A deeper look at the EDGE trademark dispute

Discussion in 'General Game Discussion and Questions' started by dudehuge, May 29, 2009.

  1. dudehuge

    dudehuge Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2008
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    #1 dudehuge, May 29, 2009
    Last edited: May 30, 2009
    Read the whole article at

    Source - GameSetWatch.com

    EDIT: Article was removed for unknown reasons (for now), most likely because of Tim Langdell's lawyers. I should have pasted all of it.

    EDIT 2: Full Article.
     
  2. redsoxsrule424

    redsoxsrule424 Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2009
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    Wow just wow, its amazing what people will do for more money!
     
  3. HJJ

    HJJ Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2008
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    Can a lawyer or someone please come in here and explain how this is possible? Can we all just start "trademarking" random words taken from the dictionary? I'm about to go trademark the word BALL.

    Unbelievable. :mad:
     
  4. DaveMc99

    DaveMc99 Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2009
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    Well the word is not "random". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Langdell
    "Langdell has been lead producer, designer and writer on all of EDGE's more than 180 games since 1979."

    What do you think about Apple trademarking the word apple in the computer industry?
     
  5. Kamazar

    Kamazar Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2008
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    Kinda reminds me of how certain companies copyright their phrases.

    "We make good chicken. ©"
    "Building a better tomorrow. ©"
    "Cars are vroom vroom fast! ©"

    It's stupid. And this even more so. A word? Forget "ball", I'm trademarking the words "the", "it", "an", and "and".
     
  6. HJJ

    HJJ Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2008
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    I'm sorry, but the word "Edge" is as random as it gets. It's just a word that has an actual meaning in the dictionary. It's not a phrase, image, logo, symbol, or design. It's not a made up word specifically created to describe a given product. I realize that you can trademark a word. I just think it's being implemented, here, in a bullshit way.

    The following developers currently have apps in the App Store: "Apple Dabble", "Apple Juice Innovations, Inc.", "Red Apple Games" and "Bad Apple Software". Apple Inc. has not gone after them to remove the word "Apple" from their company names. (While these companies may not sell hardware, "computer software" is covered under the trademark.) If the examples were comparable, Apple would have gone after all of these developers - Just like Langdell did with "Edge of Extinction". I mean, come on, is there any question whether someone would confuse a game called "Edge of Extinction" with whatever projects Langdell is associated with?

    It's very important to protect your trademarks, but this Edge situation is just ridiculous.
     
  7. DaveMc99

    DaveMc99 Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2009
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    I agree with you mostly.. just saying he has a case which is why it is not thrown out of the courts.. not the same as you trying to trademark the word "ball" unless you did business for 10+ years with that word.

    BTW there are a number of hardware companies with the word "Edge" http://www.google.com/search?q=edge+computers

    It is comparable to Apple protecting its name on the hardware side.
     
  8. HJJ

    HJJ Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2008
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    I understand the comparison. I just think it's completely unfair to go after games with the word "edge" as only part of the names.

    Also, "Apple" is more of a unique term in the hardware/software industry. Unless some marketing exec has some kind of personal love of apples, he would have no other reason to associate apples with the name of his company. Whereas, the word "edge" is a word with more of a wide range, like "point" or "ball" -- words that are more likely to appear in any context.
     
  9. DaveMc99

    DaveMc99 Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2009
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    Unfair probably. His company is "EDGE" and the iPhone game is "EDGE".. so who is right in this specific case?
     
  10. Kamazar

    Kamazar Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2008
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    But we're talking about a game vs. a company. It makes no sense.
     
  11. HJJ

    HJJ Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2008
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    I honestly don't know. But, in my opinion, I think there is an appreciable distinction between the name of some nobody's "company" and the name of an iPhone game.

    The whole basis for my argument, though, is really that the word "edge" isn't unique enough to this environment. The trademarked word could be "Apple" or "Polar Bear" or "Hopscotch", and I wouldn't have a problem with this dispute. But the word "edge" seems way too simple to assign to a single owner.
     
  12. DaveMc99

    DaveMc99 Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2009
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    Whoever has the best lawyer usually wins.. do find this list a bit funny.. become too popular and you lose your right to the trademark of the word. :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericized_trademarks

    The following list contains marks which were originally legally protected trademarks, but which have subsequently lost legal protection as trademarks by becoming the common name of the relevant product or service, as used both by the consuming public and commercial competitors. Some marks retain trademark protection in certain countries despite being declared generic in others.

