Bethesda And Notch’s Scrolls-Off Explained

By Alec Meer on August 8th, 2011 at 5:04 pm.

Artist's impression of how a royalty payment to Bethesda might look

While Minecraft creator Marcus ‘Notch’ Persson remains an avowed fan of Bethesda games, the legal argy-bargy between the Elder Documents publisher and Notch’s company Mojang over its forthcoming second game ‘Scrolls’ doesn’t look like dying down any time soon. In fact, the big B has stepped up its efforts, announcing its intention to sue Mojang in a Swedish court, as well as a demand for money. In a blog post explaining a little of his side of things, Notch reveals that this all happened shortly after Mojang tried to trademark ‘Scrolls’, which rang alarm bells for the rights-holders of The Elder Rolled-Up Papers. Common sense has had us all thinking the situation is simply ridiculous – one word within a title hardly equals the same title, right?

Well, it may not be that simple. In other words- Bethesda might well have a case, regardless of how you might feel about it.

Games lawyer and friend of RPS Jas Purewal writes on his Gamer/Law blog has taken a long look at the situation and how it relates to trademark law, feeling that it boils down to these two key arguments:

(1) Is Mojang selling identical or similar goods/services to Bethesda in an identical/similar business?
(2) Is there a likelihood of public confusion between Scrolls and The Elder Scrolls?

It’s the second point that might be the lychpin of any action (or settlement), he claims, but there’s no cut and dried answer to it. “On the one hand, clearly The Elder Scrolls IS the foremost game series to use the word ‘Scrolls’ and a consumer may therefore think that the Mojang game Scrolls is part of the Elder Scrolls series. On the other hand, the Mojang game Scrolls is reportedly going to be a different game to The Elder Scrolls series and Mojang itself has a good brand profile among gamers, making it arguably less likely that its game would be connected with Bethesda. Then again, if you just look at the games themselves, both are fantasy themed (one first person RPG, the other a card playing game with RPG elements) so is there a risk of confusion there? As you can see, it’s far from a straightforward yes/no answer.”

Common sense and the product familiarity will have games-knowledgeable folk such as you and I convinced there shouldn’t be cause for concern, but as Murder Dog IV tries to prove, the law’s all too capable of interpreting things very, very differently.

Also in the mix is that “There’s one more key aspect about trade marks you need to know: once you have one, you need to enforce it.” Otherwise, as was the case with Hoover, you might end up losing it. Bethesda may not even want to do this, especially as suing indie’s golden boy is hardly the way to earn gamers’ love – but they may feel they have to.

So, Gamer/Law feels, “Mojang has three options at present:

(1) Fight the claim
(2) Capitulate and change the game name
(3) Agree to coexist with Bethesda (ie both use the name Scrolls, potentially in return for Mojang paying Bethesda).”

2 or 3 is apparently most likely due to the costs of 1, for both sides. Neither of them seem fair, of course – but that’s because ‘fair’ pretty much doesn’t come into matters of trademarking. If it did, we’d probably never have heard of Tim Langdell.

So, this story probably isn’t a just a matter of crossed wires or one over-zealous lawyer, and instead could hang around for quite some time. Especially as the ongoing fight with Interplay suggests Bethesda isn’t exactly afraid of long and bitter legal fights regarding what it feels are its trademarks.

Incidentally, do read the entirety of Jas Purewal’s post about all this – it’s highly illuminating regarding matters of taking out, enforcing and battling trademarks.

__________________

« | »

, , , , .

303 Comments »

  1. OJ287 says:

    Couldn’t Bethesda give a license to Majong for a nominal fee? Notch gives them a penny and Beth can demonstrate they’ve protected their trademarks.

    • Starky says:

      Yes, but Notch is trying to trademark the word “scrolls” in a computer game context, which screws any possibility of compromise, unless he withdraws his trademark application.

  2. reticulate says:

    At some point, I have no doubt Vlatko Andonov and Notch will get into a room together and hash this out.

    • Starky says:

      He can’t.

