Several years ago a man named Tim Langdell was able to successfully win trademarks on several rather generic terms. The terms trademarked by Langdell included “edge,” “cutting edge,” “the edge,” and “gamer’s edge.” After winning those trademarks, the man said about suing any video game company that used any of those words in the title of their video games.
Reports indicate that he was successful in getting several developers to pay money to license the use of those terms in their games. Eventually Langdell set his sights on a bigger fish in the form of the EA and sued them for trademark infringement over the popular game Mirror’s Edge. This is where things went south for Langdell.
One thing EA had that most of the other developers that were forced to pay licensing fees to use those generic trademarked terms lacked was money and a legal team at their disposal. The fight ensued in court and in 2010, United States District Court Judge sided with EA against Langdell. After all these years the US Patent and Trademark Office has finally got around to canceling those trademarks.
The trademarks in question are filed under registration numbers 2219837, 2251584, 3105816, 3381826, and 3559342. Now that the trademarks are being canceled, game developers will be able to use those words in video game titles without fearing a suit from a patent troll. There is no indication at this time if any of the companies that paid licensing fees to avoid court will get their money back.
[via Games Industry]