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Court Refuses Preliminary Injunction In Edge Trademark Case

Court Refuses Preliminary Injunction In Edge Trademark Case

October 5, 2010 | By Kyle Orland

October 5, 2010 | By Kyle Orland
More: Console/PC

The District Court for the Northern District of California has refused to offer a preliminary injunction against Electronic Arts in a lawsuit around trademark infringement brought by Tim Langdell's EDGE Games.

Saying that EDGE "failed to establish that it is likely to succeed on the merits" of the case, Judge William Alsup denied the motion to stop Electronic Arts from using its Mirror's Edge trademark to market and sell the game of the same name, according to court documents obtained by Gamasutra.

The judge claims significant problems with EDGE's case, including "compelling evidence that there was no bona fide use of the 'EDGE' trademark between 1989 and 2003," and that "even after 2003, the evidence that plaintiff had been making bona fide use of the 'EDGE' mark in commerce is suspect."

The judge also grants credence to evidence presented by EA that EDGE presented doctored box art to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in order to fraudulently establish its right to 'EDGE' and related trademarks.

"The record contains numerous items of evidence that plaintiff wilfully committed fraud against the USPTO in obtaining and/or maintaining registrations for many of the asserted 'EDGE' marks, possibly warranting criminal penalties if the misrepresentations prove true," the judge wrote.

Even if Langdell's rights to the 'EDGE' name bear out, though, the judge found that EA's use of the word in the Mirror's Edge title was unlikely to cause the "market confusion" or "irreparable harm" necessary to sustain the trademark infringement claim. "It is an open question whether plaintiff's business activities legitimately extend beyond trolling various gaming-related industries for licensing opportunities," the judge wrote.

Late last year, Electronic Arts filed a related complaint challenging EDGE's right to its claimed trademarks -- and this lawsuit was part of continued conflict on the matter.

Langdell has drawn controversy for his vigorous defense of his rights to the 'EDGE' trademark in various elements of the gaming sphere. The game industry veteran stepped down from the IGDA's board of directors last year.

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