IRON MAIDEN has filed a $2 million trademark infringement lawsuit against a video game developer behind the game called “Ion Maiden”.
Below are the details from the lawsuit:
“Defendant’s Ion Maiden name is nearly identical to the IRON MAIDEN trademark in appearance, sound, and overall commercial impression. Defendant also uses the Ion Maiden name to sell merchandise including shirts and mouse pads,” the lawsuit claims.
“Defendant began using the Ion Maiden name, without authorization, in an effort to confuse consumers into believing the Defendant’s products and services are somehow affiliated with or approved by IRON MAIDEN.
“Defendant’s misappropriation and use of a virtually identical imitation of the IRON MAIDENtrademark 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 the Defendant. The results of searches for Ion Maiden merchandise, t-shirts, posters and mouse pads relate to IRON MAIDEN.
“Without even examining the content of the Ion Maiden video game, confusion is undeniable because of the virtually identical use of the iconic IRON MAIDEN mark for video games, a product that IRON MAIDEN has been selling for nearly 20 years, and shirts, a product that IRON MAIDEN has been selling for nearly 40 years. Standing alone, those facts establish likelihood of confusion but there is even more evidence of likelihood of confusion. That evidence includes the fact that Defendant has exhibited its intent to trade off on the IRON MAIDEN mark by adopting Shelly Harrison as the name of its main character which is an attempt to copy the name of Steve Harris, an IRON MAIDEN founder and primary songwriter; adopting a similar steel cut font for its Ion Maiden name knowing that IRON MAIDEN also uses a steel cut font for its iconic IRON MAIDEN mark; creating a video game that has the same look and feel as the IRON MAIDEN video game, ‘Legacy Of The Beast’; and choosing to use its Ion Maiden Yellow Bomb emoji in its Ion Maiden video game and merchandise which is graphically similar to IRON MAIDEN‘s Eddie character who appears in all of IRON MAIDEN‘s video games and virtually all of IRON MAIDEN‘s compact disc covers, t-shirts and other merchandise.
“There have been numerous instances of actual confusion with IRON MAIDEN fans believing that Defendants’ Ion Maiden products are related to IRON MAIDEN. Actual confusion has occurred in online articles and comments about the Ion Maiden video game including IRON MAIDEN fans: commenting that they were misled into believing that the Ion Maiden game was an IRON MAIDEN game; clicking on an Ion Maiden online thread thinking that the thread was related to IRON MAIDEN; reading an article about the Ion Maiden video game waiting for an explained connection to IRON MAIDEN; wondering the whole time, while reading an article about the Ion Maiden video game, how they (Defendant) got the license to use the Ion Maiden name (from IRON MAIDEN); expressing genuine excitement for an IRON MAIDENvideo game; and commenting that ‘all that’s missing is an … IRON MAIDEN soundtrack’ and that the IRON MAIDEN song ‘Can I Play with Madness’ would fit right in. In addition, a review of the Ion Maiden game stated that the Ion Maiden name references ‘Brit Rocker’ IRON MAIDEN.”
“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.”
3D Realms responded on Twitter, writing:
“We’ve recently heard about a lawsuit filed in California by the band IRON MAIDEN, claiming our old-school first-person shooter Ion Maiden(@Bombshell_Game) is infringing on their trademark.
“From what we’ve heard, the suit claims our main character Shelly Harrison, originally debuting in 2016’s Bombshell, is based on their musician Steve Harris; our skull bomb icon found in-game is based on their skeleton mascot Eddie; our logo in itself is based on theirs; and other frivolous claims anyone who has played Ion Maiden would find more over the top than Shelly‘s ‘Loverboy’, her signature 18-round triple-barreled revolver.
“We at 3D Realms, our co-publishers 1C Entertainment, and developer Voidpoint will review our options once we 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.”