EA hits back at Langdellâ??s â??unwarranted threatsâ??

EA hits back at Langdellâ??s â??unwarranted threatsâ??

By Rob Crossley

September 30th 2009 at 10:01AM

â??Itâ??s important to establish the rights of developersâ? says Mirror's Edge publisher

Electronic Arts has sparked a new legal battle against trademark owner Tim Langdell, revealing in a fraught 28-page document that it wants to put an end to five ‘Edge’ trademark restrictions.

Langdell, CEO at Edge Games Inc, has made many enemies in the videogame sector with his legal possession of the word ‘Edge’.

He recently made a pugnacious legal assault on indie iPhone developer Mobigame, the result of which was the forced removal of an App Store game known as Edge.

Unlike Mobigame, EA is a fully-resourced global publishing giant, yet it too has been in a legal wrangle with Langdell for more than a year, over the use of the notorious word in Mirror’s Edge.

The publisher now has petitioned the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) to end five Edge-associated trademark immunities.

"Since 2008, Registrant [Edge Games] has continuously threatened to file suit against EA for distributing the Mirror's Edge game on the basis of his purported 'family of registered EDGE marks,'" read EA’s statement.

“Petitioners reasonably believe that Registrant will contest their right to use the Mirror's Edge mark."

Langdell himself has rubbished EA’s new legal pursuit.

"[It is] a desperate attempt by EA to see if they can win the right to use Mirror's Edge by forcibly removing Edge's legitimate rights to Edge," Langdell said in a statement to Kotaku.

Langdell was keen to remind that EA had already failed to establish its ownership of the word Edge. Last year the USPTO judged that EA's registration of the trademark ‘Mirror's Edge’ had been given in error, claimed Langdell, with the publisher having to abandon the trademark.

EA will fight on, however. Its argument is that Langdell’s Edge Games is not functioning its trademark due to a lack of content being produced under the name. As such, EA hopes, the trademark is dormant.

“We feel it is important to establish the rights of developers in this situation,” an EA spokesperson added.

"While this seems like a small issue for EA, we think that filing the complaint is the right thing to do for the developer community."

"We hope that as a result of this action, other developers will be less intimidated by unwarranted legal threats."

Following the Mobigame fiasco, Langdell stepped down as a board member at the IGDA, ahead of growing speculation that he was going to be forced out.

Edge Games is currently developing four titles, according to the company’s website.