Edge or Edgy: The Clash of Two Game Makers - Update

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Edge or Edgy: The Clash of Two Game Makers - Update

Tim Langdell's litigious defense of his "Edge" trademark has made him the target of much scorn, but the uncomfortable truth is that he has a legitimate case.

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AmrasCalmacil

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Jul 19, 2008
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Interesting to hear another side of the story, certainly after Tim Langdell even got a lot of serious hate from the Escapist community.
 

grimsprice

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Jun 28, 2009
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I just don't understand how you can own a word thats in the dictionary. a word or conglomeration of words like Starwars or The Elder Scrolls is fine because they are actually names. proper nouns created by a company... but how can you own a word like edge or duck or tree. that would be like owning the word fire and making every jrpg maker pay you to use name fire magic thus.

this is not directed at the company or the man in question... just a general query about trademarking.
 

Kross

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Sep 27, 2004
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I'm sure the Edge "Racers" and "Mirrors" games advertised on Edge Gaming's site don't help their cause at all:

http://www.the--edge.com/edgegames/racers.htm (linked from http://www.edgegames.com/)
Compare screenshots to: http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=188616 (noted here [http://www.eurogamer.net/forum_thread_posts.php?thread_id=150502&start=210])

The flash app on the Edge site, and their upcoming games list have a game called "Mirrors". As in, Mirror's Edge, which I think was one of the "transgressions" mentioned towards the beginning of this fiasco.

The whole thing just smells. Having legit products around it doesn't make the company any less shady or more right, it just makes it harder to dig out the scheming from the legal entanglement around it.
 

RobCoxxy

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Feb 22, 2009
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Email tennis from me and Mr. Langdell:
(Yes, my facebook settings are now on Pirate)
Rob Cox
Arrrrgust 7 roundabouts 12:25 in the evenin'
You greedy bastard.

Tim Langdell
Arrrrgust 7 roundabouts 2:11 in the evenin'
Report this foul scribblin' ter' the cap'n
Hello Rob

Do not believe the lies you read on the Internet about Edge Games. Edge has never taken a cent from any company for trademark rights. It has only sued one company in 30 years and withdrew that complaint when the parties reached an amicable resolution that did NOT involve Edge being paid any money. The dispute with Mobigame is over with Apple making the decision Mobigame were in the wrong to use our mark EDGE. Mobigame did not pay us any money and we did not demand money from Mobigame (do not believe the faked emails you see posted on the Internet that suggest otherwise).

Rob Cox
Arrrrgust 8 roundabouts 9:18 in the evenin'
Hmm, still don't see how you can trademark a common English word.
"Edge", the Mobigames game, had nothing to benefit from your company, EDGE, so you were technically in the wrong for seeing Mobigames as in the wrong. I'm sorry, but it's fairly despicable when a man on the board for the IGLA then outs a new, fledgling developer for simply having a common English word as it's title that you Trademarked.
It's like me trademarking the word "middle".
You could, at least, have also been kind enough to Mobigames to ask them politely to change the name BEFORE release of "Edge" rather than until they'd released it to the Apple store.

Tim Langdell
Arrrrgust 9 roundabouts 3:24 in the evenin'
Report this foul scribblin' ter' the cap'n
Hi Rob,

Obviously if you have made up your mind that Mobigame is in the right and Edge is in the wrong then there is nothing I can say that will change your mind. But I will make a couple of comments and invite you to think these points through. First, it has nothing to do with Mobigame benefiting from the company EDGE. If someone -- anyone -- uses your registered trademark mark then the law says you *have to* stop them (or get them to license the use from you) or you will lose your trademark rights. That is how the law works, Edge Games didnt invent that law, its just the way it is. So if your best friend uses your trademark in the same type of product you have to take action just as much as if some huge faceless conglomerate used your trademark. When Edge discovered it was a small indie developer with their first game that had used Edge's registered trademark Edge thought long and hard before doing anything since Edge had no interest in taking action against a fellow indie game developer. But Edge Games took legal advice and was told it had to at least send a Cease & Desist letter to Mobigames (which is all it did -- it never demanded money). Additionally, a very large game publisher with whom Edge was having a trademark dispute informed Edge that if it allowed *any* other game company -- small or large -- to use the registered mark Edge then it would have to permit that large company to use it too. Thus that company's pressure on Edge meant it was forced to contact Mobigame and ask them to stop using the name "Edge".

As to trademarking a common name, it is frequently done and Edge is entirely right to trademark and protect "EDGE" and "THE EDGE". Many other common names are trademarked - Apple, Blackberry, Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Take 2, etc etc. And of course EDGE is trademarked for the Future magazine "Edge" (which no one seems to have an objection to ...) and Ford for car "Edge" and S.C Johnson for the "Edge" shaving gel. Yes, you could even trademark "Middle" if you used it enough and it became associated with the goods you sell. Remember, Edge Games and its licensees have sold over $5billion of games and other goods with the Edge and The Edge and other Edge trademarks so it cost a lot of money over the past 30 years to build up the trademark rights Edge has in "EDGE".