      Seriously unless Mojang/Notch withdraw their attempt to trademark “Scrolls”, Bethesda HAVE to challenge it in court, they can’t [just]* sit in a room and talk.

      They could if it was just the use of the name, Beth could grant Mojang the use for free if they wanted, but they cannot ever allow another games company to trademark the word “Scrolls”.

      *Edit as mentioned below of course they can do both, I meant that until notch withdraws his trademark application/ownership, no amount of phone-calls, or sitting and talking will stop the court action.
      That part of it is clearly going to be the hard limit for Bethesda, if notch doesn’t fold, this will most likely go to court.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      “Seriously unless Mojang/Notch withdraw their attempt to trademark “Scrolls”, Bethesda HAVE to challenge it in court, they can’t sit in a room and talk.”

      They can of course do both—which is what I expect will happen. Bethesda and Mojang will come to some arrangement (since both companies would want to avoid the expense of taking this to trial).

      My prediction—given that Mojang’s earlier suggestion (that they would not use any words in front of “Scrolls”) was clearly not acceptable to Bethesda—is that they will settle the matter between them, with a small sum of money changing hands one way or the other, and Mojang will change the name of their game. I don’t think Mojang’s investment in the current name is sufficient to be worth the cost of taking the matter to trial, but I think Bethesda’s investment in “The Elder Scrolls” most certainly is worth it to them if need be, and I think they’re protective enough of it that they would not want to allow Mojang’s trademark application to be successful (or, if it has already been granted, to remain).

  3. HeavyStorm says:

    I’d risk saying the bottom line here is that Mojang now sits with the big players (being a millionaire company with a millionaire product) so it’ll be necessary for Notch to have a legal person (seasoned legal person, actually) near him. A legal department, so to speak.

    Over the name of the game, well… Just call it something else entirely or change the name to include more words and lessen the stress on the word Scroll. Like, Fantasy Scrolls is much less close to Elder Scrolls than Scrolls is.

    • Milky1985 says:

      If your gonna go down that route then someone coudl say that fantasy scrolls could be confused with final fantasy as scrolls were used in FF crystal chronicals.

      Another trademark that could be an issue!

  4. pakoito says:

    So no more games with “Space” in name because they look like Dead Space?

  5. BobsLawnService says:

    I just want to be the one tiny voice saying that I think I kind of understand where Bethesda asre coming from and I understand that they aren’t the Minions of Satan for doing it. Notch trying to copywrite Scrolls and releasing a game that could be confused as being a tie in to the Elder Scrolls games is a bit of a problem.

    Maybe Notch could rename his game slightly to avoid potential ambiguity.

    • Unaco says:

      You aren’t the only one. I can understand why they’re doing it as well. Trademark/Copyright law is pretty strange… it isn’t really “common sense”, and can seem quite silly to people. I think, in this case, Beth HAVE to ‘protect’ their mark… If they let the mark ‘Scrolls’ in the Video Game market be protected by someone else, that can be seen as them not willing to protect their “Elder Scrolls” mark… and as they say, you need to protect your mark, or lose it.

      Also, just to point out, making comparisons that no one can use the word Space or Star because they’re in marks already… There is a lot of dilution for those words, they’re used in plenty of other marks, they’re very common words. But, as far as I know, Scrolls is quite unique. “Elder Scrolls” is the only mark I can think of, in the Gaming market, that uses it.

  6. Robert says:

    “About half a year ago, our lawyers recommended us to register “Minecraft” as a trademark, so we did. I had voted against it initially, but we did it anyway. Better safe than sorry, and all that. At the same time, we also applied for “Scrolls”, the new game we’re working on.”

    http://notch.tumblr.com/

  7. Lacero says:

    I’ve never heard the term “Elder Scrolls” so much before. Oblivion was Oblivion, Morrowind was Morrowind and Daggerfall was Daggerfall. The name Bethesda (A place!) is more strongly linked to those games than the word scrolls is.

  8. pasvih says:

    Funny thing is that many people I know have no idea what Elder Scrolls games are unless I use the subnames Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion or Skyrim.

