Bethesda Says Mojang's Scrolls Infringes on Elder Scrolls Mark

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I'm sorry, but if you say the word "Scrolls" to me, Bethesda is not what comes to mind.

If this isn't just lawyers trying to hog money, I will be very disappointed.

thiosk:

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

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

Hey now i used to be one of them.... But ya the ones who work for companies are stupid assholes lol

Judgement101:

w00tage:
Wait, since when does Bethesda have scrolls in their Elder Scrolls games? I played Daggerfall, Morrowind and Oblivion, and I do not off the top of my head recall ever finding or seeing a single "scroll".

Edit: Follow up to this, anyone else notice that this happened AFTER Mojango got some money figures out in public? Who wants to bet me that this isn't a lawyer-driven scheme to get legal fees out of both Mojango and Bethesda?

Ummmmmm yes, Oblivion has a scroll in it called "The Elder SCROLL" and it is a scroll. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, do the Theives' Guild missions)

Soooo, ok. The latest released "Elder Scrolls" game, in ONE of the many guild paths that the player may choose to pursue (I didn't and I played Oblivion through twice), has ONE quest that involves ONE scroll named the Elder Scroll....

Anyone else think that this may be a challengeable mark, considering it purports to cover the entire series of games and represent something characteristic of them, and really doesn't?

Therumancer:
From what I've seen of Minecraft it's pretty much a giant sandbox, where you play largely from a first person perspective with the guy's hands showing, and most of the combat taking place with melee weapons and such. You also do crafting, can move items around, and tons of other stuff.

Just from what I've seen of the game it does bear a lot of similarities to "The Elder Scrolls" series...

Why are you bringing up Minecraft when the suit is addressing the game Scrolls?

Scrolls is made by the same company, but will be a "collectible card battle game".

"Scrolls features the fun of collectible card games with the strategy element of board games, as players' placement of units, buildings and siege weapons on a game board are vital to victory," according to a press release. "Scrolls also offer a strong meta game strategy aspect, as players will assemble their collection of scrolls prior to entering battle mode. Spells, units, equipment and resources must be managed just right to be successful."

Your argument makes sense if this was World of Warcraft/ World of Lordcraft... but as things presently stand, this seems just as malicious as Tim Langdell's suits...

scrolls is a card game so they could call it cards not scrolls

It's a word, you can't own a word! The game's got nothing in common with the Elder Scrolls series!

Big companies do this all the time. They don't have a case, but they sue someone anyway and drag out the process in hopes they'll be too afraid to fight back or lose all their money defending themselves and be forced to give in anyway.

I hope pirates really stick it to Bethseda for letting their lawyers ruin their good name, they deserve to lose a more than a little cash over this bullying. I have no sympathy for big publishers and devs anymore. Fuck the corporate age of gaming.

image

Shamanic Rhythm:

MajorDolphin:
Finish. Minecraft. First. The game has a lot of promise but they're wasting their energy porting it to the Xbox and now this other junk. Millions of people dropped 20 bucks on a beta and all that money goes towards other development. Great way to piss off the fans...

I bolded that just so you can identify for yourself the frivolity involved. Nice to see that a Minecraft related thread doesn't go without the usual 'Notch is lazy' whining.

Its not as if the game has the content to justify a higher price. I also didn't say anything about Notch being lazy, he just has his priorities screwed due to the success of an unfinished product.

MajorDolphin:

Shamanic Rhythm:

MajorDolphin:
Finish. Minecraft. First. The game has a lot of promise but they're wasting their energy porting it to the Xbox and now this other junk. Millions of people dropped 20 bucks on a beta and all that money goes towards other development. Great way to piss off the fans...

I bolded that just so you can identify for yourself the frivolity involved. Nice to see that a Minecraft related thread doesn't go without the usual 'Notch is lazy' whining.

Its not as if the game has the content to justify a higher price. I also didn't say anything about Notch being lazy, he just has his priorities screwed due to the success of an unfinished product.

