Trademark Troll Gets Mobigames' EDGE Taken Down

This story really sets my teeth on edge. Whoops. Sorry, I forgot to ask Mr. Game Developin' Industry Founder Dude Tim Langdell (left) for permission to use that word.

You may recall EDGE, Mobigames' outstanding and award-winning title for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It has been removed from the U.S. and U.K. Apple Store because of a trademark claim made by Tim Langdell, who created value-bin studio EDGE Games about a hundred years ago and claims to have made 180 games, but is better known for bullying actual game makers who use the word "edge" in any form.

Says Mobigame's David Papazian (to Fingergaming): "If you already asked why Soul Edge (the Namco game) was called Soul Blade and later Soulcalibur in the US, you have your answer."

Papazian says he is in "negotiations" with Langdell, who claims to own the worldwide trademark to all things EDGE. Sure it may be a cheap shot to denigrate EDGE Games "best known" efforts - "Garfield: Big Fat Hairy Deal" and "Snoopy: The Case of the Missing Blanket." But when the company's most recent game was in 1994, its claim to be a games developer is fast losing credibility, if it's not gone already.

It beggars the imagination that a judge would find brand confusion here, in the title of a mobile game produced in 2009 versus the name of a company that hasn't done shit in 15 years except squat on a very common word. You want to see brand confusion? You want trademark infringement? How about this, from EDGE Games' web site itself:

Trademark Troll Gets Mobigames' EDGE Taken DownS

If I had the email address of Electronic Arts' legal division I'd send them that. Update: The more I think about it, Langdell probably pulled this trademark claim nonsense with Electronic Arts, who laughed at him, and/or he put up that flash video to thumb his nose at them in hopes they would sue him, so he could get the claim in front of a judge that way, rather than as the plaintiff. That's probably also why the Edge logo rips off Edge Magazine. This is all pure speculation on my part.

Another thing that some might find interesting: He's a GDC speaker! Actually, he participated in roundtables, which usually involve groups of three, not a single speaker and are quite a different thing from lectures. But at GDC he's held forth on topics such as: "Who Controls a Game's IP and Who Reaps the Financial Benefit?" Tim Langdell does! Especially if it's your game. He also claims to have cofounded the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. At least that's according to an edit his wife made to the AIAS' Wikipedia entry about a year ago. Citation, uh, needed.

He is, however, a member of the board of directors of the International Game Developers Association. I wonder what the IGDA and the AIAS have to say about their association with someone who no longer, in fact, creates any games - except for ripping off the name of a well known release - and engages in such disgusting harassment of those who do.

Tim Langdell: The EDGE of Insanity?
[The Independent Gaming Source]