July 30, 2019
Iron Maiden, the English heavy metal band that has sold over 100 million records, is suing Danish company 3D Realms, for trademark infringement in California Federal Court.
3D Realms created a video game called “Ion Maiden”, which the band claims is an “incredibly blatant” infringement on their trademarked name. The band alleges that the video game name is “nearly identical to the Iron Maiden trademark in appearance, sound, and overall commercial impression”. As a result, they argue that it will “confuse consumers into believing [3D Realms’] products and services are somehow affiliated with or approved by Iron Maiden”.
In addition to the name dispute, the band alleges other similarities, such as the main character’s name in the Ion Maiden game being Shelly Harrison (which the band argues is an attempt to copy the name of Steve Harris, an Iron Maiden founder and primary songwriter).
Iron Maiden is seeking US$2 million in damages, an injunction to stop Ion Maiden from being produced and sold, and destruction of all reproductions of the Iron Maiden trademark.
Commenting on the lawsuit on Twitter, 3D Realms claims that the lawsuit is full of “frivolous claims that anyone who has played Ion Maiden would find over the top”. Some commentators have also argued that the styling of the logos is “vastly different” and that the “game’s music stylings sound nothing like Iron Maiden’s heavy metal work”.
3D Realms has reportedly stated that it will review its options once it has received “official notice of the lawsuit and will make any necessary decisions at the appropriate time”. For the time being, however, the developers have stated that everyone is continuing “to work diligently on Ion Maiden”.
Authors: Sarah Stothart and Andrew Patel