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Gearbox Complaint

Gearbox Complaint

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Published by Brett Makedonski

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Published by: Brett Makedonski on Feb 24, 2014
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09/14/2014

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COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND— Page 1 of 15
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT  NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS DALLAS DIVISION GEARBOX SOFTWARE, LLC, Plaintiff, v. APOGEE SOFTWARE, LTD. d/b/a 3D REALMS ENTERTAINMENT and INTERCEPTOR ENTERTAINMENT APS, Defendants. § § § § § § § § § § § CIVIL ACTION  NO. _________
COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND
Plaintiff Gearbox Software, LLC (“Plaintiff”) files this Complaint against Defendants Apogee Software, Ltd. d/b/a 3D Realms Entertainment and Interceptor Entertainment ApS (collectively “Defendants”), alleges as follows, upon personal knowledge as to its own actions and upon information and belief as to the actions of Defendants:
I. PARTIES
1.
 
Plaintiff Gearbox Software, LLC (“Gearbox”) is a Texas limited liability company with a principal place of business located at 101 East Park Boulevard, Suite 1200, Plano, Texas 75074. 2.
 
Upon information and belief, Defendant Apogee Software, Ltd. d/b/a 3D Realms Entertainment (“3DR”) is a Texas limited partnership with a principal place of business located at 4809 Beltline Road, #111, Mesquite, Texas 75150. 3.
 
Upon information and belief, Defendant Interceptor Entertainment ApS (“Interceptor”) is a Danish company with a principal place of business located at Oestre Kanalgade 2, st., 9000 Aalborg, Denmark.
Case 3:14-cv-00710-L Document 1 Filed 02/21/14 Page 1 of 15 PageID 1
 
 
COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND— Page 2 of 15
II. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
4.
 
This is a civil action seeking damages and injunctive relief for trademark infringement, unfair competition, copyright infringement, and breach of contract arising under 15 U.S.C. § 1114, 15 U.S.C. 1125(a), and 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq. Accordingly, the Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1338. In addition, the Court has supplemental jurisdiction over all state law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
5.
 
Defendants are subject to personal jurisdiction in this district because they reside in or have substantial contact with this district. By actively pursuing business transactions with 3DR, a resident of this district, for,
inter alia
, rights to federally-registered trademarks, copyrights and other intellectual property owned by Gearbox, another resident of this district, Interceptor has subjected itself to the personal jurisdiction of this district. 6.
 
Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§1391(b) and (c) because a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to this action occurred in this district, and  because Defendant 3DR resides in this district.
III. FACTUAL BACKGROUND Nature of the Case
7.
 
This case stems from efforts to illegally exploit Gearbox’s intellectual property rights in the Duke Nukem video game franchise. Specifically, Defendants Interceptor and 3DR have colluded to misappropriate and make infringing use of the Duke Nukem trademarks and copyrights owned by Gearbox. Gearbox secured its rights on February 2, 2010, upon the execution of an Asset Purchase Agreement (“APA”) in which 3DR transferred, with certain very limited exceptions, all Duke Nukem intellectual property (“Duke IP”) to Gearbox. The APA
Case 3:14-cv-00710-L Document 1 Filed 02/21/14 Page 2 of 15 PageID 2
 
 
COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND— Page 3 of 15
also specifically required 3DR or its licensees to seek the permission of Gearbox before making use of the Duke Nukem marks after February 2, 2010. 8.
 
Recently—and without consulting the Duke IP’s actual owner, Gearbox— Interceptor announced its intent to develop a Duke Nukem game based upon the various characters, content and intellectual property owned by Gearbox; the proposed game is entitled “Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction.” Apparently, after selling its Duke Nukem IP rights to Gearbox in 2010, 3DR sought to privately convince others that the sale never happened. The result is the unauthorized development effort that reportedly exists between 3DR and Interceptor. 9.
 
By attempting to license the unlicensable, assign the unassignable, and effectively re-sell the exclusive rights that Gearbox already purchased in 2010, 3DR breached the terms of its APA with Gearbox, as well as Gearbox’s exclusive, federally-protected intellectual property rights. Unfortunately, the 3DR-Interceptor maneuver has left Gearbox with little choice but to  bring these claims.
Important Background Facts Gearbox Bails Out 3DR – The APA
 10.
 
“No good deed goes unpunished.” 3DR’s actions illustrate the point, given the exceptional amount of support that Gearbox extended to 3DR, its ownership, and the Duke  Nukem franchise that Gearbox must protect. 11.
 
It is worth remembering: Prior to Gearbox’s involvement, 3DR languished for
 over  twelve unsuccessful years
 trying to get the Duke Nukem Forever (“DNF”) videogame off the ground, and was famously incapable of achieving its goal. As a result of its own failings, 3DR ultimately found itself mired in protracted litigation with its publisher, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (“Take 2”). Indeed, by 2009, Take 2 was asserting its own claims against 3DR
Case 3:14-cv-00710-L Document 1 Filed 02/21/14 Page 3 of 15 PageID 3

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