Iron Maiden files $2 million lawsuit over Ion Maiden game
World-renowned British metal band Iron Maiden has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against publisher 3D Realms over the game Ion Maiden.
If you thought the game Ion Maiden sounded like a play on the name Iron Maiden, you aren't the only one. 3D Realms and Voidpoint's FPS release based in the Bombshell canon allegedly contains a number of allusions (both subtle and direct) to the British heavy metal group, which in turn has caused Iron Maiden to file a trademark infringement lawsuit against the publisher.
The complaint for trademark infringement and unfair competition was filed in the Central District of California court on May 28. According to a copy of the report posted on Scribd, there "have been numerous instances of actual confusion with Iron Maiden fans believing that [3D Realms'] Ion Maiden products are related to Iron Maiden."
The complaint continues: "Defendant's infringement is incredibly blatant. Defendant is undoubtedly aware of Iron Maiden's existence and is attempting to trade off on Iron Maiden's notoriety because, inter alia, Defendant chose to use the virtually exact Iron Maiden trademark and was instructed to cease and desist by Plaintiff. In response thereto, Defendant abandoned its Ion Maiden trademark application but chose to defiantly continue to use its Ion Maiden mark."
In addition to the $2 million dollar settlement being sought by Iron Maiden Holdings Limited, the suit also demands that the publishers at 3D Realms give up their claim to ionmaiden.com and cease producing "confusingly similar" products, such as various t-shirts or apparel.
Like many game fans, when I first heard the title Ion Maiden, I thought to myself, "Oh, like Iron Maiden. I get it." That fact alone doesn't bode well for 3D Realms, as Iron Maiden has a long-established presence in the musical scene, with early tracks dating back to the mid 1970s. Even if someone could claim they hadn't heard the name of the band (to say nothing of its music), there's no arguing that Iron Maiden's presence is historically more significant than that of Ion Maiden.
Only time will tell how the Ion Maiden trademark lawsuit will play out, but the details aren't looking good. Numerous lines can be drawn between Ion Maiden and the music and intellectual property of Iron Maiden Holdings Limited, including similar-sounding names, designs, and motifs. We'll be sure to update readers with more details as the story develops.
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