Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK Court

June 20, 2011 -

Tim Langdell, the owner of Edge Games and the litigious defender of the trademark "Edge" has taken a serious thrashing in the UK courts at the hands of Future Publishing over its popular gaming publication, Edge Magazine. The company took Langdell to court in 2010 over breach of contract, breach of copyright, and misrepresenting the brand as belonging to Edge Games, causing brand confusion.

While the blow-by-blow is entertaining, it is also long-winded and mentally taxing to read as Langdell bobs and weaves in court, taking great liberties with the truth. If you are interested, Rock, Paper, shotgun offers an in-depth accounting of the court battle.

The short story is that Future Publishing wanted to avoid any litigation with Langdell so it reached a licensing deal with Edge Games that allowed them to use the "Edge" trademark. The deal started to crumble when Langdell started using Edge Magazine's logo on its letterhead and sent out documents that confused people as to the association between Langdell and Edge Magazine. Future filed a lawsuit against the company.

Needless to say, the judge sifted through all of Langdell's claims and evidence - including his assertion that he designed the original Edge logo. His "evidence" was a floppy disc that he claimed was from 1991, but it turned out that the disc was formatted using Windows 95. Windows 95 came out in... 1995. You can read the tap dance that followed that revelation in court at RPS. Langdell was stripped of his trademarks by a U.S. court for filing too many lawsuits.

Source: Joystiq


Comments

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Just poked the 'Rock Paper Shotgun' description,.. and right in the first paragraph I saw an example of why people's reactions to Langdell piss me off so much.

 

This is likely to do with his not doing particularly well in his increasingly ludicrous attempts to claim ownership of a noun.

Ownership of a noun.   People are confusing Langell and his specific case with the arguments.  Langdell is a lier, and should be judged on that.  If he was not lieing, he would have a pretty strong case and legit case.. and people should remember that. Instead I see a lot of thowing babies out with the bathwater.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Heh, this keeps up and he might literally experience what he's been metaphporically trying to do to people.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Too bad people like Mr. Langdell never see themselves as anything other than the victim.  

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Though I think the real tragedy with people like Langdell is every time he pops up people overreact and it feeds into a very anti-IP sentiment,.. making people who have a legit case look like villains.  Even worse it turns a lot of indy developers away from legal tools that can really work to protect them.

 

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Besides DRM, because, seriously, no one likes DRM.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Investers, insurers and content owners like DRM, and small startups like having injections of cash, insurance coverage, and access to content.

While consumers might dislike it, they have to remember that without it many of the products they love would never have seen the light of day.  This may change over time as those who hold the purse strings get more comfortable without it, but it was a critical piece in getting us where we are today.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Depends on if it lets you play what you payed for. Sadly in cases DRM can prevent that. I guess this is one of those necessary evil" things.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Well, the cases of DRM being so broken that you can not access content you payed for at all have been pretty rare (and usually only temporary)... now, being able to access it using an untrusted device or software package is another matter.

I am guessing that long term DRM will go away, so I see it as a temporary necessary evil.  Enough to get the money on board, but in a generation new marketers and risk analysts will decide it is not worth it.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Ding dong, the troll is dead...

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Heard about this yesterday, and even today it makes me smile.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

His "evidence" was a floppy disc that he claimed was from 1991, but it turned out that the disc was formatted using Windows 95. Windows 95 came out in... 1995.

It´s like an episode from Harvey Birdman. What a moron.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

No, Harvy Birdman has got nothing on this case.

To start off with, Tim Langdrell's "reliable" witness, a Mr. Jack Phillips, was declared to be a false persona made up by Langdrell. Langdrell did not supply any proof to counter that declaration.

Next up, and this is the best part, is that while Langdrell loved to sue people for simply using the word "edge", he himself was using the exact same logo (not just the name, but the logo itself) as EDGE Magazine, published by Future Publishing, which is what this lawsuit is about. So the trademark troll is himself breaching copyright laws.

This is altogether made worse by the fact that he tries to defend himself by claiming a multitude of things (this is a long list):

-First by claiming that because he had used it for years he was entitled to do so (shot down)

-Next was that Future Publishing couldn't copyright it because it was just the word typed out in standard font (also shot down)

-Next he claimed he was granted permission in 2005, despite the man he claimed gave the permission testified that was not the case (shot down)

-The next claim was that he intentionally breached copyright by sending a letter with their logo in the letterhead to challenge their copyright claim by saying that if they don't challenge it, it means they allowed it. (you guessed it, shot down. Honestly, it's like taking out clay pidgeons with a flak gun)

This brings us to the disks. Langdrell produced a pair of 5.25" floppy disks that supposely held the logo that he's no claiming he made in 1991, which would predate the magazine. An expert hired by Langdrell declared they were legit but an independant expert discovered they were made on a Windows 95 machine, meaning they could not have been created before 1995. After he was confronted with this, he then claimed that they were clones and later on he mysteriously produced a third disk that he claimed was the original with all the traces to the previous issues missing. The judge outright removed the third disk as evidence because of the possibility of it being created after the independant expert's report was made available. (In short, because of the issues of the first two disks, any further disks are considered tainted)

Here's the real kicker. Future Publishing paid Langdrell's company 250k and langdrell himself 25k to buy out all tradearks (which means all of Langdrells lawsuits since then are baseless because he didn't have the rights in the first place) though it all went to Langdrell's personal account (funny that...). Even after they paid, Langdrell used the magazines logo and even tried to trick customers into thinking his company makes the magazine (a letter to Apple stated specifically that) to garner revenue and access to services.

Finally, confirming what we knew all along, Langdrell tried to produce evidence of sales figures and partnerships with distributors to prove he was still making and selling games, but no distributor had corroborating evidence and no independant sales figures corroborating his own could be found.

So for the final rundown, Tim Langdrell has been commiting perjury for years to extort money from companies based on a trademark that he didn't have at the time and that he himself was abusing. I really hope that any company that he extorted reads that report and goes after him. I will happily see him a broken man when this train wreck he made comes at him full force.

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

OTher than the fact that this is a TRADEMARK case and all issues were about trademark and not copyright, you have summed it up pretty well.

E. Zachary Knight
Divine Knight Gaming

Re: Future Publishing Cleans Tim Langdell's Clock in UK ...

Thanks very much for the summary. It is hilariously unbelievable.

I don't understand how Future effectively paid him $275K ... yet he didn't stop and in fact he went out of his way to use the trademark he's been PAID not to use. That really is outright greed with a dosage of megalomania, so I'm sure real justice will be served.

 
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