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Appeals Court Denies Bethesda Injunction In  Fallout  MMO Case

Appeals Court Denies Bethesda Injunction In Fallout MMO Case

October 27, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

Interplay can continue work on its long-planned Fallout MMO project now that a judge for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an injunction requested by rights-holder Bethesda.

In court documents obtained by Joystiq, a three-judge panel said Bethesda's arguments regarding Interplay's financial troubles and existing legal precedents failed to prove the company would suffer irreparable harm if development of the game was not immediately halted.

The decision is the latest setback for Bethesda in the back-and-forth legal battle over the status of the MMO -- district court judges have already twice denied previous Bethesda requests for a temporary restraining order in the matter.

The legal wrangling over the shape of Interplay's rights to the Fallout license has been going on since 2009, when Bethesda first sued Interplay alleging the company's sub-licensing went against a 2007 agreement.

Bethesda later amended that complaint to argue the agreement only gave Interplay the rights to the Fallout name, and not any existing elements from the previous games in the series.

Though Interplay can continue work on the game for the time being, the court did reaffirm an earlier finding that Interplay will require "express permission from Bethesda" before releasing the project, meaning that the dispute will have to be settled in some manner before the MMO can see the light of day.

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