Posted by David Miller as RPGs
Global Archery Products, which had claimed patents on foam-tipped LARP arrows, is dropping that element of its lawsuit against Mr. Jordan Gwyther, operator of Larping.org and reseller of LARP equipment. The company, however, continues to move forward with claims of trademark infringement.
According to Ars Technica, Global Archery decided to withdraw its patent claims after reviewing information on prior art provided by Gwyther’s attorneys. That prior art was a German patent for the arrows that Gwyther sells.
Another potential factor in Global Archery’s decision was the recent support lent to Gwyther’s case by internet retailer Newegg. Newegg has been active in the fight against so-called “patent trolls” and in this case contributed $10,000 to Gwyther’s legal defense and is selling troll-hunter t-shirts to raise additional funds.
While dropping the patent claims, Global Archery has also argued in defense of its position, pointing out that the company is an active producer of arrows and a supporter of the LARP community. The company, in fact, markets its products as a safe version of archery for families and promotes Archery Tag, a sport similar to paintball or laser-tag.
Among the issues at which the two parties remain at-odds is Global Archery’s assertion that Gwyther should not be permitted to target Global’s customers. The company takes the unusual position that by contacting Global’s customers and claiming “without proof” to have a better product, Gwyther is engaging in false advertising.
Global Archery also asserts a difficult claim of trademark infringement, citing Gwyther’s purchase of Google ads tied to the former company’s name being used as a search keyword.
To help with his defense of the case, Jordan Gwyther set up a GoFundMe page and posted a video plea to YouTube. Global Archery has taken issue with those actions as well and asked a judge for a gag order to prevent Gwyther from talking publicly about the dispute. And that’s where the Electronic Frontier Foundation joined the case. The organization submitted an amicus brief stating its belief that Gwyther has a First Amendment right to speak out.