Brad Wardell of Stardock is making legal trouble for the original creators of Star Control (settled)

spman2099

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,908
Hopefully, the settlement ends up being whatever the legal equivalent of telling Brad/Stardock to go pound sand is.
Yeah, the only way I would every feel satisfied would be if Brad were to be publicly embarrassed. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen, though at least it seems like Fred and Paul aren't going to be ruined by this nonsense.

I guess I’m disappointed in any result that has Wardell even slightly happy.
Indeed. Hopefully other bad things are happening in his life.
 

Shaneus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,382
From what I can gather, it's basically how it should've been in the first place. Wardell keeps the SC trademark, Paul and Fred get the rest. I don't think there's any damages (like P&F claiming trademark or whatever on the ship combat of SC:O etc.), but I'm okay with that.

Funny watching Derek Smart backpedal on his "no settlement" call he posted on the second last link I posted. Whoops.

What about the poor employees Wardell had to lay off because of this legal action? Oh noes etc.
 

Shaneus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,382
Bump, but interesting to note: All posts have been removed from Paul and Fred's blog, as well as their Twitter (that related to the case, tweets about their blog).

Looking forward to any news that comes forward next week!
 

Herr Starr

Member
Oct 26, 2017
313
Norway
Stardock has announced a new Star Control game for 2020 as part of this turn of events. Wardell says people will be "shocked" when they learn more details about the game and that lots of "good stuff is happening in the world of Star Control." Call me naive, but it kind of sounds like they may have possibly reached some kind of agreement that doesn't just restore the status quo but actually benefits both parties. That would be the best scenario for us, I think.
 

s_mirage

Member
Oct 25, 2017
947
Birmingham, UK
Stardock has announced a new Star Control game for 2020 as part of this turn of events. Wardell says people will be "shocked" when they learn more details about the game and that lots of "good stuff is happening in the world of Star Control." Call me naive, but it kind of sounds like they may have possibly reached some kind of agreement that doesn't just restore the status quo but actually benefits both parties. That would be the best scenario for us, I think.
Ghosts of the Precursors as an official Star Control game developed by P+F but published by Stardock? I reckon that'll be the case, and if so I think my feelings will be a little mixed.
 

Herr Starr

Member
Oct 26, 2017
313
Norway
Ghosts of the Precursors as an official Star Control game developed by P+F but published by Stardock? I reckon that'll be the case, and if so I think my feelings will be a little mixed.
That would be disappointing, but at least it would make Ghosts of the Precursors an official Star Control game, which is something. I'm not sure acting as a publisher for Star Control is quite what Wardell imagined when he bought the trademark though. I would suspect he wants to be involved more directly in the development.
 

garion333

Member
Oct 27, 2017
930
Stardock has announced a new Star Control game for 2020 as part of this turn of events. Wardell says people will be "shocked" when they learn more details about the game and that lots of "good stuff is happening in the world of Star Control." Call me naive, but it kind of sounds like they may have possibly reached some kind of agreement that doesn't just restore the status quo but actually benefits both parties. That would be the best scenario for us, I think.
He then mentions in a later tweet that the news is good for "everyone".

In the end, the only people who won were the lawyers. Such is life. ;)
 

MEGrika

Member
Oct 25, 2017
55
I had a feeling it would turn out like this. Paul and Fred always seemed like they just wanted to be left alone to work on their game and Wardell kept pushing the issue. Them settling to just get things over with was the most likely scenario. We all wanted Wardell to be slam dunked into a trash bin for being the piece of shit he is but we will just have to be happy that P&F can get back to making Ghosts of the Precursors.
 

spman2099

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,908
I had a feeling it would turn out like this. Paul and Fred always seemed like they just wanted to be left alone to work on their game and Wardell kept pushing the issue. Them settling to just get things over with was the most likely scenario. We all wanted Wardell to be slam dunked into a trash bin for being the piece of shit he is but we will just have to be happy that P&F can get back to making Ghosts of the Precursors.
Yup. I was hoping that they were going to throw Wardell into the ocean, but I secretly knew that he would be fine when the dust settled. Cockroaches are just good at surviving. It is what hey do.
 

