There's a new twist to the Bethesda vs. Interplay Fallout: Online court case. It seems that the trial by jury scheduled for approximately 4 weeks from now will no longer be a trial by jury - it will rather be decided by the court. From one of the latest batch of court documents:
XIV. Waiver of Jury Trial
The parties agree and consent to a trial by the Court of all issues in dispute in this case in
accordance with the jury trial waiver set forth in Section 7.7 of the APA.
In the original APA, it seems, both Interplay and Bethesda agreed that any legal matters would be decided by the court and not by a jury.
7.7 WAIVER OF JURY TRIAL. EACH OF THE PARTIES TO THIS AGREEMENT HEREBY IRREVOCABLY WAIVES ALL RIGHT TO A TRIAL BY JURY IN ANY ACTION, PROCEEDING OR COUNTERCLAIM ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THIS AGREEMENT OR THE TRANSACTIONS CONTEMPLATED HEREBY.
Bethesda was the company which asked for a jury trial first, and Interplay later asked for the same thing. It is still unclear which company decided to use this clause of the APA (or which company forgot about it and then later remembered).
The really interesting part, however, comes in Section III of the new document:
A. Interplay proposes to prove the following facts in support of its counter-claims:
(1) The Asset Purchase Agreement signed between Interplay and Bethesda on April 4, 2007, (APA) is void ab initio because there was no "meeting of the minds" with respect to the rights granted between the parties;
It seems Interplay will be going for the jugular here. I've inserted a link into the "ab initio" part so you can get a better idea of the concept, but it looks like Interplay will try and nullify the entire Asset Purchase Agreement. I'm no lawyer, but this would most likely mean all Fallout rights would revert to Interplay and it would legally be as if the the APA never existed. The ramifications for this could be huge, especially given the poor performance of Bethesda's attorneys against Interplay's Mr. Gersh. If the APA is nullified, then the TLA would kick back in. Bethesda could make Fallout 3, 4, 5, and expansions, but they would have to give 12% royalties to Interplay on Fallout 3, New Vegas, Fallout 5 and all expansions plus interest. Interplay would own Fallout, however.
As always, DAC will provide more info as it becomes available.