  9. stampy says:

    I’m sure this won’t be popular, but in all truth this very site confirmed that Bethesda has a reasonable claim. Just look at the posts tagged “scrolls,” and you’ll see the post The Younger Scrolls: Mojang Prepping Alpha.

    This demonstrates that the community will associate a Scrolls title with Elder Scrolls, based on the name and the (very general) game type. That is a pretty clear indication that the Scrolls title may be confused with the Elder Scrolls property, and potentially profits from or dilutes the Elder Scrolls intellectual property.

    The tricky part for Bethesda is that, if they just want to be all fonzie about it and leave Notch alone, then they can lose their right to enforce the case. So, the gamer community is all well and good with Bethesda just letting Notch use “Scrolls,” but then a few months later Tim Langdell publishes a game called “Older Scrolls,” or “Scrolls 2,” and neither Bethesda nor Notch can successfully pursue a case against Tim Langdell, even though he is a dick and clearly trying to capitalize on intellectual property that doesn’t belong to him.

    People might not like it, but at the end of the day, the nicest thing Bethesda might be able to do is have Notch change the name. It may be better for Notch than just ignoring it altogether. Hopefully they can have a rational conversation about it and everyone can walk away happy.

    • Jahkaivah says:

      Heh, I’m not sure that pointing out that the mentality of the lawsuit originated as an RPS headline does it any favours really.

      Though in seriousness, I find that making jokes about the similarity of two titles helps to to distinguish them because the jokes often show the contrasts between them.

  10. Azradesh says:

    Please, no one with half a brain would get the two confused. Firstly the vast majority of gamers refer to “The Elder Scroll III” as Morrowind, “The Elder Scrolls IV” as Oblivion, and so on. Secondly, the games are nothing alike in look or play style. This whole thing is pure foolishness and, frankly, makes ZeniMax’s legal team look like a bunch of mouth breathing morons. They have been a laughing stock on reddit for the last few days. Idiots.

  11. Aska says:

    Reading up on the swedish trademark law, I think they are going to sue based on §10.2 of the trademark law which basically says:
    Ҥ10 The sole rights to a trademark .. means that none other than the right holder can use a trademark which is:
    … 2. identical or similar to the trademark for services or goods of the same kind, if there is a risk of confusion, including the risk that the use of the trademark leads to the [mistaken] view that there is a connection between those who use the trademark and the rights holder of the trademark”

    Basically it comes down to Bethesda to successfully trick courts into thinking that people go around calling their games “The Scrolls” or “Scrolls”.. which is a blatant lie.

    I’ve never heard people call the games anything other than by their romanicized TES number (TES:IV, TES:V) or by the actual name of the game, ie Oblivion, Morrowind, etc..

    • Starky says:

      I read and hear about it been called “the Elder Scrolls” series all the time though – or just Elder Scrolls, the website is “elderscrolls.com”.

      Like it or not Bethesda have a case. A case they wouldn’t need to make if Notch wasn’t trying to claim trademark of “Scrolls”.

      Again, the fault of this is utterly with Notch/Mojang for trying to trademark a name that is in pretty direct conflict with an existing, long held and active trademark.

  12. DK says:

    Okay, so how come there’s an entire industry in movies not only doing this exact thing, but BASED on intentionally creating works to be confused with other existing works?

    See Transmorphers, Battle of L.A., etc.

    If it works in movies, why does the games industry think they can stop it?

    • Zelius says:

      The difference: Mojang is trying to trademark a word that is already part of another trademark. In your examples, it would be like trademarking “Trans”, or “Battle”.

  13. Vinraith says:

    Notch should just change the name, not least because “Scrolls” is such a bland and indistinct thing to call a fantasy-set game to begin with.

    My initial reaction to this thing was hostility towards Bethesda, but with Notch trying to trademark the word “Scrolls” I can see why they’ve got no choice in the matter. I can’t imagine why Notch’s lawyer though that’d be a good idea.

    • Veracity says:

      But he googled it! Maybe he didn’t have legal advice, although that seems unlikely.

