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Bethesda v Interplay - Is there a deal in the works?

Agent c December 27, 2011 User blog:Agent c

I have a bit of breaking news on the Bethesda v Interplay case. Its not a lot, but it may suggest a deal is in the works.

Usual disclaimer: IANAL

The story so far

Because I appreciate that not everyone is following this religiously, here's a very short version of the case to date.

  • First, Bethesda bought the rights to create 3 Fallout games from Interplay. This is called the ELA.
  • In 2007 Bethesda then purchased the full Fallout Intelectual property (this sale is refered to as the asset purchase agreement or APA). As a part of this sale Interplay (believed) they licensed back the rights to create a Fallout MMO and market the existing Fallout games.
  • The terms of this license said they needed to start "full scale production" and have $US30 million in funding by April 4 2009., amongst other provisions.
  • In April 2009 Bethesda gave notice to Interplay that they were terminating the license, believing that Interplay had neither the funding, nor started full scale development.
  • Bethesda cite Interplay's own Financial documents as their evidence that these conditions where not met.
  • Bethesda then filed suit to prevent further development, and sales of the existing Fallout games.
  • Bethesda failed in an injunction to get Interplay to stop making Fallout Online pending the lawsuit result.
  • Both sides agreed on Bethesda's instigation to stop the parts of the case referring to the older Fallout games.
  • Bethesda amended its case to argue that the TLA only gave Interplay the rights to make a MMO named Fallout, rather than a game including the elements of Fallout that make the game what it is, like the Brotherhood, Mutants, etc (these are covered by copyright, not trademark).
  • Interplay in turn have argued that this means that the TLA is ambiguous and therefore invalid; and as they argue the TLA is a part of the APA, the whole sale of Fallout is therefore invalid.
  • The Bench (not Jury) trial started Dec 12.

Okay, that's us more or less up to date.

Today's Update

Bethesda have filed a motion to seal parts of their ongoing case. It is my understanding that this is SOP when there are serious settlement talks going on.

We don't have any more news at the moment as to what the deal may be. Interplay officially have until the 9th of January to respond to the motion. Interplay also have their long awaited earnings report that has been delayed many times now currently due on the 4th. So we're hoping for an update somewhere around those dates, or perhaps sooner if settled.

The motion was dated 23/12.

So, we could be almost at the end of the road folks. I will edit this with any further breaks, and will address Q+A as usual, please don't ask me about court procedures or law, although I'm happy to talk about the documents I have in my cache.Agent c 19:14, December 27, 2011 (UTC)

Edit, I've noticed that this is starting to get a little play elsewhere... If you're reporting on this for another site (or not), please feel free to contact me if you want more info.Agent c 00:00, January 1, 2012 (UTC)

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