    * Aspirin - Still a Bayer trademark name for acetylsalicylic acid in about 80 countries, including Canada and many countries in Europe, but declared generic in the U.S.[1]
    * Cellophane[2] – Originally a trademark of DuPont[3]
    * Dry ice[4] – Trademarked by the Dry Ice Corporation of America in 1925[5]
    * Escalator – Originally a trademark of Otis Elevator Company[6]
    * Heroin[7] – Trademarked by Friedrich Bayer & Co in 1898[8]
    * Kerosene[9] – First used around 1852
    * Lanolin – Trademarked as the term for a preparation of sheep fat and water[10]
    * Laundromat - coin laundry shop[11]
    * Linoleum – Floor covering[12]
    * Mimeograph[13] – Originally trademarked by Albert Dick
    * Pilates exercise system – United States trademark formally canceled by court in 2000[14]
    * Thermos - Originally a Thermos GmbH[15] trademark name for a vacuum flask; declared generic in the U.S. in 1963[16]
    * Touch-tone – Dual tone multi-frequency telephone signaling; AT&T states "formerly a trademark of AT&T"[17]
    * Trampoline – Originally trademarked by George Nissen[18][19] for the generic "rebound tumbler"
    * Videotape - Originally trademarked by Ampex Corporation[20], an early manufacturer of audio and video tape recorders.
    * Hoover - This is a trademarked product from the Hoover Company, North Canton, Ohio. Its popularity, mainly in the United Kingdom, led to Vacuum cleaners being referred to as Hoovers.
    * Webster's Dictionary – The publishers with the strongest link to the original are Merriam-Webster, but they have a trademark only on "Merriam-Webster", and other dictionaries are legally published as "Webster's Dictionary"[21]
    * Yo-Yo – Still a Papa's Toy Co. Ltd. trademark name for a spinning toy in Canada, but declared generic in the U.S. in 1965[22]
    * Zipper – Originally a trademark of B.F. Goodrich[23]
     
  13. HJJ

    HJJ Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2008
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    What you've listed is actually the opposite of what we're talking about here.

    In these cases you bring up, those were all essentially made up brand names that became popularized into society's colloquial vernacular. In the "Edge" case, we're talking about a word that is an existing, defined word -- which is the heart of the matter, IMO. This Langdell guy doesn't have to worry about people misusing the word "edge" because it already has a clearly defined definition and use! Mobigames isn't even using the word in a way that changes its definition. It's specifically referring to rolling cubes along the edges of a 3D course.

    Your Wiki article is an interesting read, but it doesn't really apply here.
     
  14. DaveMc99

    DaveMc99 Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2009
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    Yes I know. Found this answer from a lawyer http://www.secureyourtrademark.com/2007/11/trademark-registration-of-common-words.html
    "Common words or phrases are therefore well within the scope of trademark protection, so long as the words or phrases in question are not generic for the types of good or services being provided under them. After all, how else would TIME (the magazine), SHELL (the energy giant), and CATERPILLAR (the equipment manufacturer) get their trademark registrations?"
     
  15. HJJ

    HJJ Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2008
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    I know arguing about it is silly because no laws are going to change according to my opinions :). But for the sake of argument, shells have nothing to do with energy and caterpillars have nothing to do with giant trucks. It makes sense that these words are specifically defining a brand, and thus the trademarks. I don't think they'd have as much luck trademarking the truck manufacturer names "WHEELS" or "METAL".

    Oh well. I appreciate the effort. I see what's going on, but I just don't agree with this particular case. I hope I've made a decent point inside all my ranting. ;)
     
  16. dudehuge

    dudehuge Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2008
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    #16 dudehuge, May 29, 2009
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
    Sadly, current trademark laws says he's right. That point is sound and clear. He can technically sue everyone that has "Edge" on their title. Fact is that Soul Edge was renamed Soul Blade (it later became Soulcalibur) solely because of this guy.

    However the article is not only concerned about the legality of the issue but also the fact that this guy, Tim Langdell, is doing it solely because of greed. The fact that he is even a member of the Internation Game Developers Association (IGDA) a non-profit organization with a mission of advancing the careers and enhance the lives of game developers by connecting members with their peers, promoting professional development, and advocating on issues that affect the developer community.

    He has a pattern of doing these questionable things for his own gain as referenced on the original post. You can also check out the lectures that he does and majority of it is about flipping an IP for more profit. DOLLARS BABY!

    As for all the wikipedia entries regarding him, don't trust it, it was edited by someone with the username Cheridavis, which is, SURPRISE, the name of his wife, Cheri Langdell.

    Check this link out, a small quote of the article mentioning that she is his wife is quoted below.

    Pretty dumb if you ask me as she could've just used Legolasxxxx and nobody would've known it with certainty. Again there's nothing wrong on what he's doing legally but morally, and morals are subjective.
     
  17. Draven

    Draven Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2009
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    Hunt around the Edge Games web site and you see that Edge Magazine is "licensed" from them, a 3D card, hell even a movie has had to be officially licensed. This does sound dumb but it appears to be sticking. Either these companies don't want to fight this guy in court or he has a solid case. The impending scrap with EA now that he has announced his new game, Mirrors Edge, may lessen his appetite for legal shenanigans and then hopefully we can see Edge back on the App Store. He should be supporting these guys if he cared that much about games and small devs, not trying to wipe them out.
     
  18. HJJ

    HJJ Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2008
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    I hope EA kicks his ass in court. I'm sorry to be so undiplomatic, but this is total ass bag behavior.
     
  19. JTHM87

    JTHM87 Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2009
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    Auto Finance
    King of Prussia, PA
    People like this should get swine flu and no medical treatment.
     
  20. Draven

    Draven Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2009
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    Not even Oinkment?:D
     

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