Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Edge Games Crashes in Trademark Suit Against Electronic Arts

For several years, Edge Games has been claiming broad rights in the word "EDGE" in connection with video games, but its aggressiveness took it right over the edge when it sued Electronic Arts for trademark infringement, claiming that EA's use of the mark "MIRROR'S EDGE" for video games infringed its rights. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California soundly denied Edge's motion for a preliminary injunction, finding that all of Edge's "representations regarding the validity and use of the asserted marks are infected by evidence of deceit." Edge Games, Inc. v. Electronics Art, Inc., Civil Action No. c10-02614 WHA (N.D. Cal. October 1, 2010).

Electronic Arts launched a "no-holds-barred attack on the validity of each of plaintiff's pleaded marks and the credibility of Dr. Langdell's sworn representations made to both the USPTO and the Court." EA alleged that Dr. Langdell and Edge committed fraud on the USPTO by submitting false/doctored specimens of use and making false representations regarding use of its marks. The Board observed that, "given the suspect nature of Dr. Langdell's representations to both the USPTO and the Court ... it is an open question whether plaintiff’s business activities legitimately extend beyond trolling various gaming-related industries for licensing opportunities."

The Court concluded that Edge had "failed to establish that it is likely to succeed on the merits, that it is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in its favor, or that an injunction is in the public interest."

The parties promptly settled this case, and on October 10, 2010, the Court entered a Final Judgment (here) and an Order approving the parties' stipulation regarding the disposition of the claims (here). In the Judgment, the Court ordered the USPTO to cancel five registrations owned by Edge. The Order required Edge to notify its licenses that the marks [sic] have been cancelled, and to provide them with a copy of the order denying Edge's motion for preliminary injunction.

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2010.


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