The Third Doctrinal War -- Stardock, Reiche/Ford, and Star Control


Translating the most recent motion from Stardock from lawyer to english



Ohhhhhh shhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttt

…especially in light of the scheduling order from the Judge telling both parties “I have had it with these motherfuckin’ snakes on this motherfuckin’ plane you parties not filing your pleadings in a timely manner.”

A motion to dismiss isn’t an exotic instrument; it’s an absolutely normal filing that any lawyer should expect is coming ahead of time. When a lawyer seeks to amend their complaint in response to a motion to dismiss, that’s a pretty clear sign that the complaint is probably defective.


I do recall the $10M number being tossed by Brad, but I could not find it from looking. It might be in the legal docs. @Thrag seems to have quoted it up thread.

But in a lot of their marketing materials they mention the budget in perspective of other SD games, and it is all similar to this quote from the other SC thread:


Also, where did Brad say it was $10M? I don’t recall seeing that.

“Upon information and belief, Reiche and Ford are now exploiting and taking advantage of the Star Control fans and community to fund a deceptive campaign to cancel Stardock’s rightfully owned trademarks and other intellectual property rights and interfere with and disrupt the potential success of Stardock’s Origins Game, a game that Stardock has spent four years and over $10 million developing, all of which Reiche and Ford were fully aware of and to which they never objected.”

(emphasis mine)

Stardock Third Amended Complaint - Page 27 / Paragraph 95


Nixon Peabody is a pretty well respected firm, but reading those briefs makes me think they didn’t just pass this off to the most junior associate but they assigned an intern to it.

I look forward to the judges reaction to their request for a fourth bite at the apple.


Does the court accept that $10M figure as is, or is that something subject to discovery if it becomes germane to the case?


It’s up to the parties to contest, or agree upon, the facts. The court won’t challenge statements of fact by itself - the court just decides which facts are most supported by the evidence presented to it. Everything is subject to discovery in a civil case.


What are the rules on proprietary information in this instance? I take it a big ‘no no’ is to release something like a detailed Stardock audit sheet of the budget if (PF side) pull it from discovery? And the reason why we see some email exchanges released is because both parties “own” the email? And if used as evidence in some way during the hearing does this stuff become public record?


The parties have to agree on the rules at the start of Discovery. I think it might be docket item #41, but that item isn’t on CourtListener. The default suggested rules for that court can be found here.


Thanks for the explanation.


I don’t know if it’s true in the US (the US civil legal system is a lot more public than pretty much anywhere else), but in the UK, discovery is done on the basis that the receiving party can’t use documents outside of the present case.

If it’s mentioned in open court and not subject to a confidentiality order, yes.


They can make whatever statement they want, the court doesn’t care. Only the litigants will care. And in this case, if it gets to damages part, Stardock would have to prove that they spent $10m. If nothing else, my guess is that if/when it gets to discovery, it’s something that is going to come up.


The youtube lawyer guy did a livestream the other day and fielded some questions about the suit.

Someone asked about the validity of trademarking the names and his response was that that is essentially a non-starter since their current claims contradict the original position.

I asked about the whole scheme to defraud because they never owned any copyrights and his instant answer was that those claims are false.

I also asked about GoG and Valve being dragged in and his opinion was that it was just a legal strategy (duh) but didn’t elaborate much. He wasn’t familiar with the failure to indemnify bit in regard to GoG.

“Do you think Stardock’s claims that they have the trademark to not only Star Control but also alien names and other names within the games has any merit?”

“What do you think of the claim in Stardock’s suit that Paul and Fred are fraudsters who never owned any copyrights to begin with and thus defrauded Accolade and everyone else?”

“Any thoughts on GoG being brought into the suit, especially the part of GoG’s contract indemnification clause?”


There are some new docs on court listener site regarding Stardock’s response to the dismissal motion for two of the counts. It a good demonstration of the “pound the table” adage that was mentioned above.


LOL!! You are aware that Leo is an incompetent lawyer and celebrated moron, right? Nobody listens to him because he’s often so wrong, that it beggars belief.

  1. Trademarks and copyrights are of zero relevance to a cause of action. The court doesn’t care if you had the marks/rights before, during or after the action. Why? Well look up “first use”. Just because you didn’t have either of these prior to a lawsuit, doesn’t mean squat. It just helps to solidify your damage claims if you prevail.

  2. Copyright or trademark infringement doesn’t give rise to fraud. It’s why Gucci can’t prevail against counterfeiters if they bring a fraud claim that hinges on anything but intent.

  3. When you sell your game on a portal, you sign an agreement in which you indemnify the portal against any and all claims, and you warrant that you have the rights to title/product being sold. There is no way that a third-party site will ever become a party to a lawsuit just because they were selling said product. It’s why Gucci can’t sue Amazon or eBay for counterfeit merchandise.

Like i said: incompetent moron.


Jeez, Derek, tell us how you really feel about Youtube Lawyer Guy. ;)


One thing I think he did have right is that Stardock’s new trademark claims require Accolade to have used the names as brand identifiers. I can’t find any evidence that it did.

And even if it did, then you get to the question of whether they were abandoned by Atari.


You seem again confused about the suit itself and about what the guy said. For example Stardock is the party claiming P&F are frauds (but not pressing a legal claim of fraud, just saying they are) and he thinks that claim is false.


Yeah, I know. That guy and his compatriot Leonard French, are examples of why some attorneys get a bad name. They’re lower and worse than ambulance chasers - except they do it for Patreon and YT views/subs. I have been raging on them over Star Citizen this past year. They’ve been so wrong about everything that it just makes me angry when it became obvious they were just pandering to Star Citizen whales.


Accolade did use the names as brand identifiers via their use of the name in several titles. And no, Atari didn’t abandon them because they were still profiting from them for a time.


Assuming that was directed at me, I think you’re the confused one because I was responding on general terms regarding the premise of what was claimed. Try reading it again. Slowly.