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EA Throws Legal Counterpunch at Langdell's Edge

| 31 Aug 2010 18:14
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Electronic Arts has filed a counter-suit against Edge man Tim Langdell, accusing him of "fraudulently misrepresenting" himself and his company to the USPTO so that he can keep suing the pants off of everything he sees.

Tim Langdell's shenanigans over the years have been well-documented. As the president of Edge Games he has enthusiastically ladled out legal threats against any and all use of the Edge name, regardless of context, without his permission. The Edge Games website notes that everything from Edge-brand SD cards and PCs from Velocity Micro to Datel's Edge controller for the Wii and even Edge Magazine are all produced under license from Edge. But Langdell's assertions of control over various trademarks have come under attack in recent years, culminating in an effort by industry giant Electronic Arts in September 2009 to have several Edge-held trademarks declared void.

But even when faced with the might and enormity of the EA legal department, Langdell refused to back down. In fact, his response seemed to invite even closer scrutiny of the validity of his claims: He sued Electronic Arts in June for "willful infringement" over its unauthorized use of "Edge" in the game Mirror's Edge. Now, unsurprisingly, EA has fired back, filing a strongly-worded counter-suit that once again seeks to have Edge's various trademarks declared void.

"Through a series of fraudulent misrepresentations to the United States Patent and Trademark Office ('USPTO'), Langdell - a one-time designer of videogames for such long-since obsolete videogame systems as the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Oric, and Sinclair ZX Spectrum - has obtained federal registrations for a purported 'family' of Edge marks," the suit says. "Neither Langdell nor his alter ego companies have made any legitimate and good faith use of those marks in commerce, but they have instead used the marks to assert baseless claims against third parties and to extract undeserved settlements, consisting of invalid naked licenses and assignments in gross which Langdell has used to maintain his fraudulently obtained registrations.

"To the extent Counterdefendants ever held a valid registration, they abandoned the mark ... due to non-use of the mark with the intent not to resume use, through an assignment in gross of the application and underlying trademark, and otherwise through a course of conduct that has caused the mark to lose all significance as a mark and/or as an indicator of source," it continues.

EA is seeking the cancellation of the trademark registrations held by Edge Games and "a declaration that [Langdell's] companies have no common law rights in the purported marks that are the subject of those registrations," along with legal fees and whatever other awards the court "deems just and proper." Adding to the drama is the fact that Mirror's Edge 2 is already in the works, further trampling Langdell's (for the moment) trademarks. Stay tuned!

Source: IndustryGamers

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