Edge Of Our Seats: Langdell Going Down?

By Alec Meer on October 7th, 2010 at 8:07 pm.

Oh Tim Langdell the nasty trademark troll,
On wrecking businesses you were on a roll.
Now your case against EA’s been thrown out,
And you must be wearing a great big pout.

Everybody! It’s the ‘Tim Langdell finally got his litigous little bottom kicked’ song! Sing it together!

In fact, having his ridiculous attempt to block EA’s further use of the word ‘edge’ in game names denied is the least of the Edge Games bully’s problems… Those ‘edge’ trademarks he’s abused for so long? Looks like he’s going to lose ‘em.

Recap: Tim Langdell owns a company called Edge Games, which he claims has made a bunch of games and other media involving the word ‘edge.’ As such, he somehow managed to gain a trademark for this common-language term in the US, and has attempted to force a name change from or money out of any game company that uses it to title their products. It’s caused a lot of grief to a lot of people, but sickeningly, Langdell appeared to have the law on his side. If you’re not aware of any of this, Simon Parkin’s investigation for Eurogamer is comfortably the world’s finest documentation of the Langdell saga.

Until now. While Langdell has traditionally bullied smaller developers who might struggle to fund long and messy court cases so instead settle in one way or another, earlier this year he finally went after EA for Mirror’s Edge. Because, of course, ‘Mirror’s Edge’ would immediately make everyone think it must be a title from a company they’ve never heard of called Edge Games.

EA, being enormous, didn’t roll over, pay the guy any money or change their game to Mirror’s Precarious Bit On The End. Instead they pushed back, and they pushed back in a way that made even people who hate EA struggle not to applaud. They filed a counter-claim that stated Langdell had deliberately deceived the US patent office. And then everything, especially Langdell, went quiet.

A couple of days ago, word came down that a judge had denied Langdell’s injunction against Mirror’s Edge. Hooray for EA: you can keep on making parkour games. Well, provisionally. The preliminary injunction being denied doesn’t stop Langdell from trying to bring action against EA, but it is essentially the judge saying “you can try, but you’ve got no chance, matey.” So most likely he won’t take it further, unless he’s decided to risk whatever money he’s somehow got left on a fool’s errand.

That wasn’t the half of it, though.

In his report, the judge accused Langdell of “trolling” (yes, he actually said trolling), of not having released products that supported his claim on the word and – this is the best bit – falsified a whole mess of evidence to gain his trademark.

For instance, this little beauty. On the right, the July 2004 cover of UK games stern-o-tome Edge. On the left, what Langdell submitted to the US patent office to prove he owned Edge magazine.

LOL and, indeed, LOL

I very rarely say this. I hate the term, in fact. But… LOL.

Note the $ price, the nonsensical coverline, the lack of any explanatory coverlines about the nature of this magazine other than its claimed owner, the bad recolouring to suggest Edge Games’ logo, and the inexplicable inclusion of ‘the new Edge game PCs’ on the bottom. Which is the biggest tell of them all – Edge don’t like PC gaming!

Langdell did similar dodginess for the Edge Games boxart he submitted in his application. Here’s something from the brilliant scathing judge’s report on the denied injunction:

“For example, Dr. Langdell’s declaration asserted that Edge Games has been selling the video game Mythora (supposedly bearing the “EDGE” mark) since 2004. Curiously, while the exterior packaging submitted by Dr. Langdell to the USPTO for the Mythora video game included a website address, this website wasn’t even registered by Edge Games until October 2008 – nearly four years after the game’s purported release.”

WELL DONE TIM LANGDELL. This was, of course, a deception already uncovered by peerless Langdell-fighters Chaos Edge, but to see it turn up in a court report and handily slap Langdell down is gratifying in the extreme.

What this means is, essentially, Langdell appears to have sought his trademark on the word ‘edge’ and various derivatives under false pretences. And what that means, says Dear Judgy-poos, is that he could face criminal charges. I.e. fines, perhaps even imprisonment – but most importantly being stripped of the trademarks he has used to bring anguish to many developers.

