3D Realms responds to Gearbox, claims it owns Duke Nukem trademark

3D Realms isn't backing down from its most recent legal dispute with Gearbox, after the studio asserted it has the rights to develop its Duke Nukem game, and more than that, it has the sole rights to the Duke Nukem trademark.

Following 3D Realms' tease of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, Gearbox announced it's suing the developer over unauthorized use of the Duke Nukem property and a violation of trademarks. In its complaint, Gearbox said 3D Realms sold the franchise rights to Gearbox in 2010 but then "sought to privately convince others that the sale never happened."

3D Realms filed its response to Gearbox last week, and the now Interceptor-owned studio provided Polygon with the following statement explaining its position:
"On March 17, 2014, 3D Realms filed its answer to the complaint by Gearbox Software in Dallas, Texas. 3DR denies all allegations set forth in the complaint. In its answer, 3DR has submitted evidence showing that Gearbox at no point intended to enter into good faith negotiations but instead sought to force former owners, Scott Miller and George Broussard, to improperly surrender what rightfully belonged to 3DR.

"It is our position that 3DR retains the right to develop the tentatively titled "Duke Nukem Survivor" game for specific platforms. This game was previously licensed for development to Interceptor Entertainment. Furthermore, it is our position that the Trademark for "Duke Nukem" was never assigned to Gearbox, but remains the sole property of 3DR."
A spokesperson for Interceptor Entertainment explained "Duke Nukem Survivor" is the tentative title for Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction. Interceptor provided its own statement to Polygon, adding that "It's unfortunate that Gearbox has shown no intention of finding a peaceful solution with us. We will however continue to work towards a solution."

Last month's legal action comes five months after 3D Realms and Gearbox's last dispute. 3D Realms filed a lawsuit against Gearbox in June 2013 over unpaid royalties from Duke Nukem Forever, only to withdraw it three months later after reviewing the evidence.
[Image: Interceptor Entertainment]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.