Metal band Iron Maiden launches $2 million trademark infringement lawsuit against Ion...

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

3D Realms released Ion Maiden last year. It gained a lot of attention at the time for using the Build Engine that powered 1990s classics such as Duke Nukem and Shadow Warrior, meaning pixelated graphics and retro animations were the order of the day. Keeping with the retro theme, the Founders Edition included a ‘floppy disk’ that was actually a disguised USB drive containing a copy of the game.

In a lawsuit filed in the Central District of California court on May 28, Iron Maiden Holdings says the game is guilty of “incredibly blatant” infringement.

“Defendant’s misappropriation and use of a virtually identical imitation of the Iron Maiden trademark creates a likelihood of confusion among consumers. Customers who view Defendant’s video game and merchandise are likely to believe that Iron Maiden is somehow affiliated with Defendant,” reads the suit.

In addition to allegedly copying the band’s “steelcut” logo, it’s also claimed the game’s protagonist, Shelly Harrison, who originally debuted in 2016’s Bombshell, takes her name from band bassist Steve Harris.

The suit goes on to claim the skull bomb icon found in the game is based on Iron Maiden’s famous skeleton mascot, Eddie, and that Ion Maiden copies the “look and feel” of the band’s own 2016 smartphone game, Legacy of The Beast, which is described as an “epic turn-based fantasy RPG,” on Google Play.

Along with the $2 million in damages, Iron Maiden Holdings wants 3D Realms to stop using the Ion Maiden name and for the game’s ionmaiden.com website to be handed over or taken down.

Iron Maiden’s most popular tracks came during the 1980s with the likes of Number of the Beast, The Trooper, and 2 Minutes to Midnight. Whether the holding company consulted the group before launching the lawsuit is unclear. As a fan of the band who’s seen them live on several occasions, I hope not.

3D Realms called the claims “frivolous” on its official Twitter account, adding that itself, co-publishers 1C Entertainment, and developer Voidpoint will review their options once they receive official notice of the lawsuit and will make any necessary decisions at the appropriate time.

“Regardless, everyone continues to work diligently on Ion Maiden to deliver the best possible experience later this year,” the company wrote.

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Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
Like Xerox claiming infringement by Xeon. Of course, I suppose this could be brilliant satire with the suit withdrawn after the publicity is accomplished..
 
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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
Lol... the holding company just saw an opportunity to increase a useless client's popularity... and make a few extra dollars off of them... When was the last time Iron Maiden brought any money in... I'm suspecting it's been decades...
 

Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
Lol... the holding company just saw an opportunity to increase a useless client's popularity... and make a few extra dollars off of them... When was the last time Iron Maiden brought any money in... I'm suspecting it's been decades...
They still put out massively successful albums and fill stadiums on their two-year-long world tours. Plus they have a beer that sells very well in the UK, among other licensed products. I think they're doing just fine for money, which makes this story all the more unusual.
 

Burty117

TechSpot Chancellor
I hadn't heard of this game before this article! I'm a fan of 3D Realm and will now most likely buy it if it's a reasonable price.
 

amghwk

TS Guru
Iron Maiden has nothing to do with Ion Maiden.

At the least, the new generation kids might not know anything about Iron Maiden or such band existed before.

Iron Maiden should let their past glory behind, or allow games like this rekindle the same flame and what made them popular before.
 

thelatestmodel

TS Addict
Iron Maiden has nothing to do with Ion Maiden.
False, they are using the Iron Maiden brand to create a pun for their game name. It might seem benign, it might not hurt Iron Maiden at all, but that doesn't mean it's OK.

You cannot go around creating similar brand names to ones already in existence simply to attract attention to your own brand. It is not legal to do so. There are many, many cases where the holding company has successfully sued to protect their brand and this is no different. See 3M vs. 3N, Louis Vuitton vs Louis Vuiton Dak, etc.

I expect Iron Maiden to win their case. 3D Realms should have thought more about this and had better legal counsel before releasing the game.
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
Iron Maiden has nothing to do with Ion Maiden.
False, they are using the Iron Maiden brand to create a pun for their game name. It might seem benign, it might not hurt Iron Maiden at all, but that doesn't mean it's OK.