As to the timing: yes it is unfortunate that Edge Games did not hear about Mobigame's game until shortly after it was launched on iTunes. But to be fair, the soonest Edge might have heard about it was shortly before when it won awards and so the soonest Edge could have contacted Mobigame was after it had already won the award. In addition, a company cannot really take action for trademark infringement until the other company actually *uses* the mark -- so Edge would have had to wait until after the game went live on iTunes anyway. Last, all Mobigame had to do back in April was rename the game (to EDGY or whatever else they chose) and they would have been off iTunes for perhaps a few days at most. Why Mobigame refuse to change the name of their game even now that Apple decided their use was wrong and the US trademark office decided their application for the mark "EDGE" was not acceptable, is a great puzzlement to many people.

Rob Cox
Arrrrgust 9 roundabouts 3:42 in the evenin'
Just one other point, as you said, if you dont use legal action, you lose the rights to the word "Edge".

You have no idea how much your image would benefit if you gave up the rights as a "charitable offering". As I said, if you used a non-standard English word for your company's name, i.e, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Microsoft, words that can be trademarked without furore, and where, if used by someone else, is definitley breach of trademark.

MobiGames were legally in the wrong, I know, there's nothing I can do to change or deny that, but morally, and technically, they meant no harm.

Tim Langdell
Arrrrgust 9 roundabouts 4:15 in the evenin'
Report this foul scribblin' ter' the cap'n
First, asking Edge Games to give up its rights in "Edge" is asking it to give up its entire 30 year history and over $5billion. Do you really think that is a fair thing to ask? Remember, Edge Games has several trademark license agreements with very large companies that compel Edge to never allow any one else to use its trademark and prevent Edge from ever giving it away.

As to Mobigame not meaning to do harm. I disagree that Mobigame were innocent in this. David Papazian has now confirmed in several ways that last year BEFORE HE NAMED THE GAME he did thorough research in the trademark registries and saw that Edge Games owned the rights in THE EDGE, and that it has registrations for EDGE on its own in process, but thought he could get away with using the name Edge anyway. That was naive and he should have got a lawyers advice who would have told him his idea was very dangerous. But given he researched Edge Games ownership of the mark Edge and STILL went ahead and used it, I don't agree that he morally or technically meant no harm. He just thought he could get away with infringing Edge Games rights, did it with eyes wide open, and then was angry he got caught.

Again, Edge Games is entirely within its rights to use a common word and to protect use of that word, just as is the case for Apple, Blizzard, Windows, etc etc. No one is saying any of those companies are wrong to protect their common word trademarks, why are people singling Edge Games out? Because Mobigame is an indie developer? Well, Edge is an indie developer, too.
 

CD-R

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$5 billion? Isn't Activision-Blizzard only worth like $3 billion? You mean to tell me this pissant little studio, that hasn't made a new game in over 10 years did more business than Activision-Blizzard? I call bullshit.
 

odisious15

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Nov 14, 2007
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No matter who is the victim here the fact that the word EDGE is able to be trademarked is 100% bullshit no matter which way you try to swing it.

If you can trademark the word edge then I'm going to go trademark the word "the" and start suing every book publisher there is since they're infringes on my rights, even though I've never written a book before. I did however write term papers when I was in high school so technically I am a legitimate writer.
 

Emphraim

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I find this whole issue silly. A company should not be able to trademark an actual word. A series of words like "medieval:Total War" sure, but not a single word like edge.
 

DanielO

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Jul 28, 2009
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Making 5 billion dollars in revenues is different from having a net worth of 3 billion dollars. How much do you suppose Blizzard makes with all the WOW licenses? aboutt...10 million players a year...15 bucks per 6 weeks? fancy that.
 

BehattedWanderer

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Jun 24, 2009
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So Langdell is in the right. There was clear violation of law, with intent to do so. Langdell has every right to press Mobigames for copyright enfringement, which he did. He's not even all that big of a dick, if you think about it, he was just following legal counsel and saying 'hold up'.
 

Crimsane

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Apr 11, 2009
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After reading the article, I've come to the conclusion that they're both being dicks about it.

On one hand, holding onto the trademark of the word "Edge" is just being a huge douche with your cock flailing in the face of reality. Especially when in said reality, you haven't actually made a game in how many years now?

On the other hand, knowing full well about said trademark, pushing ahead anyway, and turning down an offer to be able to market your game with a subtle one letter change is also pretty stupid.
 

Valdsator

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May 7, 2009
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So wait, if I were to make a game called When Blizzards Attack, would I get slapped in the face by Blizzard?

If not, then doesn't that mean a *game* called Edge is fine because Edge Games is a game *company's* name?
 

CD-R

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Mar 1, 2009
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BehattedWanderer said:
So Langdell is in the right. There was clear violation of law, with intent to do so. Langdell has every right to press Mobigames for copyright enfringement, which he did. He's not even all that big of a dick, if you think about it, he was just following legal counsel and saying 'hold up'.
http://www.tigsource.com/pages/edge-games

No. Read through this. He is still a pretty big dick.
 

lewiswhitling

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May 18, 2009
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k guys... stop saying that you shouldn't be able to trademark normal words, and read the sequence of emails which RobCoxxy has posted.

