Recently, blogs have been ablaze with the stories of Tim Langdell's gaming company
(The Edge) sueing a small 2 man company (Mobigame) for releasing a game called "Edge"
on the iPhone.
The story goes that, although not having released any new games for 15 years,
they have been persecuting a lot of people for using the word "Edge", including a 1997 film with Anthony Hopkins. And now they're after Mobigames' money.
Edge is no longer for sale in the US and UK.
Quite amazing, considering Tim Langdell is a board member of the IGDA, an association supporting game developers.
If you feel like reading a 4-page backstory:
Well, I cried havoc, joined the Facebook in support of Mobigame and let as many people
I knew know about it.
Including Tim Langdell.
Yes, I mailed him and, as politely as my infuriated state allowed me to, told him off.
Subject: it's either the one or the other
How can you be board member of an organisation that is supposed to help game developers meanwhile threatening to squash a 2-man dev company over some far-fetched legal issues?
If you are serious about your role at IGDA, you would try to sort this out properly.
NOT TO THE LETTER OF THE LAW, but with a sense of justice.
But then something unexpected happened. Tim replied. And this is what he had to say about it:
I am sorry you are being exposed to such a flood of lies about me and my company. First, Edge Games has never demanded money from any one for its trademarks. That was a lie made up to try to make Edge and me look bad. Second, in all the trademark settlements we have done over the years we have never taken a cent from anyone. Not one penny. People want you to think we are trademark trolls, but there is no truth to that at all.
As to Mobigame, they infringed our registered trademarks EDGE and THE EDGE which we have held for decades. It was not just a matter of "letter of the law" that they were wrong, it was morally and ethically they were wrong too. Apple investigated the matter and they came to the conclusion that Mobigame were wrong to use the name Edge in the UK, US and Germany where Edge Games has registered the mark EDGE. We did not influence Apple's decision. We did bring the fact of our registered trademarks to Apple's attention, but we are forced to do that by law which demands when we see our mark being used we are obliged to tell the party selling the infringing goods. We would have have serious consequences had we not told Apple.
We never asked Mobigame for money and they have not paid us anything. That dispute is over with Apple deciding in our favor. We tried for months since late May to persuade Mobigame to change the name of their game to EDGY but they have repeatedly refused to do so (while lying to the public by claiming we somehow stopped them from changing the name). We abandoned the application in the US for EDGY (which we can prove, if necessary, that we only applied for because Mobigame asked us to), and have done everything in our power to encourage Mobigame to rename their game EDGY, get it back on sale, and stop losing money by keeping the game off the market. Mobigame have refused (as recently as last week) saying that they want to keep the name as "Edge" despite Apple and the US Trademark Office both telling them they may not do so. Mobigame must now fight with Apple and the US Trademark office if they are being so stubborn as to not change the name of their game, but Edge Games is now out of that argument.
Again, Edge Games has only sued one company in the past 30 years and that law suit was withdrawn with a very amicable settlement being reached between the parties. So there is not the slightest validity in calling us a company that threatens indie developers, tries to make money off of our trademarks, or etc. We are not, nor have we ever been, "trademark trolls."
Do better research, ignore the lies being stated and restated all over the internet, find out the truth (as us more questions if you like) and come to you own conclusion not one based on the falsehoods being said about us.
From a personal perspective, I serve on the Board of the IGDA as an individual, NOT as the CEO of Edge Games. Thus all these criticisms of Edge Games' practices should not influence anyones opinion as to my suitability to be on the Board. I have been an indie developer for 30 years (one of the first) and am a strong supporter of indie rights. My company has funded several hundred indie developers to get their first start in the game industry and my university classes have graduated several hundred students who have gone on to work in the industry both as indies and as part of large studios. With respect, I have give a sizable contribution to the game developer community and have never, ever, done anything that is contrary to the interests of game developers or the IGDA. Those are all malicious falsehoods.
CEO, Edge Games Inc
I have two things to say about that. One, it is very cool that he actually replied.
And two, whatever the truth, he is right about one thing. Most of these articles are little more than blogs and not hardcore journalism. How can we be sure the stories are true?
They still might be, but I caution the mob that is amassing outside of the gate with torches and pitchforks to hold off just one moment and do some extra research.
Just because it is a nice David and Goliath story, doesn't mean it is necessarily true.
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