The ongoing controversy between Mobigames, developers of the excellent iPhone game Edge, and Edge Games, a studio who claims trademark ownership over the Edge trademark, only continues to escalate. I've been talking to Mobigames and Edge Games about the issue for several weeks now, but several online reports have pushed Edge Games to publish their side of the story in full -- private e-mails and all -- on its own website.
But first, a little history. What's the dispute about?
In simple, Edge Games has wanted Mobigames to change the name of their iPhone game Edge or negotiate a settlement agreement between the two companies. Mobigames proposed changing the name to Edgy, which Edge Games found unacceptable. Mobigames is now in the midst of challenging Edge Games' ownership of the trademark itself and Edge Games' questionable tactics in publicly responding to this issue has caused some to ask for his removal from the International Game Developers Association board of directors.
Edge Games hasn't been able to garner much public support, partially because of a number of contentious stories raised by former colleagues of Edge Games founder Tim Langdell and the company's bizarre use of imagery on its website that suggested Edge Games tries to bait companies into settlements over its Edge trademark. Like this:
The company addressed the issue raised in the above image in their online tell-all, claiming Edge Games contacted Electronic Arts about its supposed infringement through the name Mirror's Edge. According to Edge Games, EA eventually came to a settlement over the issue.
"We negotiated amicably with EA and believed we had worked out an agreement in return for which we agreed to not take action to prevent their game being launched with the name Mirror's Edge," states the company. "EA have since been slow to close that deal, and while we are still in good faith about closing it, we trust EA are not working with Mobigame and others to seek to undermine our rights in EDGE in the misguided hope that by taking such action they can avoid concluding the deal with us that they negotiated in principal last November."
As of right now, Mobigames has enlisted legal help to settle the Edge dispute. The conclusion of the suit could have vast implications for Edge Games, as Mobigames is seeking to have Edge Games abandon its monopoly over the Edge trademark in North America. Edge Games has reportedly told Mobigames it has abandoned its application for the Edgy trademark and would hand it over to Mobigames at no cost.
What's next? I've contacted Mobigames to find out. Regardless of what happens between Mobigames and Edge Games, the saddest part of this story is people are limited from purchasing Edge, by far one of the best games available for the iPhone right now.