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

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

The fact of the matter remains, he's trademarked a common English word with seemingly no intention to use it himself. It'd be like me trademarking the word 'war', then politely telling Ubisoft, Epic Games, Microsoft, Activision and pretty much every else that they're using my word and that they can either pay me for it or use a different word.
Gears of Wor anyone?

L.B. Jeffries:

That's a refusal to buy the victim bulls*** Mobigames is spinning. Langdell may be a trademark troll, but I'm not going to listen to someone cry foul when they had due warning in a legal issue that their lawyers knew full well how to operate.

Whilst I fully understand that this may be the first time that you've heard of this case, for some of us it's been an ongoing e-drama for a while now. There's plenty to discover about Langdell without any of this 'spin' that Mobigame are alleged to have been part of by this pisspoor article.

I don't have a problem with Tim Langdell's trademark of the word 'Edge'. If they were releasing new games every few years, this probably wouldn't be an issue. My problem is that he seems to be doing the bare minimum to keep his trademark active. Re-releasing a game from 20 years ago (or whatever it was) and just porting it doesn't show any real what most sane-people would call 'new' content or development. My problem is the fact that he didn't sue EA for Mirror's Edge, which is a video game that is using his Trademark. I would really like to hear him comment on that. Also as pointed out, his website magically has a little blurb saying that Edge Games is releasing a game called Mirror's, with no release date or other info. Either protect your trademark, or give it up. Maybe the fact is because Edge Games didn't go after EA that this is such a large issue? Maybe the lawyers said "It's too late to do anything about EA, but the next time this comes up we have to jump on it."

Now from what I could find, Edge Games hasn't sued Ford, the shaving gel, or other compaines that use the word Edge, because they are not in that Market, and it would be hard to prove that the Ford Edge is somehow causing consumer confusion with Edge Games. Just like Microsoft can't sue 'Champion Windows' for use of the word Windows.

To all those people who keep blabbing about trademarking some word. Unless you are going to start picking on: Windows, Palm, Blackberry, Blizzard, Apple, Adobe, and countless others stoping saying how terrible it is to Trademark a common word.

Eagle Est1986:
The fact of the matter remains, he's trademarked a common English word with seemingly no intention to use it himself. It'd be like me trademarking the word 'war', then politely telling Ubisoft, Epic Games, Microsoft, Activision and pretty much every else that they're using my word and that they can either pay me for it or use a different word.
Gears of Wor anyone?

There is a flaw in this, and that is precedent. When Tim Langdell trademarked "Edge" and "Edge Games" back in the late 70's or early 80's, there was not a mass amount of work using that word in the context of gaming. Also, at the time, Edge Games did release games. Nothing at all recently as I stated in my above post, but he did use it for its intended purpose. Now if you tried to trademark the word "War" for gaming, you would be turned down because there is an ample amount of material already in the market using that word. When Tim did it with Edge, there was not. That is the sad difference. I don't like it or agree with it, it just happens to be the law in this case.

This is a bizarre take on events, especially for The Escapist. I think those involved need to dig a little deeper into this story - there's nothing wrong with trying to give a balanced account, but simply take Edge Game's 'open letter' at its word is both daft, and also irresponsible.

It's not like there isn't enough here for a writer to get his or her teeth into.

thats weird, i read in experience points that mobigames offered to change the name to edgy, not that EDGEtm came whit that suggestion and told them that they would only have to call it that in the U.S..

but then again i have learned that the writer of experience points have used made up statistics and presented them as facts, so im beginning to read his articles whit enormous amounts of salt.

RobF:
Just to clear this up as it's been mentioned a few times. Renaming to Edgy still continued to come with "an ass riding" as Tim's offer meant that -he- would hold the trademark to Edgy. Regardless of whether there'd be any money changing hands, he'd *still* have a hand in a product he had no business with beyond a trademark dispute.

If someone can explain to me how that's even remotely a good offer, I'd love to hear it.

I don't recall reading anywhere that them taking the name Edgy would put Tim's stamp on it.

I just said they should have taken it "in my opinion". After all he rescinded his request for payment for infringement, and as a small developer i would assume that Mobigames needs to keep their game in the marketplace to keep them from dying.

