Langdell Squared: Edge magazine v Tim Langdell

This is a guest post by Jonny Mayner.  Jonny Mayner spent most of his 20’s playing games and working in bookshops and the construction industry before getting down to the serious business of being a lawyer. He is currently a trainee solicitor at Osborne Clarke, soon to qualify and join the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation team. He still plays games though.

Tim Langdell, the man behind Edge Games and long-time botherer of Edge Magazine (among others – read about his US shenanigans here and here) was dealt a critical blow by UK High Court last month, which we’ve just had a look at. In her judgement Mrs Justice Proudman pretty much flatly rejected much of Langdell’s evidence and ruled on various issues which will make it harder for him to assert IP rights in all things Edge-related going forward.  (Jas: plus, now an English court and a US court have ruled that he is a Naughty Man.)

Continue reading Langdell Squared: Edge magazine v Tim Langdell

Langdell v EA, Part 2

I wrote last week about the Tim Langdell/Edge Games’ lawsuit against EA over a range of “Edge”-related trademarks, in which Mr Langdell took a beating to put it lightly. 

Here’s a few updates since then:

  • Rob Crossley at Develop reports that Edge Games is also involved in a legal dispute with Future Publishing, publisher of Edge Magazine – though I would expect that to be settled or discontinued reasonably quickly after the Edge/EA lawsuit.
  • Alec Meer at reports that EA’s lawyers submitted a draft court order requiring Langdell/Edge Games to relinquish their Edge trademarks and to communicate this to all the affected parties personally by October 15th 2010 (ouch).  It now looks from the court file like the judge has now endorsed that order – which means that Langdell and Edge Games don’t have much longer with those trademarks…
  • Apparently EA and Edge Games have agreed that they will each pay their own legal costs.  This surprised me, as I would have expected EA to demand that Langdell/Edge Games pay its legal costs, but I guess they felt they had had enough.  Or, potentially, they thought Langdell/Edge might not be able to pay anyway.  In any event, Langdell/Edge will have to pay their own lawyers’ costs, which are probably fairly chunky themselves.

All this leaves open one very interesting question: what happens to the Edge trademarks after Edge Games relinquish them?  It seems to me that the likely candidates are: (1) EA applies to register them; or (2) Future Publishing applies to register some of them; or (3) Future and EA agree not to do anything (maybe via a standstill agreement).  Watch this space…

p.s. Jim Rossignol at RPS has pointed to a Eurogamer feature on Langdell and Edge Games written back in 2009, if anyone is interested in the backstory…

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Langdell v EA: what the lawsuit really means

It was revealed today that Tim Langdell, the man behind Edge Games, has comprehensively lost his lawsuit claiming that EA had infringed his “EDGE” trademarks when it released “Mirror’s Edge”.   The case is one of a number of recent attempts by Langdell to protect these alleged trademarks – all of which are thrown into serious question as a result of this case.

I spoke with Alec Meer over at about what the Langdell and EA lawsuit really means.  Also, I spoke with Rob Crossley at Develop about the potential legal consequences for Langdell and Edge Games themselves.  Busy day!

You can read the interviews for all the info, but there is one key practical message which I want to reinforce now:

  • This case is a timely reminder that games are essentially intellectual property and when it comes right down to it you need to go back to things like trademarks and copyright if you actually want to protect your game.
  • BUT, litigation is timely and expensive – so you need to have carefully considered your options and the legal merits before you start a lawsuit.  If in doubt, talk to a friendly games lawyer.  It could save you a lot of money, time and avoid the kind of negative PR that Mr Langdell is now going through.

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