Whether that’ll happen or not remains to be seen officially, as it requires US authorities to actively bring action about, but comments from Mobigames – whose iPhone game Edge suffered business-disrupting threats and enforced name changes from Langdell last year – suggest something is very much going ahead.

“It is not over yet,” Mobigame CEO David Papazian told Eurogamer. “Now we will continue to support EA in the battle against Tim Langdell. The next step is to have all his trademarks cancelled by the USPTO.”

Also: “We are still thinking to start a legal action against Langdell to claim a reparation for the prejudice.” Which is presumably something anyone else who suffered his legal bullying could do in the likely event that the trademarks are cancelled.

In other words: he could well be screwed. Many times over.

It is wrong to wish misfortune on another human being, so let’s not do that. Let’s simply hope that his ability to inflict misfortune on other human beings in this strange, petty and apparently illegitimate way is swiftly removed.

Update: it’s happening! It’s happened! (As tipped off by James in the comments below)

The parties having stipulated to the disposition of the claims in this action, FINAL JUDGMENT IS HEREBY ENTERED in favor of Defendant and Counterclaimant Electronic Arts Inc. (“EA”) and Counterclaimant and Counter-Counterdefendant EA Digital Illusions CE AB (“DICE”), and against Plaintiff, Counterdefendant, and Counter Counterclaimant Edge Games, Inc. and Counterdefendant The Edge Interactive Media, Inc., on all claims, counterclaims, and counter-counterclaims, with the exception of the Sixth Claim for Relief (Declaratory Relief) in the Counterclaim asserted by Counterclaimants EA and EA DICE, which is dismissed without prejudice in accordance with the parties’ stipulation.

Pursuant to Section 37 of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1119, the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks and the Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks are hereby ordered to cancel U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 2,219,837; 2,251,584; 3,105,816; 3,559,342; and 3,381,826. The Clerk of the Court is further directed to certify a copy of this Final Judgment to the Commissioner of the Patent and Trademark Office.

Each party shall bear its owns costs and fees in this matter.

The second paragraphs the reveal that he’s lost his trademarks ( for ‘edge’, ‘cutting edge’, ‘edge’ again, ‘the edge’ and ‘gamer’s edge’ respectively), while the final line means he’s got to pay a bunch of money. And that’s before all the developers he went after decide to pile on.

Update update: In fact it’s a proposed judgement, not yet signed off by the judge, although he is currently reviewing it and Langdell’s lawyers look to have already agreed. But there’s still scope for more madness yet…

(Oh, here’s the full court document for the injunction-denial, by the way. It’s an entertaining read, filled with scathing comments and more visual examples of Langdell’s ridiculous doctoring techniques. That he managed to get that stuff past the patent office is pretty unsettling: you have to wonder what other people have managed to slip through. There’s also a breakdown of exactly what the injuction ruling means and what might happen next here, but free registration is required.)

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126 Comments »

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  1. Antsy says:

    And not before time. I sincerely hope Tim Langdell receives everything he deserves. The cock.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      It’s like seeing David fighting Goliath. Retard David and child-rapist Goliath. ;)
      it’s always good to see two of your enemies bash each others’ heads in.

    • pepper says:

      This wasnt as much of a fight as a mosquito has a impact when trying to kamikaze himself in a body orbiting a star.

      I suppose he didnt play enough games, it would have taught him to never under estimate your targets.

    • Antsy says:

      Just add Bobby Kottick and Baby, you’ve got a stew going!

    • DevilSShadoW says:

      “Mister Kottick you have a letter from a Mr. Langdell. What does it say? It says, and i quote “HEY MR CODICK YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT GAMES ARE AND YOU ARE ALSO A FAG” end of quote. It is signed EDGE Langdell.”

      that should work well

  2. mondomau says:

    Delicious. That guy totally deserves this. Can’t wait to find out what happens next.

    *eats popcorn.*

    • Temple to Tei says:

      Is it wrong that it is 7 am and I am really eating popcorn?