xylo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
70
Plaintiff and Counter-Defendant Stardock Systems, Inc., Counter-Defendant Valve Corporation, Counter-Defendants GOG Limited and GOG Poland Sp. z o.o., and Defendants and Counter-Claimants Paul Reiche III and Robert Frederick Ford, being all of the parties of record in this action, having reached a settlement, and having stipulated by and through their respective counsel of record, and the Court having accepted the stipulation of the parties,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the above-entitled action, including all claims and counterclaims, shall be, and hereby is, DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE in its entirety.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that each of the parties shall bear his or its own attorneys’ fees and costs unless otherwise specified in the terms of the parties’ settlement agreement and/or in other applicable agreements to which a party or the parties may be subject.

IT IS SO ORDERED.
It's done and over. Case cannot be refiled as it was dismissed with prejudice. There is a single entry for today about a Patent/Trademark report, but uspto.gov search is offline at the moment so I can't get a hint as to what it says. I suspect that it just affirms the trademark and unique SC3 elements to Stardock.

Other then that, looks like it was an amicable settlement and settlement terms are no confidential. My only worry is if that the settlement results in F&P doing something like letting GotP be published/retained. Hopefully we'll hear more this week.
 

xylo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
70
Opposer and Applicant having reached a settlement, pursuant to 37 C.F.R. § 2.106(c) Opposer FRUNGY GAMES, INC. (“Frungy Games”) hereby withdraws with prejudice its Opposition No. 91,243,698 to the mark STAR CONTROL.
June 10, 2019 - Opposition No. 91243698

Frungy Games, Inc.
v.
Stardock Systems, Inc.

By the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board: On June 7, 2019, Opposer filed a withdrawal of the opposition with prejudice in accordance with the parties' agreement. In view thereof, the opposition is dismissed with prejudice.
So Stardock gets the trademark for Star Control (expected). Looks like nothing for "The Ur-Quan Masters" -- I don't see that in there at all.

Going to assume the settlement is basically everyone memory tubes all the legal postings/potentially negative press items, Stardock and continue to make SC games and go forward with Origins, and P&F get to make GotP, and maybe P&F get to license the name w/ Stardock getting to use elements of the games and/or sale of the old games with royalties to P&F, and everyone
leaves the public stuff (UQM remake, etc) alone.
 

Shaneus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,382
It's done and over. Case cannot be refiled as it was dismissed with prejudice. There is a single entry for today about a Patent/Trademark report, but uspto.gov search is offline at the moment so I can't get a hint as to what it says. I suspect that it just affirms the trademark and unique SC3 elements to Stardock.
Could have all been avoided if Wardell wasn't a complete dick, SC:O sales probably would've been higher (hell, I might've bought a copy) and their lawyers wouldn't be anywhere near as rich.

I hope he eats shit and doesn't pretend this is any kind of victory.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,256
Madrid
What a colossal waste of everyone's times and money to return to the status quo, but that's Brad Wardell for you: never let reality get in the way of a good tantrum.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,256
Madrid
We don't know what the results of the settlement were in detail, so don't get too agitated just yet.
Oh, I'm not agitated; quite the opposite, I'm relieved things seem to have ended up as well for P&F as could be reasonably expected. But we can make pretty solid guesses as to how the settlement left things, and all signs point to "exactly how it was before". I take that as a win, making Bradwell's tantrum the epitome of pointless.

