Harmony Gold and Piranha Games have settled according to recently filed court documents.
Unlike last time when Harebrained Schemes had their case with HG dismissed two months ago, we’re going to keep our champagne bottles firmly corked and the confetti safely ensconced in whatever container confetti is normally ensconced in (I don’t actually know anything about confetti–is it a tin? A can?).
According to court documents filed in Washington District Court on June 7th, MechWarrior Online creators Piranha Games have reached a settlement agreement with hated patent trolls, Harmony Gold.
“Plaintiff Harmony Gold U.S.A., Inc. (‘Harmony Gold’) and Defendant Piranha Games Inc. (‘Piranha’) have agreed to a settlement in principle of this case,” the document reads, “but need time to prepare the written settlement documents.”
The motion goes on to state that if things fall apart then the case will proceed as it had previously.
As for what that settlement might entail, that we don’t know. And we may never know–legal settlements are often subject to non-disclosure agreements that will prevent us from ever knowing for sure if Harmony Gold will rear their ugly heads to rain on our parade.
BUT, and I say this as a non-lawyer with absolutely no background to draw from (sorry, our resident lawyer is on vacation and wasn’t able to comment as of the time of this writing), it seems likely that PGI paid off Harmony Gold with a stipulation that they cannot come after them for their upcoming game, MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries.
Unless the settlement details get disclosed the only way to tell is to wait and see what ‘Mechs Piranha Games opts to put in their upcoming single-player MechWarrior game. If there’s no Marauders, Warhammers, or Riflemen, then we’ll have our answer.
On the plus side, the Shadow Hawk, Griffin, and many more Unseen ‘Mechs are still present in Harebrained’s BattleTech, so we know that whatever settlement they reached in April didn’t take those iconic ‘Mechs away for good.
We’ll be sure to keep you up to date as we get more info.
And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.
There are no unseen ‘Mechs. There are only unseen images.
None of these images are currently used by PGI, HBS or CGL.
Instead, they’re using all-new art for those ‘Mechs that once upon a time had art associated with them that HG may or may not have legal standing to deny PGI/HBSCGL (and back then, FASA) from using.
That was the supposed main argument and that no BattleTech producer is infringing on anyone’s rights here to begin with. That the court case took a left turn and HG may not even have legal standing in the dispute they started is just the icing on the cake.
Problem is that because they’re not radically different from the previous designs, HG still claims that they own copyrights. They have been making hilariously specious copyright claims recently, and I’m sure the Reseen are part of that.
I’m not a big fan of PGI as a company or what they have done with MWO but I hope these recent cases provide future precedence and protection for whoever creates content in the Battletech universe.
Stipulated order is up:
Pirahna Games released a statement:
As many of you know for more than a year Piranha has been a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Harmony Gold. Very recently that lawsuit has been resolved.. The details on the resolution of the lawsuit are confidential and I am limited to this agreed upon language between HG and PGI.
Harmony Gold and Piranha Games are delighted to announce that they have ended their dispute. Piranha Games will continue to use the “classic” BattleTech designs and Harmony Gold and Piranha Games look forward to continuing to serve their respective fans and customers.
Many of you will have follow up questions but I must abstain from getting into a conversation on the matter.
At Piranha Games we thank you for your support during the process.
The big deal here is the nature of the dismissal being ‘with prejudice’ that’s HUGE as it means this crap is over and done with and we shouldn’t be hearing from harmony gold again on this issue. Read the Stipulated order posted above. Then this https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prejudice_(legal_term) if the terms are not familiar to you.
Here’s hoping that, by extension of using PGI-created assets, we can get the Maddy and Warhammer back in HBS BattleTech. The Cat K1 just isn’t the same as those two in the role of “double-barrel PPC heavy”.