Windows, Apple, Blizzard, Blackberry, id etc... these are all words that have been trademarked by companies. Calling your game "blizzard" or "Windows" would warrant and even demand exactly the same legal ramifications that Edge have dolled out.

Now i have to say that i was also set against this Langdell chappie.. It sounds like a truly faceless, money hungry, power crazy thing for a large company to dish out on a rival upstart. It's incredibly david and goliath"esque" - and as a result people are queing up to have a go at Edge Games.

But i am also unashamed to say that I believe i was wrong in this regard - after reading this article. And i think it would be sensible of the rest of us to also see that it isn't all a black and white "edge being dicks" situation. Yes it is always hard relinquishing a view which seems initially very clear, but we've gotta try not to be irrationally stubborn in this regard.

It's a horrible thing to have your face despised by media and public alike.. no one deserves that unfairly, and i think it would be wise to stop dishing out mindless judgment towards these people. Yes, business is part and parcel of a cruel world and you occasionally have to be pretty emotionless to conduct yourself properly in it.

I think it really is a case of a conflict blown out of all proportion by language barriers, the fact its gone cross continental, and the relative difference in size between the two companies. I think it would have been the case with any other case in this unique position.
 

jericu

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Oct 22, 2008
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lewiswhitling said:
k guys... stop saying that you shouldn't be able to trademark normal words, and read the sequence of emails which RobCoxxy has posted.

Windows, Apple, Blizzard, Blackberry, id etc... these are all words that have been trademarked by companies. Calling your game "blizzard" or "Windows" would warrant and even demand exactly the same legal ramifications that Edge have dolled out.

Now i have to say that i was also set against this Langdell chappie.. It sounds like a truly faceless, money hungry, power crazy thing for a large company to dish out on a rival upstart. It's incredibly david and goliath"esque" - and as a result people are queing up to have a go at Edge Games.

But i am also unashamed to say that I believe i was wrong in this regard - after reading this article. And i think it would be sensible and adult of the rest of us to also admit that fact. Yes it is hard relinquishing ones position, but we've gotta try and not be irrationally stubborn.

It's a horrible thing to have your face despised by media and public alike.. no one deserves it, and i think it would be wise to stop dishing out mindless judgment towards these people.
I'm on the same boat as this guy. I thought Langdell was a massive douche, but now that I know all of the facts, it's really obvious that it's Mobigames that did the wrong thing in this situation. Edge Games owns the rights, and if anyone infringes on that right, they are legally obliged to enforce their copyright, especially of Mobigames knew there was someone who owned the rights.
 

Beltom

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Sep 8, 2008
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lewiswhitling said:
Windows, Apple, Blizzard, Blackberry, id etc... these are all words that have been trademarked by companies. Calling your game "blizzard" or "Windows" would warrant and even demand exactly the same legal ramifications that Edge have dolled out.
Arn't they are trademarked as "Microsoft Windows", "Apple Inc." and "Blizzard Entertainment", so you would not be infringing on copyright if you used the words you listed?
Anyway, this whole thing is a total mess. Edge games shouldn't be allowed to trademark a often used word and Mobigames shouldn't be idiots when it comes to infringing that copyright. If you look at it in a certain way, however, if Edge ever gets put back on the Apple App Store, then it will have had loads of publicity. Any publicity is good publicity as they say.
 
Apr 17, 2009
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I read this, and I read the points that are pro-Langdell, but I still say he is being an idiot. Yes he may own the rights to "Edge games" or "The Edge" or whatever his copyright covers exactly, and yes he can draw comparisons between Apple and Blizzard who also have normal words copyrighted. But he misses the point that Blizzard don't sue every weatherman who mentions that particular meteorological phenomenon. This person has called their game Edge. Nothing alludes to Edge games. But he sues them anyway. It's just a pointless piece of corporate bullishness
 

G-Mang

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May 11, 2009
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This article could use citations. I hadn't heard of the issue, but upon Wiki'ing the subject, I found this about the supposed "Edgy offer":
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 this name 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".

Sounds like Langdell wasn't exactly the good guy there. I'm not saying that Papazian is right here, but to be honest, I have no reason to believe this article is.
 

roskelld

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Aug 17, 2009
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I'm surprised that so many people are lapping up this info and so quickly changing their mind about the whole subject.

The fact is that you don't always have a good guy and a bad guy in every battle. So I'm not saying that Mobigame have done the right thing or wrong here. But you can't just go and start to ignore the vast amount of evidence available on the internet to show what a shell of a company Edge Games is. My advice would be to make up your own mind, don't just read the articles and news on this matter and follow their opinion. Do a bit of personal research. There is a vast amount of info out there and it's all just a google away.

Look at the statements made by people that Edge Games claims to be working with (and for most how they actually aren't), have a look at the list of games Edge Games claims to have released, look up the list of products currently in production and find out what their current status is.

Do the same for Mobigame too, search and look for information about them and their business.

Ultimately just make up your own mind from the information you find.