      Yeah, there are plenty more words that evoke goblins and wizards perfectly well Mojang could use instead. Magic: Collectables, say. I don’t really see what they stand to gain by making a fuss about it – they’ve already had the free publicity, and changing the name shouldn’t be a significant hassle at such an early stage. This sort of thing happens all the time, sometimes only regionally – isn’t it why people think UFO is called X-COM?

    • Jahkaivah says:

      Make a online CCG game called Magic? Brilliant! That couldn’t possibly go wrong!

  14. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    Tbh, in all fairness, I would have done the same in Bethesda’s position.

  15. Tuor says:

    I was all set to whip out my torch and pitchfork to head off to Bethesda. But then…
    Mojang decided to trademark “Scrolls”? WTF? Notch, you messed up by doing this, IMO, because now Bethesda feels *obligated* to fight you, lest you obtain that trademark and potentially use it against Bethesda. This should have been obvious from the moment of the idea’s inception.
    So, I find myself having to side with Bethesda in this case, as they are now obligated to protect themselves. Notch, you done messed up.

    • Zelius says:

      I agree. Trying to trademark a word so generic and also part of another established trademark, is simply a bad idea. Bethesda really has no choice here.

  16. Pointless Puppies says:

    Couldn’t this be solved easily by having Notch withdraw the “Scrolls” trademark? Trademarking a single word found in the dictionary is vague enough to be challenged by a variety of the different companies, and Bethesda will continuously give them trouble seeing as Notch is trying to trademark a word found in the name of a different series in the same context of computer gaming. “Minecraft” is fine because it’s an artificial compounded word not found in the dictionary, effectively making it not that much different from naming it “Pjewiof”. But “Scrolls” is an actual word and is not part of a multi-word name. Why not just withdraw the “Scrolls” trademark and operate without one? The name is vague enough anyway.

  17. Eukatheude says:

    That’s very hypocritical of them, considering the game is much more widely known as just “Skyrim”.

  18. VIP0R says:

    Next they’ll believe they own anything to do with Fallout…

  19. Vagrant says:

    I’m disappointed with the gaming press running the obvious headline for all of this:
    “Bethesda sues Mojang, Elder Scrolls-based TCG confirmed.”
    Also: props for the picture.

  20. MythArcana says:

    This is what happens what you interject the corporate mantra into the world of indie game development. There is nothing safe from the waves of greed and ridiculousness of big business and their lawyers getting in the way of progress. The real tragedy of the whole thing is that Notch will ultimately have to put down his Xbawks controller for a few hours to deal with this mess.

  21. ocybin says:

    As was noted in the article, they are upset mainly because there is no description of what the scrolls are, to distinguish them from the “Elder Scrolls”. Now, if the name were changed to something like, “The New and Exciting Scrolls,” it would certainly clear up the issue from a legal point of view.

  22. facupay says:

    Notch should just rename the game “The ancient manuscripts: Nihility “

  23. Nogo says:

    All the comments saying only “retards” will confuse the two are oddly oblivious about the company they’re sharing their opinions with.

  24. Lambda00 says:

    As odd as this might sound, there could be another solution:

    Couldn’t ZeniMax basically “contract” Mojang studios to turn “Scrolls” into a full-fledged, licensed “Elder Scrolls” Spin-off (or would the correct word be Tie-in?) game, using the same mechanics but using, for instance, “Elder Scrolls” characters, spells, etc? Sure this would require cooperation, but it might do something very good for the gaming industry.

    • Starky says:

      The solution will be much simpler in all probability, Notch will surrender the trademark “scrolls” to Bethesda in return for free and unrestricted usage of that word for his games and directly related products.

      Notch gets his crappy title (for what sounds like a good game – but seriously “scrolls”?), Bethesda don’t lose the strength of their trademark.
      A trademark which is literally worth hundreds of millions to them, while “scrolls” is worth fuck all to Notch.

  25. torchedEARTH says:

    Are Bethesda also annoyed that Minecraft Beta and Skyrim both come out on 11.11.11?