It irritates me the way people go on about this 20 dollars as if it wasn't well spent. People literally play this game for hours upon end: how is that not value for money? We're living in an age where AAA games ship for 60 dollars with 20 hours of singleplayer gameplay, if you're lucky, and their idea of replay value is to scatter collectibles throughout the gameworld, put in grindquest achievements and dole out DLC. Notch is still adding to Minecraft, yes. The idea that in its present state the game is either unplayable or unable to keep the vast majority of people occupied, however, is frankly ridiculous.

With regard to this "Notch has his priorities wrong" and "Notch is lazy" stuff. Remember that he's not the only one working at Mojang.

The devs working on Scrolls are not the same devs working on Minecraft. Minecraft for Xbox-360 is being developed by an entirely different company. If Notch goes on vacation for the rest of his life, Minecraft will still get made.

Methinks y'all are just sourgrapesing your pants off for no good reason. Yeah, Notch got lucky, no reason to hate the guy.

Plus, he's using his new found stature to promote indie gaming. I don't think Terraria would be half as successful if it weren't for Minecraft. He loves to point people at new and interesting indie projects like Project Zomboid, Lords of Uberdark (which is basically Minecraft with voxels), etc.

The guy had a chance to sit and chat with Todd Howard, and while showing his obvious fanboy affections for The Elder Scrawls games and Bethesda in general, he still worked in a "You should try Terraria, it's an excellent game" type comment.

It's easy to hate, and as easy to hate on whatever you deem to be the current "popular to hate" topic/person. We all fall into this trap at some point, but it's worth just taking a step back and clearly evaluating one's motivations.

This isn't over the "scrolls" name. It's more than that
If Mojang's game is an open-rpg(I know it likely isn't) then Bethesda could win.

This is over the basic idea, no the "scrolls" name

The worst part is that Bethesda is now a sister company of id Software. Thus, id now has the same shit lawyers.

Sebster 105:
This isn't over the "scrolls" name. It's more than that
If Mojang's game is an open-rpg(I know it likely isn't) then Bethesda could win.

This is over the basic idea, no the "scrolls" name

Scrolls is a trading card game. It has more in common with M:TG than anything developed by Bethesda.

And the law suit is about the word "Scrolls". There's something in US copyright law that says a company has to defend their trademarks or risk losing them. So I'm guessing that's all they are doing here.

Only thing is... THERE'S NOTHING TO DEFEND HERE!

rustybroomhandle:

Sebster 105:
This isn't over the "scrolls" name. It's more than that
If Mojang's game is an open-rpg(I know it likely isn't) then Bethesda could win.

This is over the basic idea, no the "scrolls" name

Scrolls is a trading card game. It has more in common with M:TG than anything developed by Bethesda.

And the law suit is about the word "Scrolls". There's something in US copyright law that says a company has to defend their trademarks or risk losing them. So I'm guessing that's all they are doing here.

If it has rpg elements (in the vaguest) then it is a solid case for Bethesda. They are just defending their trademark. Notch is also treating it as a joke, that won't end well.

Sebster 105:
[quote="rustybroomhandle" post="7.305026.12278787"]If it has rpg elements (in the vaguest) then it is a solid case for Bethesda. They are just defending their trademark. Notch is also treating it as a joke, that won't end well.

Nothing solid about it.

The game "Solar" is set in space, and so is "Sins of a Solar Empire". I played Sins of a Solar Empire to death and recently picked up "Solar 2". Never once did the thought that "Solar 2" is the sequel to Sins of a Solar Empire cross my mind. Why - because it would be utterly daft to do so.

Zenimax's concern is over market confusion.

The game they are releasing in a few months that a lot of us are/were looking forward to so much is generally referred to as "Skyrim". People know that the series is "The Elder Scrolls" and this installment would be number V, but if someone told you they were looking forward to playing "Scrolls", I doubt anyone would even have a passing thought at the Bethesda title that happens to contain that one word in a rarely-mentioned-in-marketing part of the title of one of their games.

hansari:

Therumancer:
From what I've seen of Minecraft it's pretty much a giant sandbox, where you play largely from a first person perspective with the guy's hands showing, and most of the combat taking place with melee weapons and such. You also do crafting, can move items around, and tons of other stuff.

