One of the unhappiest stories I've ever followed has come to a proper conclusion. When Tim Langdell got a great video game removed from the iTunes store because its title was Edge, I went ballistic. In hindsight, that was rash. But piece by piece, over the past four years his bogus, parasitic operation has been dismantled.
It culminated in the formal cancellation of all of his trademarks this past week. A judge had already ruled, in 2010, that Langdell's "Edge" trademarks were not valid, but it took until Wednesday for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to finally cancel them.
Langdell was a gaming industry scourge for years. At one point, he actually did develop video games, mostly in the 1980s. He was more known for sending legal threats to anyone who used the word "Edge" in any kind of product associated with video gaming, or arm-twisting his way into licensing agreements over the word. He was a big reason Soul Edge's release in the west is called Soulcalibur.
But the outcry over the removal of Mobigame's Edge back in 2009 started to unwind all that. Langdell, incredibly, had been a board member of the International Game Developers Association, a position he resigned when it became apparent the membership would vote to oust him.
Soon after, Electronic Arts, the publisher of Mirror's Edge, sued to cancel Langdell's trademarks—an action it said it took on behalf of the games development community. That suit is what finally ended Langdell's ownership of "Cutting Edge," "Gamer's Edge," "The Edge" and of course, "Edge" as video gaming trademarks.
This week Langdell objected to the cancellation, filing a three-page protest full of the technicalities and procedural bullshit that have attended to every statement he's made about the matter since 2009. (His claim is that USPTO canceled marks issued to "Edge Games" when in fact they had been issued to "The Edge Interactive Media, Inc." which is "a California Corporation that was not a party to the 2010 District Court case and is not named in the 2010 Court Order.") He threw in a complaint against EA's lawyers to the California Bar Association as a spiteful little middle finger, too.
But he's done. David Papazian, of Edge developer Mobigame, gave a triumphal statement on Thursday. “It took us two years to create Edge from scratch, then we waited four additional years for this day to happen," he wrote. "We are so happy for all the victims of this trademark troll, truth and justice finally won!" In celebration, Mobigame is selling all versions of Edge (iOS/Mac, Steam and Android) at 50 percent off through Monday.