  26. Po0py says:

    You also need to factor in the amount of fallout between the fans of Besthesda and Mojang games. If I were a large and successfull games company/publisher the last kind of people I would want to piss the fuck off is the legions of Minecraft fans. It could end up being a PR nightmare for them.

  27. Moorkh says:

    If BethSoft really cared so much about defending their trademark, why didn’t they sue other games containing the word “scroll”?

    A quick search of MobyGames yields:
    “Dungeon Scroll” (2010)
    http://www.mobygames.com/game/dungeon-scroll

    • Starky says:

      As has been mentioned about 50 times in this thread, it isn’t about Notch/Mogang using the name, it is about them trying to trademark it too – which is a whole different ballgame.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “As has been mentioned about 50 times in this thread, it isn’t about Notch/Mogang using the name, it is about them trying to trademark it too – which is a whole different ballgame.”

      Unfortantly as has also be mentioned 50 times in this thread, it doesn’t matter that they are trying to trademark it, they still ahve to defend it from ANY use in video games.

      if this game with scrolls in the title was not licenced than it might be enough to get “the elder scrolls” trademark revoked in court (as its null and void if not defended)

      Ironically bethesda could end up doing themselves a lot of harm by trying to defend it here if they are not careful, they sholuld be talking not throwing lawyers about, even if they are jsut talkign and put out a press release it shows that they are trying to defend.

    • Moorkh says:

      So if Mojang wouldn’t trademark their game’s name, would everyone else be able to just call their own game “Scrolls 2″? Or are they already protected by copyright? In other words, just what will a company gain by trademarking their product’s name?

  28. Detrian says:

    Scrolls is a terrible name for a videogame so they are doing the guy a favor anyway.

    It’s like making an RPG and calling it “Swords”.

  29. theblazeuk says:

    For all the complicated legal stuff, this basically boils down to a massive case of institutional stupidity and a lack of integrity on Bethesda purely for acting as a business, doing the same dick moves that make perfect sense but have no shred of moral justification.

    But for all those saying you can’t blame Bethesda for this perfectly reasonable in the kafka-esque logic of legality – you’re wrong. You can blame Bethesda and I certainly will be doing so.Whilst I bought all of their games so far, from here until they set the record straight on their asshattery I wll not be spending a penny on their products. Which is the only gesture I can make that could possibly have any real impact on this situation and is still near certain to be a futile one given the apathetic resignation of even the outraged minority of the consumerist mass (adjusts beatnik beret).

    • Starky says:

      You sir are both wrong and a fool (for pulling the boycott card).

      Not only are Bethesda not in the wrong, or to blame – they are in the RIGHT, ethical and probably legally.

      Mojang are trying to trademark (not just use) a word that has long been associated with another companies long standing trademarked product. The strongest word in that trademark also, the word “scrolls” was pretty much uniquely associated with Bethesda/Elder Scrolls in the computer game market.

      It would be like another burger company trying to trademark “the massive mac”, or just “mac” – even if McDonald’s didn’t own it – they’d be correct to challenge it (and legally required too if they wish to maintain trademark).

    • Milky1985 says:

      Except trademarks are specific so they have the trademark on “the elder scrolls”, not “the scrolls elder” or any other variation, it could be said to cause confusion if you just moved the words around but you can’t say that usng the word “elder” would cause confusion.

      Hell why are they not sueing these guys – http://www.eldergame.com/

      Video game related, similar title.Under the same trademark law you are saying mojang are obviously guilty of so are these guys

  30. mollemannen says:

    how about i just kill every copyright and trademark holder. then i can use every word i want in any context ^^

  31. nebojsa says:

    ninja scrolls, nice anime

  32. Nick Ahlhelm says:

    This could probably be solved simply by changing the title to “Notch’s Scrolls” thereby delineating it as a completely different set of Scrolls that are in no way Elder.

  33. andyhavens says:

    It sucks, but it’s the way these things work.

    Notch should just spell “Scrolls” differently; “Skrolls,” “Sqrolls,” “Scroles,” “Skroles,” etc. Or use a clever synonym for scrolls. Like, uh… volute. Ahem. Never mind.

