Iron Maiden Is Suing The Game Ion Maiden

Ageing British metal band Iron Maiden (or at least the band’s holding company) are suing video game publisher 3D Realms over retro shooter Ion Maiden, claiming the game’s logo and marketing is “an effort to confuse consumers into believing Defendant’s products and services are somehow affiliated with or approved by Iron Maiden”.

The lawsuit, filed in the Central District of California court on May 28, includes claims such as the “Defendant’s misappropriation and use of a virtually identical imitation of the Iron Maiden trademark creates a likelihood of confusion among consumers. Customers who view Defendant’s video game and merchandise are likely to believe that Iron Maiden is somehow affiliated with Defendant.”

The game—which I played last year and which is pretty good!—also stands accused of ripping off Iron Maiden’s trademark “steelcut” logo.

The lawsuit goes on to claim “there have been numerous instances of actual confusion with Iron Maiden fans believing that Defendants’ Ion Maiden products are related to Iron Maiden”, including these absolutely wonderful examples of online naivety, with fans of the band apparently:

  • “...commenting that they were misled into believing that the Ion Maiden game was an Iron Maiden game.”

  • “...clicking on an Ion Maiden online thread thinking that the thread was related to Iron Maiden.”

  • “...reading an article about the Ion Maiden video game waiting for an explained connection to Iron Maiden.”

  • “...wondering the whole time, while reading an article about the Ion Maiden video game, how they (Defendant) got the licence to use the Ion Maiden name (from Iron Maiden).”

  • “...expressing genuine excitement for an Iron Maiden video game.”

  • “...and commenting that ‘all that’s missing is an … Iron Maiden soundtrack’ and that the Iron Maiden song ‘Can I Play with Madness’ would fit right in.”

The band’s holding company, Iron Maiden Holdings, is looking for $3 million in damages, and also either wants the game’s website (ionmaiden.com) taken down or handed over.


Comments

    Should have gone to Specsavers.

      That cracked me up. People at work are now looking at me weird.

      To be fair, they must be getting on a bit these days. The band has been around since the 70s.

    2 things.

    1. They are going to lose, and lose bigtime. Sorry Bomber Harris, mistake.

    2. Iron Maiden song names are a great source of ridiculously strong passwords.

      I hope so. I love Iron Maiden's music but this sort of BS lawsuit should absolutely be discouraged. Maybe if the main character of the game was an skinless undead dude called Eddie they'd have a case. But jeez they're pushing it.

    It's a bit of a stretch isn't it?

    Last edited 30/05/19 3:32 pm

    This reminds me of the GTA5 lawsuit that Lindsay Lohan tried filing for using her likeness. It didn't look like a woman on crack, and these logos look totally different!

    Kinda damning on the literacy levels of Iron Maiden fans who keep getting confused by this...

    To play devil's advocate, this sounds more like the holding company being forced to enforce their trademarks rather than the band themselves being a bunch of asshats. At least I'd like to believe that. Because to be honest, the name "Ion Maiden" is ABSOLUTELY intended to be a play on "Iron Maiden". It's just that the existence of iron maidens goes back several hundred years further than the band. I hope this can be resolved without too much asshattery or bad feelings.

    correct me if wrong but didn't iron maiden do create the theme for Duke Nukem

      Google seems to suggest that was Megadeth

        Actually no, if I had searched a little further I would have found that Lee Jackson wrote the theme. Megadeth just covered it.

      The closest connection Iron Maiden has 90s video games I can think of, is the terrible rail shooter that was included with the Ed Hunter compilation, and the ancient Egypt themed FPS Powerslave, that was renamed Exhumed in Europe.

    The fonts for the two logos don't really look at all similar. The Iron Maiden logo looks like it draws inspiration from runes, while the Ion Maiden one looks more futuristic (or retro-futuristic).

    Combine this with the fact that the term "iron maiden" existed before the band. If someone was starting a band called Ion Maiden, then they'd likely have an argument that it is confusingly similar. But this is an entirely different category.

    This is going to burn customer sentiment much more than any damages they may receive.

    I know I for one won't be buying any future merch.

    Meanwhile the estate of Johann Philipp Siebenkees has lodged a lawsuit against the British metal band Iron Maiden for use of the fictional medieval torture device that he made famous...

    The band’s holding company, Iron Maiden Holdings

    That tells me as much as I need to know. I'd bet a bunnings sausage sandwich that the band has no idea what Ion Maiden is or doesn't care, and it's just their lawyers/fund managers that are champing at the bit.

    There is no way the game developers were *not* trying to use the bands name as either a bit of a pun or to drum up interest in their game. To try and deny it would be pretty obtuse. Whether it is a particularly bad thing worth claiming damages over is another matter.

      In fairness, the name has been around long before the band. They co opted it themselves.

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