Stardock was nothing but cool while P&F where being vague little b****, working to undermine and steal their thunder the whole time. They where leaching off of the money spent by Stardock to rebuild the Star Control franchise that they let die.
"Reviving the Star Control franchise" is not a task someone gave Stardock to do. Stardock simply decided to take it on themselves. According to P&F, P&F were planning to do it themselves in the future (GotP, 25th anniversary, etc).
Again I find it funny that Stardock (or Stardock fans) think P&F are "stealing Stardock's thunder", while Stardock made what is essentially a wannabe Star Control 2. I wouldn't call any of this stealing anyone's thunder, but surely Stardock is riding the wave of P&F's work more than P&F are abusing SC:O.
In my opinion there could be lots of mutual benefit, and not "stealing", if it wasn't for the hostility.
Reading this email (10/4/17) really pissed me off as they started to show their true intentions: https://cdn.stardock.us/forums/0/0/1/a36c96e5-9216-4c21-b39c-ee73fa7fbd39.png
Actually, P&F have never implied they want to give away the IP. They were very clear starting from the very first email and every email from thereon, that they want to keep the IP for themselves. Stardock then buying trademarks, making SC:O, etc. is something they just decided to do anyway, without P&F:s blessing.
I got the impression that P&F might've let it slide regardess, and let SC:O be SC:O, if it weren't all of the legal mess Stardock started. And Stardock started the legal mess only because of the GotP announcement. Which seems like an incredibly stupid thing to do.
If I'm wrong in all this, and you think the events went differently, feel free to educate me.
Anyway, I've read all the emails that are publicy available, and I haven't found any indication whatsoever that P&F would like to sell or give away the IP, or work with Stardock in any other way. Every time Wardell asked for things like that, P&F politely but very clearly refused.
Stardock paid $300k-$400k for the Star Control trademark, (franchise, and maybe more)...
This is just a guess, but maybe Stardock thought they were buying something more for that 300-400k from the Atari bankruptcy sale (maybe the IP or whatnot), when they in fact only bought the trademark. And maybe that's one reason for everything that followed.