Bethesda Says Mojang's Scrolls Infringes on Elder Scrolls Mark

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Bethesda Says Mojang's Scrolls Infringes on Elder Scrolls Mark

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Lawyers from Bethesda Softworks claim that Scrolls, the new game from Minecraft studio Mojang, infringes upon its Elder Scrolls trademark.

There's not a lot of meat on this bone, but here's what we know about the situation so far. Earlier this morning, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson tweeted, "Just got a letter from Bethesda's lawyers. They claim 'Scrolls' infringes on their trademark and everyone will confuse it with Skyrim."

It had the ring of an odd joke, but awhile later Notch seemed to confirm that he was indeed serious, following up with a second tweet saying, "I still <3 Bethesda. This is hopefully just lawyers being lawyers." He also posted a photo of the 15-page letter he received from the publisher as proof that he's not just pulling a bizarre prank.

Bethesda hasn't responded to our request for comment but it did tell PC Gamer that it has "no comment at this time." Notch hasn't said anything more on the matter either, although he did note that "At least I know what to call the floaty island dimension now!"

My hope is that this is just somebody in Bethsoft's legal department getting a little overzealous - "just lawyers being lawyers," as Notch put it. We'll keep you posted!

Permalink

Bethesda has Edge-fever now...

Aside from waiting on word from Bethesda, Notch said he'll be making a blog post about the situation when he gets home, so I'd keep an eye on that.

I find it rather silly, especially since newer Elder Scrolls games have been associated with the subtitle name, I bring up Elder Scrolls and 60% of the time I get asked, "What is that?" and have to respond with Oblivion and then they go, "Oh!"

I also doubt a card game and open world RPG will have much of a consumer clash.

If it isn't just the lawyers being lawyers then.. Bethesda is going to find itself becoming very unpopular very quickly, I fear.

I mean, it'd be weird if they really were behind this threat as a company. There's way too much dust in the air with the way Langdell was behaving for Bethesda to want in on that mess, let alone to be seen as bullying a popular independent developer.

I hope they clear this up. They have stupid lawyers and I don't want them to make Bethesda look like assholes...If I remember correctly their lawyers proved how stupid they were when fighting with Interplay.

EDIT: I agree with the above people too, if this isn't just lawyers they will sadly loose a lot of popularity...

I still won't care. Bethesda is still awesome.

Like anyone would buy scrolls anyway.

HerbertTheHamster:
[Above]

... I intend to?

CezarIgnat:
They have stupid lawyers ... assholes...

There is no other kind of lawyer than stupid lawyer assholes.

That's a tough argument to make on Bethesda's end. Had they an adjective in front that meant advanced age like "Older Scrolls" or "Advanced in Years Scrolls" then they may have an argument there.

I don't think they've contracted Langdellism but it with what facts we have, it does seem like a bogus argument.

Im looking forward to Mojangs next Project 'The Oldest parchment: airledge'

I'm doubting how real this is. Apparently one of the things it says in the letter is 'my employer invented the word Scrolls'.

wut

Also, if it is real (which it probably is), remember it's NOT Bethesda Game Studios, the devs. It's the Publishers.

BGS are still awesome, no matter what the lawyers do.

Again as I posted on CVG most people will side with notch because he is the under dog.
Many people know elder scrolls as scrolls and if Bethesda are doing I doubt it's because they want to hurt notch.
Law is the law after all.

Oh Jesus it's Edge all fucking over again.

Pessimist:
I hate Notch

Because hating someone for making a very successful indie game is totally justified...?

OT: Dear Bethesda,

Fuck off and die. First they pull the bullshit with Interplay claiming that the packaging of Interplay's FO and FO2 box confused people with FO3 (which was utter bullshit), now this?

Really?

This is not just "lawyers being lawyers". There is no such thing. They are not acting without a go ahead from Bethesda. Notch is just looking at this as positive as possible. They would need to prove that there is confusion in a court, just like the Amazon/Apple fiasco where Apple tried suing for the phrase, "app store". They couldn't prove the confusion existed so they lost. I am quite sure the same rules would apply. They want to do this to scare him into folding. Whether he does or not is a completely different story. Should be interesting.

Patrick_and_the_ricks:
Oh Jesus it's Edge all fucking over again.

This. I just lost a lot of respect for Bethesda just now.

To be fair, the name is really quite similar, but that may be because The Elder Scrolls is the only game with scrolls in it that i know of.

But from what i can see, this is still utterly ridiculous.
Free publicity for both games i suppose, even if Bethesda do come out looking like massive pricks.

To be fair, many people confuse our village elder (who we just call "Elder") with Bethesda's Skyrim, so it seems reasonable that people could get the products confused.

In all seriousness, it's a little saddening that somebody sent this letter, even if it is an overzealous lawyer acting on his own.

Pessimist:

It's like they're going to copyright the word "scrolls" to avoid you mixing up a detailed, good-graphic exploration-rpg with a blocky pixelated sandbox build-a-thon.
Derp.

