A patent and trademark lawsuit over foam arrows used in live-action role playing, or LARPing, has been thrown out because the Indiana federal judge overseeing the case ruled that he lacked jurisdiction. For defendant Jordan Gwyther, who owns the community website Larping.org, it’s a victory, although a narrow one.
Global Archery, an Indiana company that licenses its own foam arrows for archery games, sued Gwyther back in October. Global Archery founder John Jackson said that the foam-tipped arrows sold by Gwyther violated a patent he owns, and that Gwyther’s marketing on search engines infringes his trademark rights.
Earlier this year, Gwyther took his fight public with a fundraising campaign, and published a video in which he implored his customers and fans to “Save LARP Archery!” That led to Global Archery asking for a gag order to stop Gwyther from speaking about the case.
US District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen didn’t rule on that request, or make any ruling on the case’s merits. Two weeks ago, Van Bokkelen issued a 7-page opinion (PDF) finding that Gwyther’s ties to the state of Indiana were so minimal that his court didn’t have jurisdiction over the case.
“I’m glad that it’s over,” Gwyther told Ars, reached today by telephone. “The lawyer fees will stop adding up, and I…