Trademark Troll Is At It Again

"Edge of Twilight", from Brisbane studio Fuzzy Eyes, was announced more than two years ago. Just last month, Tim Langdell, notorious for claiming all uses of the word "edge" in video games, filed a trademark application for exactly that name.

In case you missed our discussion of Langdell's history on May 30, he's a onetime developer whose studio, Edge Games, was founded in the 1980s but hasn't produced an actual game in 15 years. Its principal output seems to be the filing of trademark claims against developers unfortunate enough to use the word "edge" in a game title, in any form, without consulting him. Mobigames' EDGE was the latest victim, being removed from the iTunes store while they negotiated with Langdell. (EDGE is now back up on the store).

Sure, someone with registered trademarks has every right to protect it - especially if not defending it constitutes abandonment of the mark. That doesn't mean Langdell's behaviour here doesn't depict him as a cretinous parasite. Edge of Twilight, a steampunk hack-n-slasher, has been discussed for more than two years. I guess now, as it looks like it might see a release for PC, PS3 and 360 this year. Langdell wants a cut of the action. Remember, this is a guy who bills himself as a cofounder of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, and who is in fact on the board of the International Game Developers Association.

You can see the PTO filing here. Edge of Twilight is being published by SouthPeak Games. Perhaps Langdell is doing something similar to the ridiculous "MIRRORS, a game by EDGE" troll his site put up - presumably to bait Electronic Arts into suing him so he could countersue back on the trademark claim to the word.

And while the stylised E on Edge of Twilight's logo might seem similar to other marks Langdell has claimed, his application is claiming a mark that "consists of standard characters, without claim to any particular font, style, size, or colour." In other words, just the words themselves, not any stylised version of the word "edge."

I don't know the law; I don't pretend to. But I think it's fair to say his "studio's" major contribution to games development is only to force actual developers to give him money if they think about using a word that dates back to the 12th century. I've emailed the address listed on the PTO filing, in case he wants to comment. Don't hold your breath.

Update: On July 23, the CEO of Fuzzyeyes released this statement:

"Edge of Twilight proceeds with title unchanged"

FUZZYEYES approached EDGE Games several months ago, with the intent to resolve any issues arising out of both companies use of the mark "EDGE." Fuzzyeyes, developer of the game titled "Edge of Twilight," sought to address any potential trademark conflicts. Through amicable negotiations, Fuzzyeyes and Edge Games have arrived at a satisfactory arrangement that addresses the concerns of both parties. This arrangement allows the highly anticipated Edge of Twilight to proceed with its title unchanged, and without infringement on any trademarks held by Edge Games.

Lu, Wei-Yao CEO of FUZZYEYES

US Serial No: 77748665 [US Patent and Trademark Office, thanks to reader Anonymous] Edge of Twilight [Site]

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Comments

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    No what bitch?

    He does strike me as a total arsehole, i hope he gets whats coming to him and falls in to obscurity or some legal hotshot shoots down his little suits.

    Well this guy sounds (and looks) like a complete tosser. I'll have to write down that name "Edge of Twilight" so that if it every does surface, I remember NOT to buy it!
    The only thing this guy has the "Edge" on, is shooting himself in the foot :)

      To clarify, Edge of Twilight is a game in development at Brisbane's Fuzzy Eyes studio. It was announced two years ago. The issue here is that Edge Games has filed to trademark the name "Edge of Twilight" seemingly in an effort to protect every single use of the word "Edge".

      So, in sum:
      * Fuzzy Eyes' Edge of Twilight = upcoming action game for console and PC.
      * Edge Games' Edge of Twilight = trolling.

    The US patent system is a joke. It seems like we get at least one of these cases every month. They (the US patent office) really need to instill a "use it or lose it" clause, where you need to provide a physical property for your trademark within 12 months, or lose all rights to the patent.

    @ Scruffy

    It's a trademark claim, not a patent claim. These are completely different things.

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