by Madison Vaughn
On May 28, 2019, Iron Maiden Holdings Ltd. filed a trademark infringement suit in the United States District Court, Central District of California, against 3D Realms Entertainment alleging $2 million in damages because of a new video game developed under the name “Ion Maiden.” The IRON MAIDEN mark is registered to Iron Maiden Holdings Ltd. for a variety of goods and services ranging from live musical performance to t-shirts to video games. Trademark Attorney Nicholas Wells of Legends Law Group noted that the name of the iconic rock band Iron Maiden is likely to be viewed by a court as a famous mark under the Lanham Act.
As shown below, the distinctive font used by the band Iron Maiden was arguably mimicked by the Ion Maiden video game.
Iron Maiden Holdings Ltd complains that the video game, “Ion Maiden,” would cause a significant portion of the public to associate the game with the rock band’s previous video game, “Legacy of the Beast.” Iron Maiden Holdings Ltd alleges that “Ion Maiden” attempts to “take advantage of Iron Maiden’s worldwide recognition” in order to sell more products. Some have suggested that the video game maker 3D Realms will assert as a defense that the plaintiff’s IRON MAIDEN trademark is generic because it refers to the historical torture device called an iron maiden, and that other sellers would need to utilize this term to sell similar products. This strikes us as a losing argument; however one feels about the music of Iron Maiden, there is little connection between the goods and services for which the IRON MAIDEN mark is currently used and the actual torture device of that name. [Read more…]