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Duke Set to Go to War with Gearbox

By acharris7727-03-2014

After Gearbox filed their lawsuit against 3D Realms back around a month ago, 3D Realms or 3DR and Interceptor have responded. The dispute is over the use of the Intellectual Properties of Duke Nukem, which they claim infringes Copyright and Trademark. Also the suit includes unfair competition and breach of contract.

All this has arisen because Interceptor wants to make a new Duke Nukem game to add to the franchise. Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, is described as “an isometric action role-playing game for PC and PlayStation 4”. But Gearbox claims ownership of the Duke Nukem brand name after purchasing it in 2010 from 3D Realms.

3D Realms offered this statement:

"On March 17, 2014, 3D Realms filed its answer to the complaint by Gearbox Software in Dallas, Texas. 3DR denies all allegations set forth in the complaint. In its answer, 3DR has submitted evidence showing that Gearbox at no point intended to enter into good faith negotiations but instead sought to force former owners, Scott Miller and George Broussard, to improperly surrender what rightfully belonged to 3DR.”

"It is our position that 3DR retains the right to develop the tentatively titled "Duke Nukem Survivor" game for specific platforms. This game was previously licensed for development to Interceptor Entertainment. Furthermore, it is our position that the Trademark for "Duke Nukem" was never assigned to Gearbox, but remains the sole property of 3DR."

Interceptor Entertainment added this:

"As an independent and young studio, we have been very fortunate to work with companies such as Apogee and 3D Realms on amazing IP's such as Duke Nukem and Rise of the Triad. As true fans of these companies, their games and the amazing minds behind them, we have nothing but respect for the intellectual properties they have created as well as their rightful owners.”

"We were extremely excited for our next reveal, but unfortunately due to the actions of Gearbox Software, Interceptor Entertainment decided to put this reveal on hold in respect of their lawsuit. However, 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment were rightfully developing our game and as you can imagine we were quite shocked when the accusations by Gearbox arose, as we have always acted within our legal rights. It's unfortunate that Gearbox has shown no intention of finding a peaceful solution with us. We will however continue to work towards a solution."

Last year 3D Realms filed their own lawsuit against Gearbox Software over what they claimed were $2 million in unpaid royalties. The suit was later dropped with Scott Miller apologising for the litigation. "We regret the misunderstanding that instigated our lawsuit," Miller said at the time. "Now that we better understand - and appreciate - the actual nature of our business matters, we have voluntarily withdrawn our claims against Gearbox, with genuine apologies to Randy [Pitchford, president of Gearbox] for any damage that our lawsuit may have caused to the relationship."

It should be interesting now to see what Gearbox responds with now that 3DR and Interceptor have fired their own shots back.

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