And, I mean, if it was "things returned to the status quo, but nobody could have predicted that", it would at least make a modicum of sense for him to try to get something out of this. But anyone with half a brain cell could see he had no case to stand on at all, making it doubly pointless. Even for the low standards that CEOs regularly set, it's amazing that someone so profoundly stupid can be in charge of anything. To quote an excellet Transformers comic, "I wouldn't leave him in charge of his own legs".
 

flyinj

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,434
Could have all been avoided if Wardell wasn't a complete dick, SC:O sales probably would've been higher (hell, I might've bought a copy) and their lawyers wouldn't be anywhere near as rich.

I hope he eats shit and doesn't pretend this is any kind of victory.
Regardless of all this garbage, Brad Wardell is an unapologetic GamerGater even to this day.

There is no way he was ever getting a penny from me.
 

Shaneus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,382
Regardless of all this garbage, Brad Wardell is an unapologetic GamerGater even to this day.

There is no way he was ever getting a penny from me.
Which is why I'm seriously hoping the discussion around Stardock potentially publishing GotP are just worst-case overthinking and not a distinct possibility.
 

Shaneus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,382
Here's a summary of all the legal details behind the agreement:
All existing lawsuits between Stardock and Ford & Reiche are dismissed with prejudice (this simply means the suits cannot be re-litigated).
All parties are responsible for their own attorney's fees.
Stardock gets to use the Star Control name for its Star Control Origins game and can develop sequels and DLCs as it likes.
Ford & Reiche get to continue to develop their own direct Ur-Quan Masters sequel (which was previously called Ghosts of the Precursors but will be renamed).
The Star Control Origins universe (now known as "the Star Control franchise") will continue in a disconnected bubble from the Ur-Quan Masters/Ghosts of the Precursors universe (now known as "the Ur-Quan Masters franchise").
Reiche will contribute some writing to the Origins universe, in a volunteer role.
All of the complicated arguments about who owns which copyrights and trademarks and who they bought them from and when and what's copyrightable and what's not are mooted. (Which is great because it means I don't have to re-summarize the mountain of IP arguments that both sides were making!)
The original three Star Control games can continue to be sold on other storefronts, including Stardock's, and Stardock will split revenue from those games' sales with Ford & Reiche.
No licensing money changed hands.
Brad Wardell of Stardock must furnish Paul Reiche with a specific amount of honey from Wardell's apiary.
In turn, Paul Reiche must furnish Brad Wardell with a specific amount of mead brewed from Wardell's bees' honey.
Best possible outcome, IMO. Obviously Reiche and Ford are more forgiving of Wardell's douchebag bully tactics than I am, but that it has a resolution at all is a good thing.

Just a shame there was all this drama over what was basically Wardell's ignorance and hubris.

Edit: This kinda has me a bit miffed though:
The agreement also includes some stipulation that Ford & Reiche go into a quiet period for a while, which will allow them to focus on Mask Effect their now-untitled UQM sequel and will also allow Origins and its DLC and sequels to have some more spotlight time before Ford & Reiche begin dropping announcements.
After what kind of period? Not that I think any of this will result in more sales of SC:O. Maybe I'd pick it up via a Russian key store or something, but that would be it.
 
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spman2099

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,908
Here's a summary of all the legal details behind the agreement:

Best possible outcome, IMO. Obviously Reiche and Ford are more forgiving of Wardell's douchebag bully tactics than I am, but that it has a resolution at all is a good thing.

Just a shame there was all this drama over what was basically Wardell's ignorance and hubris.
Jesus Christ. Wardell was able to bully Reiche into providing writing for the game? Christ. I feel like Wardell walked away from this with a win. He received more than he had a right to, and was not required to relinquish anything. At times like this you really have to hope for karma to assert itself.
 

Shaneus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,382
Jesus Christ. Wardell was able to bully Reiche into providing writing for the game? Christ. I feel like Wardell walked away from this with a win. He received more than he had a right to, and was not required to relinquish anything. At times like this you really have to hope for karma to assert itself.
I don't see it as bullying necessarily, and hopefully it's more "this storyline is a bit shit, maybe try this so you don't ruin the Star Control name completely" type thing.
 

dude

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,067
Tel Aviv
Brad Wardell of Stardock must furnish Paul Reiche with a specific amount of honey from Wardell's apiary.
In turn, Paul Reiche must furnish Brad Wardell with a specific amount of mead brewed from Wardell's bees' honey.
Got to admit, that's cute.