    • Araxiel says:

      Maybe go Scandinavian and call it Scrølls.
      And yes, I’m aware Swedish uses an Ö and not Ø, but it would still look neat.

    • Starky says:

      Changing the spelling in an attempt to trick the courts tends not to amuse them, and will almost always result in a loss in any contest.

      Which is why we tend not to have a bunch of copycat companies doing that.

  34. celozzip says:

    notchpapershotgun.com

  35. Rinox says:

    Man this is depressing. I hope Mojang changes the title into something trollish, like ‘The Younger Papers: Skyrock’.

  36. Araxiel says:

    I just had an great idea for an movie:
    Battling Trademarks

    It’ll be like a mix between Godzilla and Transformers. But instead of giant monsters/robots there would be literally trademarks fighting.
    The good ™ versus the evil ®. There can be only one!
    Also, I will not pay royalties to anyone.

  37. Boarnoah says:

    Wouldn’t Arrowhead Game Studios (magicka dev) get in trouble from bethseda for copying the skyrim figure in advertisement campaign?

  38. thehollowman says:

    YAY! YAY! BOYCOTT! BOYCOTTTTTTT

  39. GHudston says:

    I’d love to see what would happen if someone tried to trademark a game called “War”.

  40. Cromwell says:

    Ok Bethesda, if you want us to stop buying your products, you can have it…
    It is a shame.

  41. Malk_Content says:

    For all those shouting that it is bad for Notch to try to trademark a one word name for the game he is producing and thus is only responsible in trying to trademark it, here is a list of (but a few) games with one word trademarks:

    Rage, Theif, Dishonoured, Homefront, Driver, Populous, Patrician, Tropico etc etc. Basically every game ever made gets trademarked, one word titles are no exception to this.

    • Starky says:

      That doesn’t make it right, nor does it make Bethesda wrong for trying to prevent him from doing so.

    • Malk_Content says:

      I’m not saying it is right (though I don’t think it is wrong) and recognize that “other people did it” isn’t a valid argument. But alot of people are acting like Mojang is setting a precedent of allowing one word trademarks, which have been in existence for a long time and are important to protect games whose titles only have one name. The alternative is that all games have to have multiword names (which would be ridiculous, looking at the games I’ve bought or pre-ordered this year, about half are one word name games) or that such games should be left without trademark protection is also absurd.

      Not siding with either group on this one, Bethesda need to pursue their trademark, Notch is well within his rights to trade mark a game his company is producing. Either the court will decide (worse case scenario) or they come to some agreement (best case scenario.)

    • Wulf says:

      A more interesting question is: How often do indies feel the need to trademark their games?

      Did Braid do it? Super Meat Boy? How about VVVVVV? I’m asking because I honestly don’t know and I’m genuinely curious. Therein might be a precedent, not for a single-word name, but for an indie developer being more inclined towards litigation. Which is interesting to me in and of itself, regardless of any good/bad on anyone’s part.

      I can’t help but wonder how many indie developers don’t bother to trademark the name simply because that would be a whole lot of noise that they don’t want to deal with, and that they trust that someone interested in their product is going to be intelligent enough to figure out the real product (the one with the developer’s name attached to it) anyway.

      To that end I wonder if there are many developers who simply trademark their company/developer name rather than trying to trademark the game name and important characters/terminologies within.

      It’s an interesting topic, really.

    • Malk_Content says:

      @ Wulf

      A quick search shows that indeed, most other indie titles don’t get trademarked. Then again I reckon that most of the time the didn’t really expect the game to get as big as they did, until they got that big. Afterall SMB and VVVVV started as flash games and then exploded as downloadable titles. Now that they are big enough, profitable enough and well known enough the devs might think about trademarking their next titles. Afterall that and proof of concept can help defend against copycats etc.

      Mojang suffered (?) a long string of copycats and unliscenced works of Minecraft after it became popular (not going to get into the whole Minecraft not being anything new, it was the first breakaway success of its kind, it has continued to add features and we only saw the clones after hs success was announced) and I’m sure they are wary that more things like FortressCraft will come up for the new project if they don’t take precautions.