Do i think the offer is "right"? No, hell no. I have no respect for Tim or his company. I do not think this man is fit to be on the board of the IGDA.

Unfortunately within the definition of copyright law this guy has a case. Which means if Mobigame gives in its screwed, if it doesn't its just screwed harder. Because ,as much as I'd like it to be, this man being a douche is not a good legal defense.

You said in a earlier post that Mobigames giving in would make Tim's next case stronger. Which I guess may be true. But face it, no one wants to be a martyr, especially not a fledgling game developer.

All things said, Mobigames didn't do the right thing either. They should have changed the name the minute their lawyer knew about the infringement in order to avoid this fiasco. What's that saying...the tree that bends to the storm will live on, the tree that holds its ground will break. Or something like that. You really cannot run a company without being flexible.

Final thing, i promise. I don't like either side in this case. Tim and his company are obviously shady, but as i read more and more, so are Mobigame. I don't like either side, and this debacle needs to stop. At this point I've stopped caring about who wins. Kinda cruel to indie studio's i know, but this isn't gonna stop good indie studios from moving forward.

Another:
All things said, Mobigames didn't do the right thing either. They should have changed the name the minute their lawyer knew about the infringement in order to avoid this fiasco.

God no. You're entirely missing the point.

Edge Games should have no rights over the word 'Edge' when it comes to games titles. There is absolutely no chance anyone would mistake Edge for an Edge Games game (namely because there aren't any), and the game has no resemblence to Bobby Bearing, which - it's suspected - Edge Games actually doesn't hold the rights to anyway.

It's a farce, and Mobigame is right to fight them on every issue.

If you would like to see a better standard of journalism from The Escapist, I suggest contacting the relevant editor:

editor@escapistmag.com

http://twitter.com/SusanArendt

im gonna trade mark the word no.
that way when im with a girl, she can other say yes to sex or get her ass sued for saying no.
sounds perfectly logical to me.

I first reported on this spat a couple of months back on Cult of Mac and am astonished by this article. There's little point repeating what's already been said, but RobF and RevStu's comments on the previous page sum most things up.

There is some misunderstanding regarding EDGY, however, that people don't seem to have gotten straight. According to the communications I've seen, the Edgy idea happened during a telephone conversation (the only one) between Langdell and Papazian. There is no written record of who made this suggestion, but from subsequent emails between the two, it's likely it was Papazian.

On May 14, Papazian suggested an immediate rebrand in the US and UK (game name, logo), but this was then rebuffed by Langdell. He stated that he would "very strongly oppose" the use of Edgy, arguing that it was just adding a 'y' sound the end of what he called "our famous trademark EDGE". He then goes on to note that Edge won a case against someone who tried to use Edgy and "so we are confident we would win should you try to do that". This, apparently, is a "very polite settlement offer", despite, you know, not being polite... nor a settlement offer.

During the same email, Langdell states Mobigame should select an "entirely different name", despite the fact that under IP law he had no real legal basis for doing so. Clearly, he's throughout trying to cling to 'passing off': Langdell's argument largely hinges on the fact Mobigame specifically called its game Edge to somehow remind people of the game Bobby Bearing, which has a somewhat similar - but NOT identical - viewpoint, published (but not created) by Edge. (Note how few people have reported on the fact that Bobby Bearing's creators still claim they have the rights to the game.)

Subsequently, Langell applied for the EDGY mark HIMSELF and said he'd licence it back to Mobigame, in return for a byline on the game. This offer ALSO required that territories where Edge Games doesn't have the Edge mark would have a similar byline, which is absurd in the extreme. Do people here really think Mobigame should have accepted such terms, branding their game 'Edgy - an homage to Bobby Bearing by Edge Games' or something similar?

Papazian, unsurprisingly, questioned this, and Langdell almost immediately responded with "we will thus take your reply as a rejection of our offer".

As I've said elsewhere, this is not a black-and-white case. But this website's stance is shocking, and the journalism shoddy in the extreme. By taking this case in isolation, misrepresenting the facts, and, in more than one case, flat out lying, the result is a story that is borderline libellous. I'll bet Langdell's been doing a happy dance since he first read it.

Oh, and mk-1601 and other, don't bother emailing The Escapist, because they're just firing out the exact same "We certainly appreciate your feedback" (but can't be arsed to respond to your specific points) email to everyone.

