Court breaks Langdell grip on Edge trademark

Court breaks Langdell grip on Edge trademark

By Rob Crossley

October 5th 2010 at 9:49AM

Precedent set as Edge Games is denied copyright claim against EA and DICE's Mirror's Edge

Tim Langdell’s claim that EA is infringing on his Edge trademark has been rejected in court.

The United States Court for the Northern district of California has ruled that Electronic Arts is not infringing on copyright with its Mirror’s Edge franchise.

Moreover, District Judge William Alsup said that Langdell, and his company Edge Games, has no significant credibility to its claim that it deserves copyright protection.

He also said Langdell’s aim to protect the Edge trademark “is not in the public interest”.

“There is scant evidence that Edge Games has invested any amount of funds into the development of recent products and services bearing the asserted marks,” he said.

That ruling may have set a new precedent for further trademark disputes, one that could end Langdell’s grip on the Edge trademark.

The Court ruled: “EA has shown that it has invested millions of dollars into building and promoting the Mirror’s Edge franchise. It now has millions of customers.

“While [Langdell’s] Edge Games could have sought a preliminary injunction prior to, or shortly after, sales of the original Mirror’s Edge video game began in earnest, it did not.

“Instead, plaintiff waited 21 months to allow the Mirror’s Edge franchise to develop and expand.

“Given this record, allowing Edge Games to obtain a preliminary injunction after allowing EA to invest in and develop the Mirror’s Edge franchise over such a long period of time would be plainly inequitable and highly prejudicial to [EA]”

Langdell – often given the pejorative nickname ‘trademark troll’ from his many opponents – has for years threatened legal action on a wide range of game companies for using the common word ‘edge’ in their title.

Paris-based indie developer Mobigame had to remove its puzzle title ‘Edge’ from the App Store, twice, after Langdell’s legal threats.

Such practices may have come to a sorry conclusion for Langdell.

“This order finds that [Langdell] has failed to establish that it is likely to succeed on the merits, that it is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in [his] favour, or that an injunction is in the public interest.”

EA said in a statement to IndustryGamers that it was "pleased with the opinion issued by the court. We hope that this case serves as a milestone in protecting independent developers from nuisance litigation."