There's been so much written about Interplay's nebulous Fallout MMO in the context of tedious litigation, it almost seems to welcome the franchise's thorough, irradiated reduction of modern society. But for those interested in legal tussles, here's where we stand today: Fallout property owner (and former licensee) Bethesda was recently denied a preliminary injunction against Interplay, which would have denied Fallout Online use of the franchise's story, characters and other identifiable elements for a limited time. Today, an appeal against that decision was denied.

United States Court of Appeals documents show that Bethesda's aim was to show "the district court abused its discretion and misapplied the law in concluding that Bethesda failed to establish a likelihood of irreparable harm." And while the property owner continued to delve into fears over Interplay's suspect financial stability (a potential source of said irreparable harm), today's outcome similarly found Bethesda's claims unconvincing.

The legal saga is still far from over, as Bethesda and Interplay must still settle their polluted licensing relationship and come to a conclusion regarding the possible release of Interplay's work -- which may continue for now, but still requires "express permission" from Bethesda to launch. What state the world (both inside and outside the game) will be in by the time the courts clear things up is anyone's guess.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.