Duncanm:

L.B. Jeffries:

That's a refusal to buy the victim bulls*** Mobigames is spinning. Langdell may be a trademark troll, but I'm not going to listen to someone cry foul when they had due warning in a legal issue that their lawyers knew full well how to operate.

Whilst I fully understand that this may be the first time that you've heard of this case, for some of us it's been an ongoing e-drama for a while now. There's plenty to discover about Langdell without any of this 'spin' that Mobigame are alleged to have been part of by this pisspoor article.

Oh f*** it, I don't feel like people thinking I'm defending Langdell.

L.B. Jeffries:
Both sides are explaining how they are right. All someone is applying is their own view of the situation, which typically just means picking a side.

So? What else would anyone do? Or do you mean by 'picking a side' that no one ever puts any thought into deciding which side he's on?

It's entirely possible for conflicts to roll around in which one side is right, one side is wrong, and the difference is obvious.

L.B. Jeffries:
That's a refusal to buy the victim bulls*** Mobigames is spinning. Langdell may be a trademark troll, but I'm not going to listen to someone cry foul when they had due warning in a legal issue that their lawyers knew full well how to operate.

It's not at all clear that this business with the Mobigames lawyer ever happened.

Keith Andrew:

God no. You're entirely missing the point.

Edge Games should have no rights over the word 'Edge' when it comes to games titles. There is absolutely no chance anyone would mistake Edge for an Edge Games game (namely because there aren't any), and the game has no resemblence to Bobby Bearing, which - it's suspected - Edge Games actually doesn't hold the rights to anyway.

It's a farce, and Mobigame is right to fight them on every issue.

Not what I meant. The point is Mobigames cannot fight. Tim does, in this case have the legal right. I don't like it, but he does.

And this is not just about him not having rights to "edge" "edge games" or any other shit he comes up with. That was only a fraction of the article and only a single point of my post.

I don't like the guy. I don't think he should be ruled in favor of in this thing, but by law he does have the better standpoint.

I'm saying they should have jumped ship on "Edge" as a name before this began, if only to save them the hassle.

Pallindromemordnillap:

GethinPetrelli:

Pallindromemordnillap:
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

It doesn't work like that. When you copyright something you prevent the use of a certain word within a certain area of the market. If I made a company that sold socks and called it fluffy (I have no idea why this was the first idea that came to mind) it would be copyrighted within the clothing industry. This means no one else can use the word "fluffy" to sell clothes, but they could use it to sell food or technology or whatever the hell else they want as long as it isn't clothes. The main reason is to prevent brand confusion (people buying the wrong thing or using a better known product to advertise their own by using the others brand name). So Blizzard haven't copyrighted the word Blizzard just it's use withtin the games industry. The same can be said of EDGE, you could sell edge razorblades or edge socks or edge tables, just not any edge games. If you did EDGE have to legally defend their copyright or they forfeit it and lose out on money advertising etc.

Don't get me wrong I haven't picked a side because to be completely honest I've just come back from holiday and have only just heard about this entire thing.

In that case I point out, as many others have, that Langdell didn't sue Mirror's Edge. They were using his term, right there in the title

Probably because EA has good enough lawyers and enough money to laugh him and his "games" industry out of court.

Another:

Keith Andrew:

God no. You're entirely missing the point.

Edge Games should have no rights over the word 'Edge' when it comes to games titles. There is absolutely no chance anyone would mistake Edge for an Edge Games game (namely because there aren't any), and the game has no resemblence to Bobby Bearing, which - it's suspected - Edge Games actually doesn't hold the rights to anyway.

It's a farce, and Mobigame is right to fight them on every issue.

Not what I meant. The point is Mobigames cannot fight. Tim does, in this case have the legal right. I don't like it, but he does.

And this is not just about him not having rights to "edge" "edge games" or any other shit he comes up with. That was only a fraction of the article and only a single point of my post.

I don't like the guy. I don't think he should be ruled in favor of in this thing, but by law he does have the better standpoint.

I'm saying they should have jumped ship on "Edge" as a name before this began, if only to save them the hassle.

It's the actions of a martyr for sure, but in someways this had to happen. Mobigame are simply the ones that have decided to jump on the grenade.

