Legal battles, while academically interesting, are totes boring, even when they carry heavy implications for the future of a franchise, or even the industry as a whole. The monotony can turn something interesting into something no one cares about, so we're thankful that the Honorable John F. Walter has delivered an atomic buster's worth of smackdown to the ongoing case of Bethesda v. Everyone Else.

Bethesda had sought a temporary restraining order against Fallout Online co-developer Masthead Studios, claiming that the company had illegally sublicensed Bethesda's intellectual property from Interplay. The court disagrees, however, and has denied Bethesda's ex-parte application, with Judge Walter essentially telling Bethesda that it's made its bed, and now it's going to lie in it:

"Plaintiff has not demonstrated that it will be irreparably prejudiced if the requested ex parte relief is not granted, or that it is without fault in creating the crisis that requires ex parte relief. Indeed, Plaintiff was aware as early as February 2011 that Masthead was potentially infringing its copyrights. ... Yet, Plaintiff waited seven months to apply for ex parte relief. The Court finds that Plaintiff unreasonably delayed in seeking relief, and that the emergency that allegedly justifies a TRO is self-created."
Yowch. Considering that this is the second injunction request denied of Bethesda since this whole thing began, things are starting to look pretty good for Fallout Online. Is anyone else weirded out by the United States Government actively defending a series based on its complete and total destruction? Just us? Okay.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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