We now have something very close to a decision
. It isn't quite final, but it is very close and Langdell has 20 days to respond.
It isn't a judgment, it's a series of rulings from the interlocutory attorney. But it is a little masterpiece, condensing months of motions into five pages of stark and dismissive play-by-the-rules law. Very nicely done.
Just a reminder if you haven't been paying attention or have quite understandably forgotten what is going on: there are four motions active in this case, they are outlined along with my predictions in post 385
Let's take them one-by-one:
1) Who is going to be Lead Counsel?
Langdell sought to appoint himself
. Future asked the Board to decide
The ruling quite properly points out that
Tim Langdell of Edge Games, Inc. is not an attorney, and thus is precluded from serving as legal counsel for any party in this proceeding
And concludes that it is not feasible to appoint lead counsel because Future and Edge "have adverse positions".
There will be no lead counsel. Which doesn't matter because, as we'll see shortly, there will be no trial.
2) Can Edge Games withdraw its surrender of registrations 3559342 and 2219837?
This is where Langdell tried to reverse his surrender of these trademarks
(which both Future
objected to) on the grounds that they were part-owned by Future and he had no authority to surrender them.
That motion was just plain denied (and in a footnote (footnote 5 to page 5) - that's pretty damning!). Edge's reply to EA and future was quite rightly dismissed as untimely, too many pages and no proof of service without the need to mention that it was total crap.
3) Can Edge Games reverse the division of Registration 2219837?
This is where Langdell is trying desperately to drag Future Publishing into the fraud allegations
Motion denied. that simple. Not gonna work. And in a footnote too!
4) Do the trademarks get cancelled?
Now we are at the meaty bit. the District Court ordered (pursuant to a settlement) that the five trademarks at issue be cancelled, and Langdell has been wriggling ever since. But this ruling says that:
The Board is clearly bound by the mandate issued by way of the final judgment, and has no power or authority to deviate therefrom.
(as I suggested back in post #99
... and dismisses in eight words all the thousands of words that Langdell has expended on this ...
Edge Games, Inc. has asserted no valid authority
The last bit is worth quoting in full. Langdell has 20 days to assert his arguments before the federal court AND get certified copies of that back to the USPTO or he is stuffed.
So he is stuffed. It ain't going to happen.
It is apparent from the record and prevailing authorities that any relief from the final judgment of the District Court that Edge Games, Inc. seeks, whether based on ownership of one or more of the involved registrations, based on alleged false or misleading statements made to the District Court, or based on other allegations or theories, lies solely in that court of law. In view thereof, Edge Games, Inc., is allowed until twenty (20) days from the mailing date of this order in which to file a paper herein notifying the Board as to whether Edge Games, Inc. has filed any motion in the District Court seeking reconsideration, review or modification of the final judgment rendered therein, or has pursued any available form of relief from judgment in the District Court. In the event that Edge Games, Inc. did file any such motion, it is directed to include in its response a copy of the decision issued by the District Court with respect to or in response to such motion. In the event that Edge Games, Inc. fails to file with the Board as directed herein, or if its filing indicates that it has not prevailed on a post-judgment motion in the District Court, the Board will issue an order in fulfillment of the District Courtís October 8, 2010 final judgment, directing the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks and Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks to cancel U.S. Registration Nos. 2219837, 2251584, 3105816, 3559342 and 3381826.
And that is pretty much what I expected. And all in five pages - beautiful.
Trouble for Langdell is that he can't go back to the District Court, because if he does he faces the fraud depositions and just digs himself deeper which is really not a good idea.
These five trademarks are as good as dead. But on the other hand that's what I thought six months ago. Plus there are probably civil cases to come in the UK and Germany and probably criminal charges in the UK and USA.
It ain't all over yet. There's the European and criminal bit to go, but we're getting there.
See you guys in about 20 days plus a bit for the 'dog ate my homework' stuff.