      In other news: good.
      This was always one of those stories that made me unhappy. That the system is so broken and open to abuse. Yes, let us not wish him dead or anything… but I truly hope he not only loses any and all monies he has ever earned through this abusive system (and maybe a little bit more on top as some real form of punishment) but also suffers some other form of suitable punishment.

      Deliberately lying to the court? That is wrong isn’t it?

    • battles_atlas says:

      I’m sure this would qualify as perjury in the UK, which pretty much guarantees a jail sentence in my legal opinion, based on my study of episodes of The Bill 1991-1998

  3. Acosta says:

    LOL

  4. Premium User Badge

    sonofsanta says:

    Good lord.

    It still feels slightly wrong to appreciate EA, after all those years of hurt… but by golly, huzzah EA!

    It still hurts that the justice system working correctly is such a pleasant surprise, though. This should be a moment of “ah, at last, the inevitable has happened” instead of “bloody hell, it’s gone the right way”, but I’ll take what I can get.

    (part of me also wishes Edge were a photocopied fanzine like on the left as well. The world has lost something in losing fanzines)

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Uuum, you don’t have to take any side here! Just be happy. Like having a room full of enemies in Doom 1, shooting one shot to the beast in the back, closing the door, and having them do the rest for you. ;)

  5. Premium User Badge

    TheJimTimMan says:

    Excellent! Finally the gremlin gains it’s just desserts. RIP, Langdell. You will not be missed.

  6. President Weasel says:

    Indeed.
    I believe the judge used ‘trolling’ in the fishing sense, but I also think he was entirely aware of its other meaning and used the word deliberately. Not only a legal kick in the teeth to Langdell but also a quite little pun in the ruling. Good work, your honour.
    Langdell’s entire business appeared to rely on suing the little guy: small developers who lacked the legal muscle and the deep pockets needed to fight a case in the US courts. One has to wonder what went through his mind when he decided to take on games industry behemoth EA; a company which not only has a large legal department but also quite clearly has the cash to fight a case like this.

    Did he actually come to believe his own, let’s not mince words here since the legal judgement appears to be quite clear, lies?
    It seems unlikely that anyone would seriously think such crude photoshoppery would stand up in court.

    It must be a strange and pleasant feeling for EA’s legal department to be using their comparatively vast resources to crush a one-man operation in the courts – and be heroes to the gaming community while doing so.

    • President Weasel says:

      *quiet little pun. not “quite little”.

    • Premium User Badge

      DarkNoghri says:

      That was my reaction as well.

      “Did he really just say trolling? Isn’t that considered slang? Wait, maybe he meant fishing….. Does he know? *grins*”

    • Shock says:

      There is no possible way that he used “trolling” in the fishing sense because the word for that is “trawling”

    • mandrill says:

      well consider that the internet use of the verb to troll, has its origins in trying to get a reaction from your intended target, or a bite in fishing. The use is not only appropriate whether the judge knew of its internet meaning or not, it is indeed quite the pun :D

    • Shock says:

      I am a retard. Trolling is a separate method of fishing from trawling! Is this really the true etymology of “trolling” in the computer sense? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolling_(fishing)

    • Anonymousity says:

      Trolling and trawling both fishing terminology, here’s a link shock. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolling_%28fishing%29

    • Lightbulb says:

      Hmmm that means that the modern ‘standard’ definition of trolling is actually wrong. I have heard that trolling is putting a comment out there you know will get a response and then gaining amusement when someone ‘bites’.

      I had always thought it just meant generally unnecessarily and deliberately argumentative…

      RPS is, as ever, at the forefront of cutting edge etymological research!

    • Kefren says:

      “RPS is, as ever, at the forefront of cutting edge etymological research!”

      You said ‘edge’, you owe me £200.

    • Premium User Badge

      Flimgoblin says:

      I think if he hadn’t gone after EA, he’d have lost his trademarks anyway (or the lack of action against EA would have given people wiggle room/reassurance to stop them paying up). You have to protect your trademarks to keep them.

