After several years of legal issues with Star Control, it looks like the franchise is back on track after Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III, the creators of Star Control have settled the legal battle with Stardock over the tangled intellectual property rights that had gotten the latest game, Star Control: Origins removed from several PC stores like Steam and GOG.
The main issue around the dispute revolved around what trademarks cover and what copyrights cover. Stardock claimed the trademarks while Paul Reiche claimed the copyrights. When both parties announced new games related to Star Control, that is when the legal battle began.
After a year of litigation, the dispute was solved by a phone call. Paul Reiche called Brad Wardell, the CEO of Stardock and the two found some common ground… in bees. In a blog post, Paul wrote “Before I start talking about settling our legal conflict, I’d like to talk about bees. The conversation about bees, honey, mead, and bee stings went on for quite a while before we moved on to the talking about the case. Our perspective was this: we don’t like fighting, but we love creating, so can we step waaay outside the box and settle our dispute through positive, creative actions rather than continuing to beat each other up?” Brad Wardell agreed and it became the basis for settlement.
Paul also provided the details of the agreement which includes the return of Star Control, Star Control II, and Star Control III for sale, royalties to be split equally, new games coming to the Star Control series, both sides recognizing each other’s copyrights, and more including bees. Brad Wardell will be giving Fred and Paul honey from his hive while Paul is giving Brad some bottles of his homemade mead. You can find more details about the agreement in Paul Reiche’s blog post.