All of this is sort of what should have happened from the beginning.
 

Shaneus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,382
Honestly, this situation makes me sick. I guess it could have been worse, but I still hate it.
Yeah, same. I suspect that it's mostly a facade by both parties but especially F&P. I just hate that it basically enables this kind of patent/trademark trolling in order to get the other party to come to the table (and "compromise").
 

Herr Starr

Member
Oct 26, 2017
313
Norway
This is pretty similar to the original deal Brad offered.
This is not even remotely similar to Brad's offer, which was absolutely ludicrous. This is very close to F&P's original offer, though, with some added lines to force the two parties to co-exist in a better way by not stepping on each other's toes. I'm not sure what's up the the volunteer writing gig, but I suspect it was something pretty inoffensive F&P offered to sweeten the deal.

Basically, this settlement is an official way of stopping this from being a problem again in the future.
 

piratepwnsninja

Lead Game Designer
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
1,472
Jesus Christ. Wardell was able to bully Reiche into providing writing for the game? Christ. I feel like Wardell walked away from this with a win. He received more than he had a right to, and was not required to relinquish anything. At times like this you really have to hope for karma to assert itself.
It could honestly be adding hooks for UQM in some capacity. Maybe something that splits the universes, or offers an explanation as to why they are split, but in game context.
 

Herr Starr

Member
Oct 26, 2017
313
Norway
If nothing else, think of the results of the settlement in this way:

F&P got pretty much what they wanted from the beginning. They never had any intentions of developing a game with the Star Control name until Brad pushed them so hard that they had to push back.

Brad Wardell did not get what he wanted from the beginning, which was to publish a true sequel to Star Control 2 with the original races and the blessings of F&P. It can be hard to remember at this point, but Wardell didn't buy the trademark so that he could make a spiritual successor with entirely different aliens from the original. He wanted to make a true sequel, and he expected F&P to be entirely on board. It was the fact that he was rebuked by them which made him act like a total shitstain and try to get everything. In the end, he got nothing except a slightly more magnanimous relationship with F&P, at least in public.

So don't look at the text of the settlement in isolation. Look at what the two parties started with and what they wanted. F&P basically won this in every way possible because they got everything they had set their sights on. Brad Wardell lost because he didn't.
 

Wakawun

Member
Oct 27, 2017
131
To be honest, neither party got anything they wanted. Only an expensive lawyers' bill.

But I think it speaks to the great strength of character on the side of F&P, that Paul would suggest resolving this with humour. Bees! They have been nothing but honest, sincere and generous from the beginning.
 

blackw0lf48

Member
Jan 2, 2019
210
Honestly this sounds pretty good. They're even going to support each other in future games development. From Ford and Reiche


  • This is honestly and truly an amicable settlement. Not only are we settling the lawsuit, but we’ve decided to support each other’s development so that the fan community gets two great games.
  • No money changed hands.
  • Stardock will create new games in the Star Control franchise. Paul & Fred will create new games in the Ur-Quan Masters franchise.
  • To help differentiate the two franchises Paul volunteered to create a few new alien races for Origins.
  • Brad offered to help Fred and Paul with technology.
  • Stardock dropped all its alien name and character trademarks and all parties have dropped their oppositions to each other’s trademarks.
  • Both sides recognise each other’s copyrights and will not challenge them in the future.
  • Star Control, Star Control II, and Star Control III will be coming back for sale by Stardock so that fans of all ages can enjoy the classic games in their original form. Paul and Fred will split royalties equally with Stardock.
  • Stardock, and Brad in particular, is supportive of Paul and Fred owning the Ur-Quan Masters trademark. All of us are committed to support the current UQM team and project, including their having a free, perpetual right to use the Ur-Quan Masters trademark for their amazing fan-powered recreation of the original game.
  • We are honestly very, very happy with the way everything has settled
Also people should really get Origins, it has some great writing.
 

garion333

Member
Oct 27, 2017
930
Also people should really get Origins, it has some great writing.
I'll buy it the moment Brad Wardell no longer receives any portion of my money.