    • discordance says:

      yes what many people don’t realise is trademarks have to be enforced by their owners or else they are cancelled for falling out of use. Langdell had a choice, challenge EA or give up his his hurtful little moneymaker, while quietly letting his trademarks expire may have allowed his existing judgements to stand, keep money is his pocket, and generally protect him from ever having to admit past wrongdoing; his ego clearly would never let him do that and challenging EA and crashing and burning was the only option.

  7. dancingcrab says:

    Awesome. Simply awesome. I really felt for Mobigames when I read about the ridiculous threats he made. I hope the karmic tides wash Langdell away.

  8. sinister agent says:

    It is wrong to wish misfortune on another human being

    Absolutely. But what do other human beings have to do with anything? I thought we were talking about Tim Langdell.

  9. Nick says:

    I hope things go ahead and he is ripped to tiny shreds. Not literally, but litigiously.

  10. Bas says:

    I predict he’ll flee the country.

  11. terry says:

    The law is an ass, and Tim Langdell’s the hole.

  12. volt1up says:

    I remember this cool looking steampunkish game called Edge of Twilight, and they had to give money to this f*ck and not long after there were reports of the company closing and all work on the game being stopped.

  13. Corbeau says:

    It may be wrong to wish harm on other human beings, but this story still put a huge grin on my face.

  14. bob_d says:

    Yeah, as you say, this is only a ruling on a preliminary injunction, the real outcome relies on future actions taken by the government (and those that he’s defrauded over the years).
    What Langdell did goes beyond what you mention. In order to back up his claims that he had games for sale, he’d steal art and even whole games from small developers (and then retro-actively work out publishing deals, having fraudulently convinced the small developer that he actually was in the game business).
    The guy has made significant money and wriggled his way into positions of authority, such as being on GDC panels (for his supposed expertise in doing things he hadn’t ever done), and even a teaching position, based entirely on his fraud. I really hope he eventually sees jail time.

  15. James says:

    “Whether that’ll happen or not remains to be seen officially”

    Happened earlier today, it seems. The documents aren’t on Justia yet, but they’re on RFC Express for a couple of dollars – http://www.rfcexpress.com/lawsuit-documents.asp?ID=59823 (document 73 and the next one – exhibit A).

    The good bit:

    “Pursuant to Section 37 of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1119, the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks and the Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks are hereby ordered to cancel U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 2,219,837; 2,251,584; 3,105,816; 3,559,342; and 3,381,826. The Clerk of the Court is further directed to certify a copy of this Final Judgment to the Commissioner of the Patent and Trademark Office.”

    • kwyjibo says:

      It’s been uploaded at http://cowboyprogramming.com/files/Exhibit%20A.pdf

      Shame that Langdell hasn’t been made to pay both sides legal fees. So Langdell has largely been neutered, but I still want charges of fraud brought up against him, just fucking over his business is not enough.

      Jesus, I sound almost right wing.

    • bob_d says:

      @ kwyjibo: Don’t worry, the desire to see justice done is not a right-wing trait. (If it was, that would make me, I dunno, on par with Hitler or Mel Gibson.) The guy’s a con-man; he’s fraudulently bilked money from various companies and individuals and generally made life hard for some indie developers with his rackets. Worst of all, he misused the law, particularly parts of it intended to prevent similar activity, to actually perpetrate his scams. He guy needs to be held accountable, otherwise the law is a sham. He used the threat of expensive lawsuits to get developers to cough up money, he needs to make recompense; he committed crimes, he should be in jail. His actions were unambiguously and deliberately criminal; if he doesn’t deserve legal punishment, no one does.

    • LintMan says:

      @bob_d: absolutely. I’m really hoping that the USPTO goes after him with full criminal charges for his fraud. And in an ideal world, perhaps the USPTO will also learn a lesson and do its own independent investigation of trademark claims rather than relying purely on the claimant’s submission.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      That would require a) a substantial change in the basis for patent and trademark registration in the US and b) a huge increase in funding for the USPTO.