Edge Games don't have the products/evidence to win this case, they didn't against Namco which was a similar case. The loosing part of this for Mobigame is that they've got to pay for legal costs to carry this through. That's why the Chaos Edge Fund was started, so that for the people that believe Edge Games is in the wrong and should be stopped can help out by chucking a few spare coins into the pot.

http://chaosedge.wordpress.com/

Ray Huling:
It's not at all clear that this business with the Mobigames lawyer ever happened.

Ray, given that you've written for us extensively and know the effort we put into editing and fact-checking, I'm surprised and disappointed that you would think we are being untruthful here.

In any event, the email was provided to us by Mobigames. David Papazian has authorized us to send it to any journalists we'd like, so I can provide it to you if you don't believe me. Email me if you'd like to see it.

Relevant excerpt below:
***
De : [Name Withheld]
Date : 16 avril 2009 14:09:20 HAEC
À : DAVID PAPAZIAN
Objet : MOBIGAME / EDGE GAMES

Pour les Etats-Unis, le risque de persister à exploiter la marque "EDGE" paraît sérieux compte tenu de la validité des marques dont dispose les sociétés EDGE, notamment en classe 9 pour désigner des produits identiques.

Dès lors, soit vous maintenez la distribution de votre jeu sous le nom "EDGE" en prenant le risque d'une action en contrefaçon des sociétés EDGE, cette action pouvant financièrement se solder par le paiement de dommages intérêts élevés mais également par une injonction interdisant la vente sous ce nom.

Soit vous négociez avec Monsieur LANGDELL une licence ou un accord de coexistence sur les marques "EDGE", étant observé que la demande d'enregistrement de marque "EDGE" que vous avez déposée aux Etats-Unis via l'OMPI, risque de se heurter à l'antériorité constituée par les marques de Monsieur LANGDELL.

[Name Withheld]
Avocat à la Cour

Translated:
In the USA, the risk of exploiting the trademark "EDGE" is pretty serious when you take into account the importance of the trademark to the Company EDGE, in particular with 'class 9' - designating similar products.

Unfortunately, if you continue to distribute your game, under the name 'EDGE' you risk infringing on the rights of the company EDGE, and this action would result in payment of high interest damages and an injunction prohibiting the use of the name 'EDGE'.

Either you negotiate a license agreement with Mr. Langdell, or an agreement to have 2 products with the EDGE name. If they see that you attempted to register the name 'EDGE' in the United States through OMPI (The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) you will risk infringing on Mr. Langdell's rights to the existing trademark.

[Name Withheld]
Attorney at Law
***

Note that this correspondence is dated 16 April, is by and between Mobigames and their attorney, and that this correspondence was provided to us *by Mobigames.* In fact, we have written permission from Mobigames to share all of this correspondence, so feel free to let me know if you want to see it first-hand. There are 29 different emails, most of which corroborate most of Edge Games' account, and some of which provide quite interesting insights into what Mobigames knew and what it was advised to do.

EDIT: David Papazian emailed us last night and requested that we remove the name of his personal attorney out of privacy concerns. We have done so out of respect for their wishes.

Archon:
In any event, the email was provided to us by Mobigames.

This might have been an important point to make clear in the piece.

As in: "in an e-mail provided to The Escapist by Mobigames..."--followed by a quote.

Page 3 of the comments is not the best place to cite and quote your sources, and, no, my having written for The Escapist doesn't mean that I'm more willing to go to page 3 of the comments to see where an e-mail came from.

Pizza Hut just revealed a pizza they're calling "The Edge." Come on, Langdell. TRY to take on Pizza Hut. I ****ing DARE you.

PS: Just because it's legal doesn't make Langdell any less of a jerk.

Ray Huling:

Archon:
In any event, the email was provided to us by Mobigames.

This might have been an important point to make clear in the piece.

As in: "in an e-mail provided to The Escapist by Mobigames..."--followed by a quote.

Page 3 of the comments is not the best place to cite and quote your sources, and, no, my having written for The Escapist doesn't mean that I'm more willing to go to page 3 of the comments to see where an e-mail came from.

You need only have read as far as the first page of the article, Ray. Fourth paragraph.

