The price of a novelty act: Iron Maiden sues video game over trademark infringement

Iconic metal band Iron Maiden is suing 3D Realms, a video game publisher, for its precariously named “Ion Maiden” video game that is currently in development.


May 31, 2019

Run to the hills — Iron Maiden, the legacy rock band that has spanned 40 years and still somehow fills arenas with 60k+ people, is suing video game company 3D Realms to the tune of $2m.

The band is suing the video game developer turned publisher over its new game, “Ion Maiden,” which the band describes as “incredibly blatant” trademark infringement.

They’re not wrong…

Ion Maiden’s skull icon is similar to the band’s mascot, its insignia mildly resembles the band’s classic “steel cut” font, and the name of the game’s protagonist, Shelley Harrison, is similar to that of the band’s chief songwriter, Steve Harris.

But the metal monger’s biggest issue is that the game is similar to the band’s own video game, “Legacy of the Beast,” and it argues that 3D Realms’ game would confuse consumers into believing Ion Maiden was endorsed by the musicians.

Some bands will do anything to avoid the ‘state fair’ tour

Iron Maiden’s case follows another recent novelty rock act’s trademark infringement case.

In May, Guns N’ Roses sued a Colorado craft brewery over a beer named Guns ‘N’ Rosé, saying the name has caused them “irreparable damage” to their band — yeah… unlikely.

In Guns ‘n’ Roses’ case, the band has far more to gain financially by suing than it does with a partnership.

But there’s more shades to the Iron Maiden dispute

First off, anyone who has been to a Hot Topic knows enough about Iron Maiden’s aesthetic to see the similarities, but, other than the name, the similarities aren’t glaringly obvious.

Yet 3D Realms wrote off the allegations on Twitter as “frivolous” —  arrogant much? Why not just admit there was inspiration behind it?

That said, the band’s name originated from a medieval torture device, and we aren’t seeing any royalties for the descendants of the blacksmith who built the first iron maiden death casket, are we?

Daily briefings, straight to your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

Join over 1 million people who read The Hustle

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.