In November 2008 the video game giant EA released Mirror’s Edge, a colorful and visually stunning first-person action adventure where you take control of Faith, an information runner attempting to survive while uncovering the mystery behind a crime your sister has been framed for.
The problem with EA’s release of Mirror’s Edge is that it was released shortly after EA was denied the trademark application to register “Mirror’s Edge”. After learning of EA’s plans to release Mirror’s Edge, EDGE Games sent a cease-and-desist letter to EA in July of 2007.
Instead of complying with the cease-and-desist order, EA went ahead and attempted to register the “Mirror’s Edge” trademark. However, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied EA’s trademark application in early of 2008 citing Edge Games’ “Edge” trademark.
EA, after receiving the USPTO’s denial of its application for the “Mirror’s Edge” trademark, went ahead and proceeded to release the game less than a year later.
EA has since sought to get the patent office to cancel Edge Games’ trademarks, which include the word edge and several compounds of it. Some speculate that since Edge Games hasn’t released a game in many years it leaves room to wonder how there could be any confusion and questions over the validity of the trademark.
However, courts have repeatedly upheld Landell’s EDGE trademark and uses of EDGE in titles without Landell’s authorization have been characterized as trademark-infringement. Recent use of the EDGE trademark has been achieved only through settlement with the trademark owner. Even though EDGE Games’ last real project culminated way back in 1985 with the release of Fairlight and the video game producer hasn’t turned out any new titles since then, this hasn’t stopped the EDGE trademark owner from enforcing his rights to the EDGE trademark in movies (The Edge, which starred Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin), comics, game-industry magazines, and against game titles released since 1985 featuring ‘edge’ in their name.
After defending the EDGE trademark against an iPhone app, a resuscitated ancient game franchise (Edge of Extinction), Soul Edge (in the US now as Soul Calibur), and most recently his attempts to block EA’s Mirror’s Edge launch, there is little doubt that any future iteration of EDGE in the title of a video-game/movie/comic will have to tangle with Tim Langdell if they plan on going ahead with using ‘edge’ in the name.
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