"Trademark law is enormously complex, especially when dealing with multiple countries as we are in this case," said Greg Boyd, an IP attorney contacted by The Escapist. The language barrier surely hasn't helped, as many of the documents sent between the two parties, and forwarded by the parties to The Escapist, are in a mix of English and French.

I still don't respect him, if he needed to protect his trademark he would have sued EA for Mirrors Edge, but he got scared off and didn't do it, that just shows that he's a prick who picks on the little kids.

Russ Pitts:

You need only have read as far as the first page of the article, Ray. Fourth paragraph.

"Trademark law is enormously complex, especially when dealing with multiple countries as we are in this case," said Greg Boyd, an IP attorney contacted by The Escapist. The language barrier surely hasn't helped, as many of the documents sent between the two parties, and forwarded by the parties to The Escapist, are in a mix of English and French.

You know this is fuzzy.

Who provided the lawyer's e-mails? The article doesn't say. Did Langdell? He provided e-mails in his Open Letter.

It absolutely matters who provided what information.

Archon:
Note that this correspondence is dated 16 April

Exactly. And this is after Langdell contacted Apple on the 9th. This does not show that Mobigame had prior knowledge of Edge Games at all. Mobigame released their game in December 2008.

roskelld:

It's the actions of a martyr for sure, but in someways this had to happen. Mobigame are simply the ones that have decided to jump on the grenade.

Edge Games don't have the products/evidence to win this case, they didn't against Namco which was a similar case. The loosing part of this for Mobigame is that they've got to pay for legal costs to carry this through. That's why the Chaos Edge Fund was started, so that for the people that believe Edge Games is in the wrong and should be stopped can help out by chucking a few spare coins into the pot.

http://chaosedge.wordpress.com/

I agree that this did have to happen to someone, tho why a bigger company such as EA during the Mirror's Edge spat did not do so is beyond me.

I also forgot to point out that which you have seen. Yeah, he has the better case, against Mobigame specifically, is what i should have said. Both legality wise and from a monetary ability to carry this thing through.

It is nice to know that some people are actually doing something to help them tho, in fact since you brought this fund up it part of me kind of hopes it works. If for no other reason then to show games developers that we, as the consumer, can have our opinions effect them so they don't engage in douchebaggery.

OK...so i guess that means I'm gonna step out from the middle here and throw my hat behind Mobigames for a while. :)

Archon:
In any event, the email was provided to us by Mobigames. David Papazian has authorized us to send it to any journalists we'd like, so I can provide it to you if you don't believe me. Email me if you'd like to see it.

Archon:
Note that this correspondence is dated 16 April, is by and between Mobigames and their attorney, and that this correspondence was provided to us *by Mobigames.* In fact, we have written permission from Mobigames to share all of this correspondence, so feel free to let me know if you want to see it first-hand. There are 29 different emails, most of which corroborate most of Edge Games' account, and some of which provide quite interesting insights into what Mobigames knew and what it was advised to do.

contradiction... it seems that Langdell is not the only LIAR here.
shame on you The Escapist for this piece of crap

Archon:

Ray, given that you've written for us extensively and know the effort we put into editing and fact-checking, I'm surprised and disappointed that you would think we are being untruthful here.

This article pretty much throws that out the window until it's retracted or corrected.

Agreed, Ray - unfortunately, it doesn't matter how many documents you pored over if none of it makes it to print. If David and Tim are letting you print their emails, print them! Or quote them! I don't understand why you wouldn't.

Some other points that I feel need to be made:

1. You talked to an IP lawyer who said that "Trademark law is enormously complex, especially when dealing with multiple countries as we are in this case." And yet a few paragraphs down, you're claiming that "the entire case seems more or less cut-and-dried: Langdell has a legitimate trademark, he did what was required of him to protect that trademark." Who's opinion is the latter?

2. I noticed that you edited out a paragraph from page 2 about Edge Games refusing to reveal who was sending the emails. Andy explained over Twitter that this was an error. I still think it requires a note, since it's a significant deletion that very much alters the tone of the article.

3. What's the point in linking Simon Carless's article (which was much better cited) if you're not going to address the issues he brought up? Or, for that matter, issues that Andy and The Escapist brought up earlier? They are *at least* as relevant as anything that Tim has brought to court as evidence of his own legitimacy.