You cannot go around creating similar brand names to ones already in existence simply to attract attention to your own brand. It is not legal to do so. There are many, many cases where the holding company has successfully sued to protect their brand and this is no different. See 3M vs. 3N, Louis Vuitton vs Louis Vuiton Dak, etc.

I expect Iron Maiden to win their case. 3D Realms should have thought more about this and had better legal counsel before releasing the game.
Wait..do you seriously think Bruce and company came up with the phrase "iron maiden"? OMG..you and Maiden's lawyers must have failed the same history class.
 
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OortCloud

TS Maniac
Wait..do you seriously think Bruce and company came up with the phrase "iron maiden"? OMG..
Hehe. Yes surely Iron Maiden shouldn't be allowed to sue them even if the game was called Iron Maiden given that it's the name of a medieval torture device? (also vaguely interesting??? - apparently they are an urban myth and Iron Maidens didn't exist until way later and were never really used).
 

Impudicus

TS Addict
Who knew Iron Maiden were the fun police. It's not like Iron Maiden came up with the term "Iron Maiden" in the first place. There is a likeness, but geeze... I can't help but not like that they're being sued over it. Just feels wrong in this case.
 

Godel

TS Addict
When you have intellectual property and trademarks, if you don't defend them against even minor violations then they can become regarded as "abandon ware' and you can lose them.
 
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imdarkbreeze

TS Booster
Iron Maiden has nothing to do with Ion Maiden.
False, they are using the Iron Maiden brand to create a pun for their game name. It might seem benign, it might not hurt Iron Maiden at all, but that doesn't mean it's OK.

You cannot go around creating similar brand names to ones already in existence simply to attract attention to your own brand. It is not legal to do so. There are many, many cases where the holding company has successfully sued to protect their brand and this is no different. See 3M vs. 3N, Louis Vuitton vs Louis Vuiton Dak, etc.

I expect Iron Maiden to win their case. 3D Realms should have thought more about this and had better legal counsel before releasing the game.
Wait..do you seriously think Bruce and company came up with the phrase "iron maiden"? OMG..you and Maiden's lawyers must have failed the same history class.

The band was called Iron Maiden long before Bruce Dickinson joined the band. But obviously the use of the terminology and device named iron maiden (Whether used or not) predates the band by a century, at least. As an Iron maiden (The band) fan, this disappoints me, as there are no clear ripoffs to be seen here. There are clear differences in lettering style, name and intent. Sad that a storied band like this let's their bean counters and lawyers bring shame to their legacy.
 
Lol... the holding company just saw an opportunity to increase a useless client's popularity... and make a few extra dollars off of them... When was the last time Iron Maiden brought any money in... I'm suspecting it's been decades...
They still put out massively successful albums and fill stadiums on their two-year-long world tours. Plus they have a beer that sells very well in the UK, among other licensed products. I think they're doing just fine for money, which makes this story all the more unusual.
Iron Maiden have nothing to say, musically, for about 25 years, the only reason that are still touring, is greed (same as Metallica, Rolling Stones and many more), that's why, they don't have the minimal decency to finally let it go. So Squid Surprise opinion is quite to the point.
 

Hexic

TS Evangelist
Lol... the holding company just saw an opportunity to increase a useless client's popularity... and make a few extra dollars off of them... When was the last time Iron Maiden brought any money in... I'm suspecting it's been decades...
They still put out massively successful albums and fill stadiums on their two-year-long world tours. Plus they have a beer that sells very well in the UK, among other licensed products. I think they're doing just fine for money, which makes this story all the more unusual.
Iron Maiden have nothing to say, musically, for about 25 years, the only reason that are still touring, is greed (same as Metallica, Rolling Stones and many more), that's why, they don't have the minimal decency to finally let it go. So Squid Surprise opinion is quite to the point.
I saw Metallica in Chicago 2 years ago - and they sounded incredible. Of course they tour for greed, all bands are out there to make money. That statement is a moot point. Metallica also came out with a new album that was very highly regarded. May want to choose your examples and logic a bit more carefully next time.
 

thelatestmodel

TS Addict
Wait..do you seriously think Bruce and company came up with the phrase "iron maiden"? OMG..you and Maiden's lawyers must have failed the same history class.
Hilarious, but that's not how it works. It is their brand and they have every right to defend it. I know mine is the unpopular opinion but legally they have a strong case, sorry.