      So, y’know, it’s about as likely as the sun turning to ice.

  16. kwyjibo says:

    This outcome has been fantastic.

    Even better, is the later court order – http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/california/candce/3:2010cv02614/228647/69/ – which suggests that Langdell may be the target of a fraud investigation.

    Previously, he could have just rolled over and declared bankruptcy and gotten away with everything. Now he could face criminal charges, excellent – he deserves a penal ass raping.

    —-
    “It is wrong to wish misfortune on another human being”

    This is not true.

    • Bob Bobson says:

      ” “It is wrong to wish misfortune on another human being”

      This is not true. ”

      I think it is true. But without a little bit of wrong every once in a while you will go mad of course.

  17. Simon says:

    Bwahahahahaha.

    Fcking.

    Owned.

  18. Wolfox says:

    Go, EA! Go, victims of Tim Langdell! Keep pushing, until you push him over the EDGE.

    I admit, that’s a RPS-worthy pun. Sort of. I apologize.

  19. user@example.com says:

    This is one of my top five legal documents of all time. It’s right up there with the Dover case and anything at all connected with Kent Hovind or Jack Thompson, like that one where he drew a comic to explain to the judges why he was the goddamn Batman or whatever the hell he was trying to prove.

  20. Premium User Badge

    shinygerbil says:

    LOL. Many times LOL.

  21. Jimbo says:

    “It is wrong to wish misfortune on another human being, so let’s not do that.”

    No, let’s! I hope he trips over and his face lands in a bear trap!

  22. Centy says:

    Finally I can start work on my new game called “Edging towards the edgy looking edge” in peace. I know EA are a giant evil corporation but yeah I too made a little woohoo noise while reading this that little bastard got what he deserved trying to fight EA and got the legal beat down he’s clearly had coming for years.

  23. Skusey says:

    I sort of hope Langdell is let off, so then I can carry on being reminded how good that Simon Parkin piece is every few months or so.

  24. Unaco says:

    Yay! This man and his business are so shady, as has been outlined in some of the wonderful articles written about him, that it beggars belief. My favourite is the website (the whole thing, but specifically) were it lists under Movie/TV crossovers that “The movie “The Edge” staring (sic) Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, was released by 20th Century Fox under license from EDGE”. What possible connection could there have been between his business and that movie? Did 20th Century Fox cede to his demands, if he made them?

    The guy and his business are a joke… literally. Just looking at his site, or reading about his latest game*, or the fact EDGE licenses Sport Fishing equipment, or his strategy to prepare for his epic court battle with EA, which was to announce “Mirrors – A Game by EDGE” (which is available to preorder from the site!!) is (and I very rarely say this. I hate the term, in fact. But…) a LOLlercoaster. Maybe the man is actually a performance Artist or something and this is all an act… and all of the scorn, the vilification, the bile and the hatred he suffers is OK, as long as he’s making us all laugh.

    * “Racers”, which, apparently, comes on a recordable DVD, with inkjet packaging and is just a repackaged game released a few years prior… or at least it would be if the DVD’s weren’t blank

  25. Lewie Procter says:

    Interestingly, EA announced the Mac port (out by the end of the year supposedly) or Mirror’s Edge via this legal document.

    • Premium User Badge

      Flimgoblin says:

      Is there a competition for “most obscure place to release a product”? That said, there’s plenty of eyes on that document, so no bad thing.

  26. Boris says:

    Wait. A judge that knows the term “trolling”?

    Oh brave new world, how you continue to amaze.

    • dantokk says:

      It’s more likely the judge is using the pre-internet definition of trolling:

      troll: angling by drawing a baited line through the water

  27. chokoladenudlen says:

    I’m so confused. I’m suddenly having warm, fuzzy feelings for EA. It feels so good, but it feels so wrong! ;-/

    Edit: Well, at least I still hate the CAPTCHA so my whole emotional world hasn’t been turned upside down…

  28. Novotny says:

    Yay! I registered at some shit-pants website where Alec empties the bins just to hear more about this, only a few days ago. That might have been yesterday, I’m having problems with days atm. Been interested in seeing this shitbag get his just returns for some time. Disappointed it’s not been on Slashdot yet, hint hint people – I cannae be arsed sending it in (And what happened to firehose, anyway?).