Even though I'm on the side of Mobigame and the other developers (I do not consider Edge Games to be a developer), I would welcome an even-handed article about the situation so long as it was well-written and well-cited. Unfortunately, this one's pretty lazily put together and contradictory of itself and of other articles TE has written... on top of that, it's been altered significantly since it first saw print. If you really do have a mountain of evidence, you used it irresponsibly, imo.

The thing with the correspondence produced upthread is it's worthy only in the context of Mr Langdell having a truly active trademark, which to all intents and purposes a cursory glance at the breadth of his trademark activities will surely lead to the conclusion that it -is- active. Where it starts to fall apart is on closer inspection. That's the point you start to realise that perhaps all is not what it seems and it's completely remiss of the article to not take that into consideration proper before claiming Mr Langdell has a case.

nobody seems able to track down any games his company has put out in the past decade or so. When asked directly by The Escapist's Editor-in-Chief, Russ Pitts, about Edge Games' recent track record via email, Dr. Langdell, speaking as CEO of Edge Games replied only that we should "Google Bobby Bearing."

So we did. A Google search for Bobby Bearing returns numerous results regarding the company's classic game, which has recently been ported for several different platforms. Although Langdell's critics may not consider a port of a very old game evidence the company is still making games, the law is quite clear on the matter: The company is producing product, therefore the trademark is sound.

A quick google leading to a near 25 year old game with 1 port in 2003 is enough to cement the case now? How does that work? How is that possibly "still producing product" ? Or is there, amongst this mountain of evidence that's been sifted information that exonerates Mr Langdell in this regard? If so, why is it not mentioned? And given that when it comes to producing evidence even for the trademark board, there's something seemingly awry with said evidence can it be trusted? Why was this not questioned in the article?

Why is it not mentioned that there has to be sufficient confusion in order for the case to carry weight?

The principal factors considered by the examining attorney in determining whether there is a likelihood of confusion are: (1) the similarity of the marks; and (2) the commercial relationship between the goods and/or services listed in the application.

This is why there's lots of "Lots of people emailed me to point out the similarities" stuff in Langdell's public statement. Do you see any confusion or potential confusion here? Do you honestly believe that the public will consider iPhone Edge a product by Mr Langdell? Do you see *any* released games from Mr Langdell with Edge in the title? If so, why is it not mentioned in the article?

This is my main gripe with the article: It doesn't matter which side you take or whether you judge on who can urinate the highest - if the fundamental issues that Tim's complaint are based on are in doubt then it's not "an uncomfortable truth", it's a potential sham and no amount trawling through the backing and forthing of lawyers is going to make a jot of difference when the evidence lies elsewhere and easily within reach. I don't give a toss what Mobigame or Langdell have done or who can pee the highest, what matters to me is finding out where the truth may lie. Something this article fails to do on every single level and instead opts for an easy contrary position for utterly unfathomable reasons.

Unfathomable because nowhere in the article does it make it clear as to why it's taking the line it is given there's more to this story than lawyer exchanges will tell and it's *all* well documented elsewhere. Claiming that "unless stated otherwise blah" in the update doesn't excuse what a poor show it is.

[edit] If the intention was to produce an article saying "well, it's a dispute and they've both been a bit naughty" and presented a level headed analysis of that, I'd be happy with that and it seems like this may have been partially the intention. Like Derek, it's something I'd be happy to see done. By presenting mixed intentions and jumping to conclusions based on correspondence and ignorance/disregard/delete as applicable of external evidence, that's problematic, y'know?

asprinKing:

Archon:
In any event, the email was provided to us by Mobigames. David Papazian has authorized us to send it to any journalists we'd like, so I can provide it to you if you don't believe me. Email me if you'd like to see it.

Archon:
Note that this correspondence is dated 16 April, is by and between Mobigames and their attorney, and that this correspondence was provided to us *by Mobigames.* In fact, we have written permission from Mobigames to share all of this correspondence, so feel free to let me know if you want to see it first-hand. There are 29 different emails, most of which corroborate most of Edge Games' account, and some of which provide quite interesting insights into what Mobigames knew and what it was advised to do.

contradiction... it seems that Langdell is not the only LIAR here.
shame on you The Escapist for this piece of crap

Wait, what? Journalists aren't people? You can't share with journalists? Sharing is not the same as sending?

