Edge by Mobigame Again Pulled from App Store

| 30 Nov 2009 20:08

The battle over the use of the word "Edge" doesn't seem to be quite as finished as everyone thought: Edge Games has once again succeeded in having the award-winning iPhone puzzler Edge by Mobigame removed from the App Store.

After a long and highly publicized battle, Mobigame's Edge - rechristened as Edge by Mobigame - was re-released on the App Store in early October. David Papazian of Mobigame celebrated his company's apparent victory over the "discredited" Tim Langdell, while the Edge Games boss was nowhere to be found. It did in fact look very much like good had triumphed over evil.

But like the man said, "Evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." So it is that Edge Games has picked itself up off the ground and clocked Mobigame over the head with a brick, and the game at the center of all this controversy is once again gone from the App Store. Changing its name to Edge by Mobigame, an Edge Games rep said in a statement to Develop, wasn't enough to get around the infringement.

"Clearly, if Sony tried to use the mark 'iPod by Sony' they would hardly expect Apple not to take action to protect their mark 'iPod'," the statement said. "In trademark law adding 'by (name)' to another company's registered trademark does not mean a company can use that trademark without being guilty of willful infringement."

The company also denied assertions that it had demanded a financial settlement from Mobigame. "The fact is that [Mobigame co-founder] Papazian has had an offer on the table since May to settle this dispute by his changing the name of his game and paying Edge Games no money at all," the statement continued. "He has repeatedly refused that very reasonable offer."

While this blow against Mobigame might seem surprising, Edge Games actually signaled that it wasn't prepared to give up the fight earlier in November, when it filed a trademark complaint against Nalim Sharma's iPhone game Killer Edge Racing. The company is also fighting EA's attempts to have its "Edge" trademarks canceled, filing a motion last week to have that petition dismissed and claiming that the recent release of the PC game Racers nullifies the argument that Edge Games hasn't actually put out any games in well over a decade.

Apple had actually asked Mobigame to voluntarily withdraw Edge by Mobigame in mid-November but the studio declined to do so, saying that it believed there was no legal reason for the game to be taken down. Even though it has now been removed, Mobigame indicated it was not interested in any kind of settlement with Edge Games, noting that the removal was not a determination of wrongdoing but rather an action Apple is required to take when it receives a takedown notice. "[Edge] hired a new lawyer to write another letter that has further inaccuracies and Apple had to react - because Apple can't act as judge or jury - and if there is a threat made against it then it shies away from the risk," Mobigame said via email.

Still, Apple's decision seems to have Edge Games feeling pretty good about the future. "At last people are 'getting it' that Edge was in the right from the beginning to ask Mobigame to cease use of the mark 'Edge' and at last it is getting through to people that Edge never did ask Mobigame for money, and is still not asking Mobigame for money," an Edge rep said in a statement. "[There is] zero evidence of Edge ever having acted as 'trademark trolls' as Papazian and his colleagues said in their unfair rumors that fueled the indie developer flame war against Edge."

Stay tuned.

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