  29. Wilson says:

    This is excellent, but it is also concerning that he got away with it so long. There’s something wrong with the system, somewhere, if you need a huge corporation to put an end to such a patently absurd deception.

    • Kadayi says:

      True that. You’d think that the patents people would put a bit more investigation into things rather than just rubber stamping everything they receive.

      Anyway, a good result. I hope that some of the small developers that have had to pay over money to Langdell are able to garner some restitution, however I suspect that he’s probably pissed it all away.

      “It is wrong to wish misfortune on another human being, so let’s not do that”

      Given his activities over the last decade or so I’m not actually sure Langdell qualifies for human being status tbh (someone fetch the Gom Jabbar & the Box perhaps?). I also suspect he must suffer from some deep psychological disorder, because the utter madness in pursuing a legal action from such a fraudulent position as his, against a company like EA is up there with Captain Ahab attempting to kill- Moby Dick.

    • bob_d says:

      He got away with it because no one legally challenged his trademark claims. When registering a trademark, no one checks it. The trademark is relevant only if you have products that might be confused with someone else’s, and is normally only legally significant when in court battles. If you get to court in a trademark battle and you don’t have any actual products, the result is… well, we’ve seen the result from this case. The reason why it didn’t get to court before, and this is the heart of the problem, is that when faced with legal threats, no matter how baseless they are, one either:

      1) doesn’t have the tens of thousands of dollars needed to fight the issue in court (and thus must cave in to any and all demands), or
      2) one has the money to fight, but fighting would cost more than the sums being demanded (so it’s cheaper and easier to just pay them off).
      This is an aspect of civil law frequently abused, I’m afraid.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Unfortunately not even the USPTO doesn’t have the resources to painstakingly check the hundreds of thousands of patent and trademark applications submitted every year, the overwhelmingly vast majority of which are utterly uncontroversial and legitimate.

      It would be a tremendous waste of resources to fund that sort of investigation for the tiny, tiny minority of applications submitted in bad faith. It’s a bit annoying when you get a prat like Langdell flaunting the system, but parasites will always find a way to scam their way through life – you can’t stop them, you just have to kill them when you find them. And he’s finally been found (legally, that is).

  30. Fenryz says:

    Finally, about time the vile little troll got what he deserved. Here´s hoping the legal cost will be skyhigh for him.

    • bob_d says:

      Unfortunately it seems like he’s been acting as his own lawyer, which is why it was financially advantageous for him to make these legal threats to force licensing deals. I think it was his main source of income, for a while at least. That’s why he kept branching out into new areas: magazines, comics, hardware of various sorts, etc. Just extorting money out of game developers alone wasn’t enough to support himself.

    • Kadayi says:

      @bob_d

      That’s not going to protect him from damages though.

  31. Moni says:

    Now that that’s cleared up I’m optimistically predicting EA will announce Mirror’s Edge 2: The Re-Edginning soon.

  32. DuckSauce says:

    Hip Hip Hurray!

  33. Napalm Sushi says:

    I awoke unusually knackered this morning from a series of horrid dreams about being back in the ASDA warehouse that i escaped nearly 3 years ago, and then proceeded to be 10 minutes late for my lecture after getting the wrong room. Twice. On opposite ends of the campus. It then turned out that the lecture was a lengthy and tedious library induction for those unfamiliar with the facilities, which I had to endure despite having used them for a year. After returning home, I utterly failed to motivate myself to approach the coursework that is due to be submitted shortly, and, as the sun set, I settled down to reflect on the morbid failure that had been the last 24 hours.

    Then I read this article.

    What a fantastic day to be alive.

  34. Sorbicol says:

    This goes against pretty much every grain in my body, but well played EA. Now I just hope all those independents can get back a little of what they are owed form this obnoxious excuse for a human being.