Just from what I've seen of the game it does bear a lot of similarities to "The Elder Scrolls" series...

Why are you bringing up Minecraft when the suit is addressing the game Scrolls?

Scrolls is made by the same company, but will be a "collectible card battle game".

"Scrolls features the fun of collectible card games with the strategy element of board games, as players' placement of units, buildings and siege weapons on a game board are vital to victory," according to a press release. "Scrolls also offer a strong meta game strategy aspect, as players will assemble their collection of scrolls prior to entering battle mode. Spells, units, equipment and resources must be managed just right to be successful."

Your argument makes sense if this was World of Warcraft/ World of Lordcraft... but as things presently stand, this seems just as malicious as Tim Langdell's suits...

Well, I just went by the article since I don't follow Mojang, it sounded like it was probably a new Minecraft addition. My mistake.

That said, the other possibility that occurs to me is that Bethesda is planning a "Puzzle Quest" type tie in for "Elder Scrolls" and this is too similar to what they have in mind given the name.

Really, we'd need more details. You might be right, but to be honest I'd probably be a bit wary if someone released a fantasy game with a name similar to mine where it could cause confusion.

My recommendation to Notch would be to change the name of the game to "The [something] Scrolls" or whatever to diffentiate it.

I can't believe they actually think they have a case. I try to presume to not know about things I'm unfamiliar with, but I have to say, in this particular case, I don't think it takes a legal genius to realize they've got no ground to stand on at all.

Really? Because the phrase has one word in common?

They'll probably get laughed out of court if it ever gets that far. >_>

So, is somebody going to make "Scrolly McScrollerson's Scroll Scroller"?

Why does it seem like every game company has done at least ONE really stupid thing this year?

Let's start at the top:

Activision: Bobby Kotnik - need I say more?
EA - Origin service and controversy with Steam of pulled titles
Bioware - Releases Dragon Age 2 - Polarizing gameplay that angers some long-time RPG fans
Gearbox - Releases Duke Nukem Forever - Creates controversy with lewd and somewhat dated shooter
Ubisoft - Includes draconian DRM with new racing game
Capcom - Release even MORE draconian DRM with new fighting games with severely limits the number of characters that can be played offline
Blizzard - Requires the new Diablo players always be online to play even the single player campaign, and Dialbo 3 will not support mods of any kind

and now....

Bethesda - whose lawyers are sending cease and desist letters to the number 1 indie developer and current Escapist golden boy Mojang

Can no large game studio of publisher escape the attraction of corporate duchbaggery? All of this makes me wonder if I should even bother being a gamer anymore...

Finish Minecraft! This is getting ridiculous.

And honestly. I don't think anyone here actually believes that Scrolls will be better than either Oblivion or Skyrim ~_~. If it's a legitimate case, then Bethesda are within their rights to go nuts. If not. We'll see. They aren't staffed by idiots. They're likely to know what suing Notch will look like. THEY ARE A GAME COMPANY FFS.

The way some in this thread are carrying on, you could confuse them for EA.

It's a bit of a stretch, but I can kind of see the reasoning behind it. It's also possible that Bethesda has the name "Scrolls" copyrighted as the title of a game. I know they've pretty much already copyrighted the names of all the potential titles plan on using.

It's possible Notch just made the mistake of selected a name w/o first checking whether it had been copyrighted.

Or it's just lawyers being lawyers.

Good lawyers don't pursue frivolous claims.

Middle finger to the lawyer haters.

Okie Bethesda! I'm gonna trademark abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwsyz ! then i can sue you!

Oooh Elder Scrolls has so many l in it,yes I'm gonna sue you for that!

image

Go figure....

