Trademark Troll Tim Langdell pounded in court

edgelogo.jpg Tim Langdell, the trademark troll infamous for shaking down anyone who used the word "Edge" in connection to video gaming, is not faring well in Britain's high court. Pursued there by Future Publishing, publishers of Edge Magazine, his antics earned a punishing ruling from presiding judge Sonia Poundman. John Walker provides an excellent and exhaustive overview of the ruling at Rock Paper Shotgun, but some of the details are too funny not to repeat.
Among the accusations often leveled at Langdell is that he forges materials to give the false impression that others' use of the term "Edge" is imitative of his own designs. In court, Langdell's often-amateurish work did not seem to hold up . For example, when challenged to prove his claim he created the Edge Magazine logo in 1991, he offered a version saved on a computer disk said to be of that age. However....
The disc was too delicate to be shipped to the UK, said Dr Tim. Despite it already having been sent across the Atlantic twice. The court ordered him to send it over. And thus Langdell sent the disc to an expert, Mr Steggles of Disklabs, who verified that the disc was indeed from 1991, and said that in his opinion it was "genuinely created at that time." Surely Langdell was finally onto a winner? Except, well, Future's expert, Mr Dearsley of Kroll Computers, pointed something out. The content had been created by Windows 95.
If you want an idea of how lucrative the business of I.P. trolling is, know that Langdell managed to shake some $300,000 out of Future Publishing over the Edge trademark, before it tired of his subsequent and incessant attempts to associate himself with their magazine's brand. Similar litigation rolls on here in the U.S., where Electronic Arts (publisher of Mirror's Edge and another shakedownee) and Future Publishing appear to be snarled up in the USPTO's drawn-out trademark cancellation process. Previously: Judge rules against edgy 'troll' Langdell


    1. You’re going to have to unpack that comment before I at least can understand it and what it has to do with the subject at hand.

      1. There are some similar cases about e.g. iBooks. The question would be whether those cases are stronger, and I suppose the answer would be “probably”.

      2. Pretty sure the comment means, “Geez, why isn’t this post about how Apple goes after IP infringers (or folks they perceive to be infringers)”.

    2. Has nothing to do with the matter at hand, which is that this guy is trying to assert trademark status for an unadorned noun. (A more relevant example would be the epic litigation between Apple, Inc.(formerly Apple Computer, Inc.) and Apple Corps Ltd., the Beatles’ record label and multimedia company, still in existence more than forty years after the Beatles broke up.) As far as I know, no one thought of putting a lower-case i in front of a capitalized noun, at least in the computer and computer-related gadget field, until Apple came out with the iMac in 1998, and every iNoun product since then that didn’t come out of Cupertino has been the result of some company coming out with iWhatever in the hopes of either a) riding the coattails of the iGadgets or b) having something to sell to Apple if/when they wanted to use the trademark.

  1. Go Britain!

    The U.S. PTO tries, but – and I speak form some experience – they couldn’t find their ass with both hands.

  2. Gulliver – the US PTO can’t find their ass with both hands because someone patented that process.

  3. Calling Tim Langdell a “trademark troll” is unkind – to trademark trolls. Tim Langdell is an outright criminal, a conman who has stolen other people’s intellectual property to make it seem as if he’s producing games just so he can make baseless trademark claims and extort money from actual game-makers (and magazine and comic-book publishers, film-makers, computer hardware creators, etc. both large and small.). Having extorted licensing fees, he then routinely takes credit for the “licensed” product to further his fraudulent claims. The guy seriously deserves some jail time for his many, many instances of fraud.

    @Francesco Fondi: If you think the two cases are remotely similar, you don’t know what Tim Langdell has done.

  4. to suggest Tim Langdell and Apple have anything in common is just wrong. For starters, Apple creates stuff people want to infringe upon. Tim Langdell doesn’t, and never has. The only thing he creates is lawsuits.

  5. ‘ EH
    What the f is an “iBook?” ’
    You’re shitting me, right?
    Just in case you’re not being deliberately disingenuous for comic effect, iBook is Apple’s ebook store and ebook reader app for iOS devises.
    You do know what an ebook is, don’t you?

    1. I believe he was referring to this, and not iBooks. And, yes, EH was shitting you, since the device in question was sold as recently as 2006.

  6. Future’s expert, Mr Dearsley of Kroll Computers, pointed something out. The content had been created by Windows 95.

    If anybody wants to fake content from 1990 I have copies of windows 3.1 and OpenVMS right here.

  7. don’t like Tim Langdon for what he does but how would he show he created the file in 1991 does the original file date move with the file when copying ? And what if the date and time of the computer was set to that date ?

    Would transferring a floppy to an iMega or iCorn personal computer HD then to iGateway PC then to several other HD still show the original file creation date and successive copying?

    don’t even have the first HD I bought let alone the floppys but if I did I would need a seperate room to store them all.
    guess apple will need advice if they launch the iPET. Commodore also made the PET.

    Did Disklabs or Kroll have anything else to say ?

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