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Iron Maiden Sue Makers of Ion Maiden Video Game for $2 Million

  • Axl Rosenberg

3D Realms, the makers of such classic video games as the original Wolfenstein and Duke Nukem, have been slapped with a $2 million lawsuit by Iron Maiden. The reason? A game called Ion Maiden.

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In the suit, Iron Maiden call the first-person shooter an “incredibly blatant” trademark infringement that “is attempting to trade off of Iron Maiden’s notoriety.” The band further argues that the game will “cause confusion among consumers,” alleging that it “is nearly identical to the Iron Maiden trademark in appearance, sound and overall commercial impression,” and bears too-strong a resemblance to their own game, Legacy of the Beast. The suit even goes so far as to assert that the name of Ion Maiden‘s protagonist, Shelley Harrison, is meant to be a play on the name of Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris, and that the skull which appears in the game’s logo is a rip-off of Maiden’s beloved mascot, Eddie the Head.

In a series of tweets released in response to news of the suit, 3D Realms called the band’s claims “frivolous,” but also said that they would “review our options once we receive official notice of the lawsuit and will make any necessary decisions at the appropriate time.”

As much as it pains me to say anything negative about Iron Maiden, this lawsuit strikes me as being incredibly dumb. For one thing, Iron Maiden didn’t invent their name. For another thing, although the band reportedly included examples of online fan confusion in the suit, I can’t see how any real Iron Maiden fan would ever be confused. Yeah, the game’s font and the band’s font are both angular, but they still don’t look even remotely similar. And that skull bears about as much resemblance to Eddie as Janick Gers does to Maria Brink.

(Incidentally, there’s also something amusing about a band that keeps getting sued for allegedly ripping people off suing someone for allegedly ripping them off.)

I guess we’ll see how this shakes out. In the meantime, feel free to tell me why I’m wrong and Maiden have a real case here in our comments section.

Thanks: Ben M.

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