It's mine craft their on about. it's notchs new game after mine craft called scrolls

SirBryghtside:
I'm doubting how real this is. Apparently one of the things it says in the letter is 'my employer invented the word Scrolls'.

wut

Also, if it is real (which it probably is), remember it's NOT Bethesda Game Studios, the devs. It's the Publishers.

BGS are still awesome, no matter what the lawyers do.

Wouldn't that be ZeniMax, then? They're the owners of Bethesda.

Pessimist:

as for Bethesda. I think of it as "that one company" that can't make games properly. They have a world, a story, good writing. And then it doesn't work. It's all broken, glitchy, disjointed. Fallout 3 had awkward 2 foot barriers and 15 long metro trips for one quest destination ,New Vegas froze every 2 minutes for an hour straight [I wish I was kidding], and so forth and so forth.

New Vegas was Obsidian Entertainment, not Bethesda. If you buy a Bethesda-developed or published game, you expect bugs and gameplay issues. If you don't, then you're naive.

I have a difficult time believing that Bethesda thinks they're going to win this one.

I think they're trying to delay the Adventure update so that they can release Skyrim more unopposed. And if that's the case, well fuck you too Bethesda.

Panzervaughn:
Im looking forward to Mojangs next Project 'The Oldest parchment: airledge'

Or what about Radioactive Dust Tri...or would they get sued by Bethesda and Capcom for that?

This is hilarious, because nobody had ever heard of a Scroll being involved in fantasy until Bethesda came around.

I really liked Fallout 3 but it seems like everything they've done since then is an attempt to make me hate them.

This is just.... wow.

Meh, It will be crushed in court anyway. But hey, at least it's free publicity for both partys.

In other news: DC sues CryTek over Crysis franchise...

If this is indeed an infringement then Bethesda is well within their right to sue the pants off of "Mojang". The idea that the creator of MineCraft gets the crap legally beaten out of him only makes it that much sweeter.

Seems frivolous.
As far as I know, Mojang hasn't even published a Mark for Scrolls, yet.
Unless there is significant similarity in story, gameplay, setting, or characters, or unless Mojang publishes a Mark that is in the same style and font as Elder Scrolls' Mark or there is actual consumer confusion between the two games, I don't think they have a case.

For a quick lesson on TM Law, read Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., 746 F.2d 112 (1984). (TM infringement lawsuit over "Donkey Kong")

This is pathetic. I've always known Bethesda is a pretty crap dev and publisher, but this is just bad. What little respect I had for Bethesda is gone. "Scrolls" is an infringement on "Elder's Scrolls"? I didn't know they invented the world "scrolls". Why don't they just start suing anyone who dares to use the word "THE" in the title of their game while they're at it? Fuck Bethesda.

This reeks of ulterior motives, which is pretty sad when such a large publisher has to pick on a indie studio.

'The word Scrolls and the word Scrolls sound incredibly similar.'

That must be the majority of the lawyers thinking in this situation.

Because I highly doubt that any other thought could have gone into this.

I mean, not meaning to repeat anyone elses posts here, but didn't we all learn this lesson with Langdell?

Why do people think this was just some lawyer acting alone? Legal bullying via dubious claims is rapidly becoming Bethesda's "thing."

Seems that every time I put a company on my Do Not Buy list, they endeavor to continually convince me I was right. It's kinda reassuring.

Bethesda. What happened to you man. You used to be cool.

Well I watched an interview between todd howard and Notch and they got on like a house on fire so 'Hopefully' it IS lawyers just being lawyers.

Panzervaughn:
Im looking forward to Mojangs next Project 'The Oldest parchment: airledge'

Can't have that, itīs using "The" people might confuse it for "The Elder Scrolls"

Notch posted this up on his blog for a bit more story: http://notch.tumblr.com/post/8519901309/bethesda-are-suing-us-heres-the-full-story

I knew this before everyone because I follow Notch.

I'm hipster now.

Pessimist:
I hate him for being smug

Wat? Example, please?

and lazy,

Wat? Example, please? Oh wait, you can't. You've never seen Minecraft's source code.

coming out of left field with something many have done before him but profiting off it because people inexplicably pick it up and stuff money in his undeserving pockets?

Because he did it better. It's nigh-impossible to do something "original", it's now all about doing it better than everyone else. Which Notch has. Prove me wrong. And even if you give me an example of someone doing Minecraft better than Minecraft, I still can't think of Notch as "undeserving".

OT: What the hell, Bethesda? I was almost totally excited for Skyrim, and then you had to go and kill my enthusiasm with a lawsuit.

Well, if Bethesda wants to stay neutral in my mind they better think twice before trying to do something to Notch. I really want to buy New Vegas.

sunburst313:
Why do people think this was just some lawyer acting alone? Legal bullying via dubious claims is rapidly becoming Bethesda's "thing."

Seems that every time I put a company on my Do Not Buy list, they endeavor to continually convince me I was right. It's kinda reassuring.

I've got the same situation with Activision. Whenever I even start to consider pulling them from my black list Kotick has to open his mouth.

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