And that's coming from someone who used to buy everything they released. I've had too many personal run-ins with Brad that I simply can't ignore that he's a turd.
 

blackw0lf48

Member
Jan 2, 2019
210
I'll buy it the moment Brad Wardell no longer receives any portion of my money.

And that's coming from someone who used to buy everything they released. I've had too many personal run-ins with Brad that I simply can't ignore that he's a turd.
I understand and sympathize with your anger. But there's a lot of talented people that worked on that game. And I'm not sure it's fair that they suffer for the sins of Brad.

It's a tough call though.
 

BetterOffEd

Member
Oct 29, 2017
412
I'm a little upset that Reiche will be creating for Stardock's SC, even if it's only in a small capacity, as I'd love to support whatever Reiche contributes to, but after how Brad handled this I don't want any of my money going to Stardock unless he's no longer a part of it.

While I hope Reiche's contributions are minimal, it would not surprise me if he'll be adding aliens (or allowing the use of some UQM species) and writing the tie-ins that explain how SC:O and UQM are parts of a single multiverse or something, which could be an entertaining read. I don't doubt that Reiche enjoyed many aspects of SC:O

I understand and sympathize with your anger. But there's a lot of talented people that worked on that game. And I'm not sure it's fair that they suffer for the sins of Brad.

It's a tough call though.
They have the freedom to not work for a terrible person. Hell, they could sign up to work for F&P on whatever GOTP becomes

Setup a patreon where the money skips Brad and goes directly to them and I'll be happy to support them
 

Herr Starr

Member
Oct 26, 2017
313
Norway
I'm a little upset that Reiche will be creating for Stardock's SC, even if it's only in a small capacity, as I'd love to support whatever Reiche contributes to, but after how Brad handled this I don't want any of my money going to Stardock unless he's no longer a part of it.

While I hope Reiche's contributions are minimal, it would not surprise me if he'll be adding aliens (or allowing the use of some UQM species) and writing the tie-ins that explain how SC:O and UQM are parts of a single multiverse or something
While it's vague, I kind of got the impression from F&P's update that they'll be specifically writing to separate the two properties. My thoughts immediately went to the Origins version of the Arilou as well as its other blatantly copied alien concepts. Reiche might have offered to write Stardock out of that hole to minimize any further conflicts between them due to alien similarities.
 

BetterOffEd

Member
Oct 29, 2017
412
While it's vague, I kind of got the impression from F&P's update that they'll be specifically writing to separate the two properties. My thoughts immediately went to the Origins version of the Arilou as well as its other blatantly copied alien concepts. Reiche might have offered to write Stardock out of that hole to minimize any further conflicts between them due to alien similarities.
The ArsTechnica article specifically mentions that there are some caveats regarding the Arilou in the settlment, so yeah, it seems the Arilou may be legitimized in SC:O. My hope is that part of the agreement is that Paul will be the one writing them. The Arilou (or Melnorme, or Orz) make the most sense as multi-universe species that would bridge the two franchises.
 

Noodle

Member
Aug 22, 2018
892
I understand and sympathize with your anger. But there's a lot of talented people that worked on that game. And I'm not sure it's fair that they suffer for the sins of Brad.

It's a tough call though.
The way some posters here treat job security as some sort of trump card over every and any ethical issue is fucking crazy. Wouldn't be surprised if they railed against a cure for cancer because of the poor oncologists it would put of out work.