have gist of any press release.03/02/2015 - 5:34pm
PHX Corphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZQDFO2KEPo Jim Sterling Makes Fun of "Cinematic" Gaming03/02/2015 - 3:39pm
Matthew WilsonWOW is copping EVE. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/18141101/introducing-the-wow-token-3-2-2015 I think its a smart move to deal with gold farmers in this way.03/02/2015 - 1:16pm
Matthew WilsonI guess epic is tired of having their lunch eaten by unity. https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/ue4-is-free03/02/2015 - 12:50pm
Andrew EisenNot much to follow. Kern is being silly and... nothing much else is happening.03/02/2015 - 11:40am
Papa MidnightI ask because, having only just heard of it, I have not, and I was hoping for some insight.03/02/2015 - 11:39am
Papa MidnightHas anyone been following this petition by Mark Kern regarding Kotaku, Polygon, and VG247? https://www.change.org/p/kotaku-lead-the-way-in-healing-the-rift-in-video-games03/02/2015 - 11:38am
ZippyDSMleePaypal shuts down Mega's payment system. https://torrentfreak.com/under-u-s-pressure-paypal-nukes-mega-for-encrypting-files-150227/03/01/2015 - 3:25pm
Matthew Wilsonvalvle planning to release a vr headset this year wtf http://www.pcgamer.com/valves-vr-headset-is-named-vive-and-htc-are-making-it/03/01/2015 - 1:05pm
ZippyDSMleeuuuhhhggg in other news been sick since last night.....uuhggg.....I iwsh it did not hurt so much when my tummy wants to leave my body..02/28/2015 - 11:39pm
ZippyDSMleeBrings me to the Q why alt costumes would be needed in competition anyway... http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2015/feb/28/dead-or-alive-community-aims-ban-over-120-overly-sexualized-costumes-dead-or-alive-5-last-round/02/28/2015 - 11:36pm
MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
MonteWith the Wii, nintnedo had the right idea. Hold back on shiny graphics and focus on the gameplay experience. Unfortunatly everyone else keeps pushing for newer graphics and it matters less and less each generation. I can barely notice the difference02/28/2015 - 4:29pm
MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
prh99The government probably doesn't need an app, but I was think more along the lines of a company that was going to sell the collected info. “If you're not paying for the product, you are the product” sometimes even if you pay.02/28/2015 - 1:50pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician