Electronic Arts have emerged victorious from their court battle with Tim Langdell, founder of Edge Games, with a ruling that EA hopes “serves as a milestone in protecting independent developers from nuisance litigation.”
In this case, Langdell and Edge Games took exception to EA’s 2008 title Mirror’s Edge. Court documents from the case have been revealed to IndustryGamers.com, who have reported the following:
The court has denied Edge Games’ motion for injunction, citing that it believes that Langdell made fraudulent statements to the US Patent and Trademark Office and strongly believes that Langdell is “suspect,” and has been “trolling” the game industry for licensing opportunities. His actions could possibly warrant “criminal penalties.”
Langdell has earned himself something of a reputation in recent years for bringing independent developers to court for using the term ‘Edge’ in their titles as an infringement on his trademark. One such example was the case of Mobigame’s award-winning iPhone game Edge being removed from the AppStore following ‘legal issues’ with Langdell. We recommend taking a look at this for a rather excellent summary of events if you are unfamiliar with the story.
For an industry giant like EA this is a fairly small issue but it is a massive win for independent developers. On one hand, companies are certainly entitled to protect their copyright but on the other, nuisance cases can ruin smaller companies who simply don’t have the experience, representation or money to defend themselves and their IP.
It’s also pretty cool that a court used “trolling” in an official ruling.