  35. airtekh says:

    I still find it laughable that Langdell thought that EA would bend over, or that he could take them on in the first place. He dug his own grave, as they say.

    What concerns me most about these proceedings is that the US legal system allowed him to patent such a common word in the first place, and that they readily accepted the crap he produced as ‘evidence’. I find it scary.

    • Baf says:

      Oh, you can register just about any word as a trademark in the US, provided it’s meaningless in context. Consider “apple”. That’s a perfectly common word too, but there’s only one Apple Computer, Inc. and if you tried selling your own “Apple computers” in competition with them you can bet there would be trouble.

    • bob_d says:

      Actually I’m surprised that Langdell didn’t get away with it for once. Normally he manages to get companies to either change product names or pay him a “licensing fee” (although it’s hard to tell how often that happens, since he frequently claims that he has licensing arrangements with companies when he doesn’t). The way he has gotten away with it has been to act as his own lawyer, presumably (so he has no legal costs), and make a legal threat. Indie developers who can’t afford to pay legal fees have no choice but to cave in, and bigger companies find it cheaper to pay him off than go to court. Perhaps his timing was off this time (he waited too long), perhaps EA didn’t take him seriously, perhaps he put EA in a position where they couldn’t just pay him off (and they weren’t about to change the name of an already released game).
      He trademarked “The Edge;” trademarks are very specific: they’re to prevent confusion over which company has made a particular good, and only apply to the specific types of goods of that company (Apple records came before Apple computers and the two didn’t really have a trademark issue until Apple started selling music.) Langdell started expanding his trademark to cover other types of products, but even then it only worked in each case because he falsely claimed to have a pre-existing product with a suspiciously similar name, (products which he retro-actively mocked up). e.g. “Mirrors by Edge”. The main reason why his sham “evidence” of trademarks has held up this long is because no one actually really examined it. He didn’t have to go to court to get people to cave in.

    • Shock says:

      In addition to what BAF said, there was the whole brouhaha regarding Apple Computers and Apple Records (The Beatles). You can really trademark any word. Guess who won? Apple Computers! :( And these legal battles started in 1978, decades before itunes or any connection Apple had with music.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      You can literally trademark any word, but only the use of that work as a mark in your particular trade.

      I can’t register the word “blue” then sit back and wait for the royalties to pour in, but Cadbury can (and have, successfully) register a particular shade of purple in association with the manufacture and sale of chocolate based confectionery.

      For example.

  36. tapanister says:

    What the fuck, guys. Am I the only who’s pissed off at the judge calling Tim Langdell a “Dr.”? That piece of shit doesn’t even qualify for a “Mr.”, I very much doubt he’s any sort of a doctor. Not even a Doctor of Fraud, apparently.

    I’ve photoshopped faces of people I don’t like on midget pornstar bodies better than he can photoshop 20 year old videogame boxart.

    I hope he goes to prison, maybe he can become a Dr. of Aids-Infested-Cock-Sucking.

    Sorry, couldn’t help it.

    • Kadayi says:

      The guy’s clearly bought himself a doctorate (as you can these days) in order to ‘enhance’ his court profile. Seems it didn’t pay off this time. ;)

    • Stephen says:

      Honestly, judges deal with people called all sorts pretty much daily. It doesn’t do too much for you. If the best someone says to you is “Dr [whatever], the other side clearly wins” you’re still humped.

      He lost. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

  37. kutkh says:

    And so, EA rose up and tossed Langdell down the reactor-shaft of the US legal system.

    Cue Ewok party.

  38. Kdansky says:

    I have this warm, fuzzy feeling inside. I think we call it Schadenfreude, or possibly glee.

    Also, props to EA for dishing it out until he was down. And then kicking him. A couple times.

  39. Andy Clementson says:

    Hang on a minute, didn’t the hairy bloke from U2 have the original rights to the word ‘Edge’? :/

    • Stromko says:

      Tim probably just told the patent office that he was that guy. They never check anything.

  40. Alex Bakke says:

    This is the best thing to happen to British Gaming since Quantum Leap.