There has been considerable back and forth between the two parties (and in the press) regarding an offer made by Langdell to allow Mobigame to change the title of their game to "Edgy", which, in the opinion of Boyd, was a "very polite settlement offer ... If I were Mobigame's attorney, I would have advised them to accept it." Essentially, Langdell offered to allow Mobigame to use the title "Edge" in non-US and UK territories providing Papazian changed the name of his game to "Edgy" in the US and UK.

It wasn't just that. He also asked for 10% of all earnings by edge (or edgy) of mobigames as part of the licensing. (Based on the e-mail of langdell in the open letter on kotaku website)

Yay for the modern media, more interested in stealing attention than presenting accurate or useful information.

As anyone who watches Jon Stewart knows, it's quite possible to present mostly factual information in an extremely misleading way. That's what this article does. By ignoring many pertinent details and providing a very narrow and biased focus only on a few specific details this article carefully crafts an "edgy" story that is, nonetheless, quite misleading.

The article should have stuck to its guns when it claimed that Trademark law is a murky thing. It should have pointed out just how murky Mr. Langdell's claim to his trademark is. While correct that Langdell must enforce his trademark, this point is actually more relevant when discussing how poorly enforced it already is. If no one knows that that Edge exists, let alone what it does, then it is for all purposes not enforceable. And in fact this was basically demonstrated when Langdell lost a suit against Namco. Nonetheless Langdell carries on, relying on the general caution of lawyers and the fact that litigation, with a sound basis or not, can be annoying and costly. Many stories corroborate that this has been his MO for decades across all sorts of business dealing.

The article really comes to a head when it invites us to "google Bobby Bearing" and yet fails to even question whether Langdell actually does own the rights to this game as he claims. Did the author try to obtain a copy of this game to see if it was even still available and thus relevant to a trademark discussion? Of course not. The article fails to mention that this game came out 6 years ago and a now nearly defunct platform and was the last game that Edge had done for a decade or so. Had all of that information been presented, of course, the story would have read a lot differently.

This guy is a fraud. Whether he, by a technicality of a lazy law, has an all but defunct trademark or not is really one of the least interesting points of data for this story. Far more salient is this guy's long history of screwing people over by creating situations where it's cheaper to pay him off than to undo the giant pile of crap he's made. That he claims to be a game developer at all is a joke. It's a complicated fib supported by innuendo and deceit hovering near, but outside, the truth. That he is a board member of the IGDA and that he is taken seriously by The Escapist reflects poorly on both institutions.

So why did The Escapist get pulled in? I can only imagine it's because they wanted to get hits. Well you got a hit out of me. Unfortunately it may be the last one.

If someone can explain to me that someone who claims a trademark to the word 'Edge' in the context of games without having actually released a game, but instead offered Orbital Space Flights, items of clothing on a cafepress account which have a red 'Edge' logo on them, and 'partnerships' with creators of comicbooks, where the author of said comicbook appears to have no recollection of the partnership occuring (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=22513) then I'm all ears.

The games that are cycling around on the flash animation on the edgegames.com site seem to have been in perpetual development, with the assets for at one, Racers, turning out to be from a virtually unknown game, Voltage, which was released by another publisher a few years ago. It may well be the case that the rights for the game have been bought, but this is not entirely clear anywhere.

So, in summary, if retention of the trademark depends on the mark being used in the context of GAMES, where are the games? Bear in mind that he didn't win the Souledge case - http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-os/t-find/t-challenge-decision-results/t-challenge-decision-results-bl?BL_Number=O/337/02 and that was 8 years ago!

According to www.edgegames.com, the (presumably) first correspondence (March 09) Fedexed from Edge to MobiGames had the following paragraph:

"Failure to respond stating clearly that you will cease use of our famous registered trademark, and making us a proposal to recompense us for the damage you have caused by any use to-date, will likely mean we will take immediate action in the Federal Courts in the US, High Courts in the UK, as well as the European courts, with action against you to the full extent of the law. Certainly, in the US and the UK at least, the minimum claim we would have, should you ignore our warning, is three times the total revenue you have received from the game to-date"

*** Even if MobiGames changed the name from Edge they still had to "recompense" Edge games. ***
Given the "minimum" threat of "three times the total revenue" if MobiGames didn't respond, it was safe for Mobigames to think that "recompense" wasn't going to be cheap. i.e. It would probably put MobiGames out of business.
From Day 1, changing the name without penalty was >never< an option.
Edge Games left MobiGames no option but to fight.

