Gearbox Software is taking 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment to court over use of the Duke Nukem intellectual property.
3D Realms sold the intellectual property for Duke Nukem to Gearbox in 2010 after failing to complete Duke Nukem Forever.
In the lawsuit filed last week, Duke Nukem Forever developer Gearbox is accusing the two companies of trademark and copyright infringement, unfair competition and breach of contract. It is seeking damages and injunctive relief.
The legal action was sparked by Interceptor's announcement of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, an isometric action RPG which currently has a release date for later this month.
3D Realms were the original rights holders of Duke Nukem but sold the franchise in 2010 after its infamously long development cycle on what was going to be Duke Nukem Forever. Gearbox bought up the rights and surprised everyone by finishing and releasing the since cancelled game.
Following the sale, 3D realms did keep the rights to re-release older titles in the series like Duke Nukem 3D, which has since been released on Steam and the Apple App Store.
'Apparently, after selling its Duke Nukem IP rights to Gearbox in 2010, 3DR sought to privately convince others that the sale never happened,'
reads the legal complaint from Gearbox. 'The result is the unauthorized development effort that reportedly exists between 3DR and Interceptor.'
A cease and desist letter was already sent to 3D Realms earlier this month which was subsequently signed by 3D Realms chief executive Scott Miller and business partner George Broussard.