The legal tug o'war between Gearbox Software and 3D Realms over the rights to the Duke Nukem IP have been settled with a possible sale of the franchise in the works.

IGN reports that Gearbox Software's ongoing lawsuit against 3D Realms over the intellectual property rights to Duke Nukem have been resolved. The two video game companies have been in long dispute over the franchise in a series of legal bouts. Duke Nukem Forever publisher Take-Two Interactive sued 3D Realms and Apogee Ltd. in May 2009 for the multiple delays that hit the game on the claims that it was a breach of contract. 3D Realms countersued in response, claiming that the game was still in the works, and the cases were eventually settled out of court.

Four years later, Apogee (a spin-off studio of Interceptor Entertainment named after 3D Realms' original studio name in the 1980s, which created the Duke Nukem franchise) sued Gearbox claiming that the studio withheld profits from Duke Nukem Forever's sales, which was eventually dismissed. Last year, Gearbox sued 3D Realms and Interceptor for infringing on the Duke Nukem license (owned by Gearbox) with their development of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction. The game was eventually changed to the project known as Bombshell.

The two companies have finally settled over the use of the Duke Nukem IP, as found by some NeoGAF users. Currently, Gearbox is still the registered owner of the Duke Nukem franchise according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but there's new information included on the website that revolves around a buy-back agreement between the two companies, which could mean that 3D Realms could get it back. Given how craptastic Duke Nukem Forever was, we're not surprised Gearbox is willing to let it go.