    And I do not say that lightly.

  41. Easydog says:

    Hooray!

  42. A-Scale says:

    Kudos to David Papazian, you beautiful Armenian you.

  43. Davee says:

    POW! Right in the kisser!

    Nice to see him finally being brought back to earth.

    Also, judge accusing him of “trolling” ftw :D

    • Lachlan says:

      I particularly like this bit. It means there is a legally protected right to call him a troll, free from (okay, staggeringly unlikely) libel or slander writs.

  44. Vivian says:

    The Internet term troll comes from the fishing term anyway.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      If internet users got outdoors more instead of sitting inside all day not getting any Vitamin D, they’d know that.

      [/obviously trolling]

  45. RagingLion says:

    Rejoice!

  46. Will Tomas says:

    Apologies for the language, but…

    Thank fuck for that.

  47. PsySal says:

    Well, I hope that he goes to prison for fraud, and/or contempt of court (you can go to jail for that, right?)

  48. Mathonar says:

    Glad he’s finally got what he deserved over this, can’t belioeve he was stupid enough to go after EA but then given what he got away with registering the trademarks he must have thought anything was possible.

    And glad to see someone else thinks Edge magazine has some sort of bias against PC Games, i thought it was maybe just me as i only ever scan read it rather than buy a copy.

  49. Premium User Badge

    stahlwerk says:

    Just wanted to commend you on that choice of picture. That scene was really something else. Unskippable cutscene, followed by a fraction-of a second quicktime event – without a prompt even – and instadeath on failure…

    grrr.

    But the ecstatic joy that came over me when I finally nail’d that disarm after 20-odd tries!
    Such a great game, so many frustrating situations.

    • Premium User Badge

      Man Raised by Puffins says:

      Yeah, that was a pain in the bum. There was a disarm prompt on the pipe though, provided you didn’t disable the red highlights obv., it was just a bit of a bastard to time (like the cocking dogs in CoD4).

    • LoveIsGood says:

      Actually this was my favorite QTE. If I remembered it correctly it was actually rather easy and it all felt so seamless and used the controls in an organic fashion if I remember correctly. You basically pressed what you think you’d press. It didn’t feel like a cutscene at all like most QTEs but a seamless action where my inputs were not just arbitrary presses, but something that you’d almost expect the buttons to do. This is how QTE should be handled, not as a way to have an excuse to call a long cutscene sequence interactive, but as a natural flowing part of the game. The Dogs in Modern Warfare however could eat a bag of hell, the melee key is a non-primary and rarely used key so you have to think about it and it disjoints quite a bit since most of the time since you rarely ever use the melee key naturally.

  50. Spliter says:

    I would have never thought I would ever say this but:
    I LOVE EA!!!!

    You know what would be funny?
    If Langdell was actually the good guy.
    Let’s say he found out about this gigantic exploitative loophole in Trademark/patent law, and decided to show the US penal system that the law needs revision.
    He took the duty onto himself to exploit the loophole because he knew that was the right thing to do, and would bring the attention of the right people to close it so it wouldn’t be exploited any more, and would eventually lead to revision of the entire Patent system,no matter how everyone hated him, no matter how everyone was angry at him, and no matter how much money he would loss.
    So we’ll hunt him… Because he can take it… because he’s not a hero…he’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector… he’s the Dark Knight….

    But that’s a huge if. I would be willing to believe it if he returned every single cent to the companies he pursued, unless he’s lost too much money and can’t return it any more.

    • LintMan says:

      @Spliter:

      Not even remotely close. Read the judge’s ruling. No “loophole”. Just fraud and mostly picking on the little guys who couldn’t afford to fight back.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Spliter

      As LintMan recommends, read the judges ruling. This is just a case of a fraudster whose illegitimately leeched off of others who were unable to legally challenge him finally getting his just deserts.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      No, he’s just a trademark squatter. Everyone in the legal system knows about them, most people in business know about them and they’re just a function of the intellectual property rights management arrangements most Western countries use.