It wasn't until April 22nd that Edge Games gave MobiGames an option to change the name without penalty.
Even then it would be hard to trust, considering 7 hours earlier
Edge Games confirmed "recompense" details (25% of all revenues or 10% + Bobby Bearing homage).
Source: www.edgegames.com

- - -

From the Escapist Article:
"Due to the intricacies of trademark law, trademark holders - in this case, Langdell and Edge Games - are obligated to actively defend their trademarks or risk losing them to other parties."

Does actively defending mean demanding "recompense" even if the name is changed?
I'd like to know. I would think for most people changing the name would be enough.

From Edge Games (paragraph above cited March 9, 2009 FedEx):
"We have never demanded money from anyone in return for our not suing them, that is a complete falsehood. We have pointed out the damages a trademark owner might justifiably claim if the infringement does not cease (which is usual business practice and not "trademark trolling") and in some cases we have made proposals for license agreements that might involve our receiving a license fee payment but never as part of the bullying tactics we are accused of, only as part of amicable settlement discussions."

*** If the "March 9, 2009" FedEx is not a bullying tactic, what is it? ***
There was certainly no discussion (amicable or otherwise).

The fundamental problem with the article, as others have said, is what it leaves out and the manner in which it's written. It says Langdell made first contact and demanded money; it neglects to mention how that was done (in a very hostile manner, as shown by the previous poster) and then says that was retracted (which, apparently, means THAT'S ALL RIGHT THEN!). This is just reckless and irresponsible. Had this been an individual blogger, fine, but when this site claims three 'editors' pored over the content, it's absolutely inexcusable.

With the Edgy thing, the 'facts' presented here are akin to Chinese Whispers, and omitting the things I and others mentioned earlier in this thread spin that episode VERY differently. Escapist is essentially saying Langdell had a great idea of enabling Mobigame to change their game to Edgy, and the iPod dev were idiots for not taking up that lovely and polite offer. But once you take into account the fact Langdell-in emails Escapist MUST have seen-initially said he'd sue if Edgy was used, then said an "entirely different" mark must be used, then started proceedings for registering the mark himself, then said he'd licence it back to Mobigame in return for a strapline, EVEN ON LOCALISED PRODUCT WHERE EDGE HAS NO MARK RIGHTS... well, it paints everything slightly different light, no? And that's just the Edgy thing - this spat has had similar things happen elsewhere from the very start.

What this says to me is that there isn't much effort to drag out the truth here. This seems to be a borderline trolling article, taking a contrary viewpoint to get hits. I'm certainly not against the idea of balance, in coming at this from a neutral viewpoint and going forwards, but this doesn't read like that at all. Perhaps it's a problem of the edit, but it reads like an apology. By taking the case in isolation, taking Langdell's open letter at word (rather than investigating the huge amount of information on the likes of TIG Source) and ignoring key facts in the "literal mountain" of documents that Escapist had access to (and, man, I feel for you guys, having a LITERAL mountain to get through), this is nothing more than a puff piece.

C-
"Must try harder"

Still, Escapist will likely get another shot at this soon - you only have to do a search for Edge in the games section of the App Store to see why...

Armitage Shanks:

asprinKing:

Archon:
In any event, the email was provided to us by Mobigames. David Papazian has authorized us to send it to any journalists we'd like, so I can provide it to you if you don't believe me. Email me if you'd like to see it.

Archon:
Note that this correspondence is dated 16 April, is by and between Mobigames and their attorney, and that this correspondence was provided to us *by Mobigames.* In fact, we have written permission from Mobigames to share all of this correspondence, so feel free to let me know if you want to see it first-hand. There are 29 different emails, most of which corroborate most of Edge Games' account, and some of which provide quite interesting insights into what Mobigames knew and what it was advised to do.

contradiction... it seems that Langdell is not the only LIAR here.
shame on you The Escapist for this piece of crap

Wait, what? Journalists aren't people? You can't share with journalists? Sharing is not the same as sending?

sending IS NOT publishing

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here