  42. stonedturtle says:

    Well regardless of everything, I refuse to buy Bethesda products anymore.

  43. malkav11 says:

    This whole situation bemuses me. I don’t see the need to sue Mojang (but I guess it might exist?) and I don’t see the need to fuss over changing the name for a game that’s in very, very early development.

  44. edit says:

    If the (probably reasonable) people within Bethesda don’t call off their legal dogs before it goes much further, I will have lost a lot of respect for those guys. After seeing the video in which Notch and Todd Howard sit down for a chat, it had seemed like Bethesda might be sharing some experience and wisdom with Mojang in some kind of gesture of mutual respect and creative solidarity. Such a shame money turns people into pricks.

  45. SirDimos says:

    I’m sorry, but Bethesda is being dumb here. They had a better case against Interplay when they argued that selling a Fallout Trilogy would be confusing to consumers and lead them to believe that the compilation contained Fallout 3.

    Not only are the latest two Elder Scrolls games better (and almost exclusively) known as Morrowind and Oblivion, but you’d be hard pressed to google ANY instance of those games being referred to as anything other than “The Elder Scrolls”, “TES” or the aforementioned “Morrowind” and “Oblivion”. Anyone confusing the word Scrolls with The Elder Scrolls series probably has issues distinguishing Star Trek from Star Wars. After all, they ARE both science fiction works set in space, amirite?

    I’m a big fan of Bethesda’s work, but I’m really upset that their original notice to Mojang wasn’t followed up immediately with a “lol j/k” once they realized what a retarded idea this was.

    By the way, a quick google of “scrolls -elder oblivion” lists only sites offering help about acquiring scrolls in Oblivion and a good number of people calling the game “The Eldar Scrolls” or “The Elders Scrolls”. After 10 pages of results, I have yet to find somebody who was trying to refer to The Elder Scrolls game Oblivion as just “Scrolls”.

  46. Cradok says:

    Everyone who’s confused, mistaken and/or uninformed about trademark law should read this: http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Trademark. A lengthy and informed article on trademarks relating to Transformers, but applicable to all situations. I was vaguely tempted to post it in reply to everyone who made a stupid post, but decided that would be going a little too far…

    • zal says:

      I have to say, that is a compelling argument for why Bethesda should stop taking legal action and start trying to just settle the whole matter out of court. Because pretty much any reasonable person reading about trademarks sees that
      1) trademark law has gotten stupidly litigious and nitpicky.
      2) anyone actually suing over it instead of settling out of court or arranging licensing are just throwing their weight around.
      which is how I understood things to work before I read the article.

      I understand that by using lawyers they may be able to obliterate even the tiniest faintest smudge at having to give up an inch of their trademarked turf. But it doesn’t seem like reaching an official agreement filled with lawyerese (which obviously they have a surplus of) would cede any meaningful ground.

      As for me I’ve bought virtually ever single thing published by beth publishing since skynet (so 20 years or so). even that terrible Echelon game they dragged in from somewhere. quick counts put it at $600 give or take (really more like $1000 or so if you adjust to wimpy 2011 bucks). which I think means they’ve made more off of me than any other publisher except possibly interplay. And I’m one of those crazy Americans that’s actually got a job, so I still BUY video games instead of just pirate them.

      and if Beth doesn’t sort it out in .. eh, a month I’d say, to my personal satisfaction of course, I’ll just buy something else. Cause I can, regardless of what some swede sitting behind a bench decides.

    • Nogo says:

      No one involved wants it to actually go to trial, but this is the process required to start negotiations. Beth fires a shot over Mojang’s bow and now it’s their turn to respond by either starting a dialogue or moving forward with litigation.

  47. pipman3000 says:

    Okay crisis averted guys Notch is changing the name to Gears.

  48. sexyresults says:

    What a bunch of dicks.

  49. pipman3000 says:

    Scrolls is a dumb name so I support this lawsuit on that alone :D

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>