Again, from Shacknews:
GameSpot has a lengthy update on the Valve vs Vivendi Universal lawsuit that has been going on since 2002 when Valve sued Sierra (part of VUGames). The Half-Life developer originally sued Sierra because the publisher put Valve games in Internet cafes in the US and around the world, which Valve alledges is a copyright infringement. Vivendi later counter-sued, saying Valve had made misleading statements to them about their online distribution plans. Vivendi also wants Valve to honor a previous agreement and publish whatever Valve is going to work on next, and they would like to be awarded ownership of the Half-Life franchise as well. Various motions will be heard by the court October 8. How all of this will affect the release of Half-Life 2, we won't know for a while (though Vivendi Universal Games sure could use the money).
In court filings, Sierra/VUG says that the current distribution of Half-Life 2 via Steam exceeds the scope of the current software publishing agreement between the two parties. It is apparently seeking the court's assistance in compelling Valve not to use Steam as an avenue of distribution. On Friday, when asked if Valve was remained intent on making Half-Life 2 available to gamers via Steam, regardless of what was determined on October 8, Lombardi replied, "Yes."