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News: Paul Reiche and Fred Ford want to continue the story they started when they created Star Control II — The Ur-Quan Masters. «Happy days and jubilation!» «But wait!» «There is something wrong here... something which makes my sheath retract and my talons ooze.» «Please, Captain, we need your help!»

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Author Topic: Stardock Litigation Discussion  (Read 32412 times)
Frogacuda
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #570 on: February 28, 2019, 02:43:36 am »

Now if Stardock could prove that scientifically a "HyperSpace" is likely to be red-shifted (and not just black), will likely have moving "streaks" and will have a hole near gravity wells, then F&P could not claim a copyright on that FTL expression (or the scientific paper would lead to them losing the copyright held until then), but again, I presume if Stardock would be able to prove that, earning money with games would become a lucrative side-job when selling games to the crews outward bound from our Solar system with the HyperSpace drive provided by Stardock Inc.

Even beyond this, I think Stardock is going to have a much more difficult time framing their product's similarities as arbitrary or derivative simply because of their repeated interest in and claimed ownership of the Reiche IP. The "parallel thought" argument is tough to make when you're literally making a game with the same title.

And this sort of thing can be very compelling in IP cases. Consider for a moment Harlan Ellison's lawsuit against Orion over a writing credit on The Terminator over similarities to a couple of Outer Limits episodes Ellison wrote. These similarities were noticeable but not so severe that the studio couldn't play them off as coincidence, EXCEPT James Cameron gave an interview in which he said he got the idea by "ripping off a couple Outer Limits episodes." Once that chain is established, the claim becomes significantly more damaging.

There is no real way Stardock can argue that these similarities are coincidence. Stardock has already laid out the argument that they own the Reiche IP so they can't claim to be unaware of it. They're going to have to double down on the argument that they own it somehow, which seems, frankly, like a ridiculous claim.

I'm kind of surprised this is even going to trial. It's a testament to Stardock's lawyers that it wasn't just tossed out. Although that might do Stardock more harm than good in the end, especially if they end up with an invalid trademark and no rights to anything.
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