So everyone can get a big dose of SHUT THE HELL UP! Minecraft is coming, so SHUT THE FUCK UP!
Bethesda is suing a card game for using a word that is a tag line to their series of Oblivion, thus they don't have a case so SHUT THE HELL UP!
Mojang is made of more people then just Notch so SHUT THE HELL UP!
Lawyers that work for Bethesda are doing their job, but incorrectly, instead of researching, they just ASSUME what their suing is in-common with their major hit blockbuster game so SHUT THE HELL UP!

Did everyone get enough to eat, so SHUT THE FUCK UP!

Really the only thing Im pissed about with Bethesda is that their Collector's Edition for Skyrim looks like crap, a statue and a book (with DVD) And NOTHING ELSE, least give us something that looks cool like a coin/septim, an amulet or a replica OF some sort!

Therumancer:

hansari:

Therumancer:
From what I've seen of Minecraft it's pretty much a giant sandbox, where you play largely from a first person perspective with the guy's hands showing, and most of the combat taking place with melee weapons and such. You also do crafting, can move items around, and tons of other stuff.

Just from what I've seen of the game it does bear a lot of similarities to "The Elder Scrolls" series...

Why are you bringing up Minecraft when the suit is addressing the game Scrolls?

Scrolls is made by the same company, but will be a "collectible card battle game".

"Scrolls features the fun of collectible card games with the strategy element of board games, as players' placement of units, buildings and siege weapons on a game board are vital to victory," according to a press release. "Scrolls also offer a strong meta game strategy aspect, as players will assemble their collection of scrolls prior to entering battle mode. Spells, units, equipment and resources must be managed just right to be successful."

Your argument makes sense if this was World of Warcraft/ World of Lordcraft... but as things presently stand, this seems just as malicious as Tim Langdell's suits...

Well, I just went by the article since I don't follow Mojang, it sounded like it was probably a new Minecraft addition. My mistake.

That said, the other possibility that occurs to me is that Bethesda is planning a "Puzzle Quest" type tie in for "Elder Scrolls" and this is too similar to what they have in mind given the name.

Really, we'd need more details. You might be right, but to be honest I'd probably be a bit wary if someone released a fantasy game with a name similar to mine where it could cause confusion.

My recommendation to Notch would be to change the name of the game to "The [something] Scrolls" or whatever to diffentiate it.

Since Scrolls is kind of close to The Elder Scrolls Bethesda must challange it in court, because if they don't and someone makes another game later called "The Elder Scrolls" and Bethesda tries to do something the second party can bring up the Majong "Scrolls" issue as proof that, since they didn't challange Scrolls, they don't care about their trademark, and therefore don't get to keep it.

azraelthor:
[]Since Scrolls is kind of close to The Elder Scrolls Bethesda must challange it in court, because if they don't and someone makes another game later called "The Elder Scrolls" and Bethesda tries to do something the second party can bring up the Majong "Scrolls" issue as proof that, since they didn't challange Scrolls, they don't care about their trademark, and therefore don't get to keep it.

Pretty much, though the issue is more along the lines of the name "Scrolls" along with the content attached to it being similar enough to cause confusion among the "average person", if they could infer a connection between the products then it's a violation.

What your not understanding is that a copyright goes beyond the simple copyrighting of a name.

It's not an issue where this one violation would let someone really screw them, it's a matter of how this kind of thing helps to establish a precedent. Thus, chasing down everyone who in some way comes close to their copyright is in their best interests. If they lose here it's not the end of the world, but if say they wind up with a bunch of people with similar, fantasy related "Scrolls" type names, then they could be in trouble if someone does something really outrageous as that person can point to the other people and say "well, we're not going much further than they are".

While not a perfect analogy think of the whole "Scrolls" thing as being similar to how the "World Wildlife Fund" pretty much forced the World Wrestling Federation to change their name. Totally differant names and organizations, where there should be no confusion right? Well the acronym "WWF" was causing people looking for the "World Wildlife Fund" to hit pro-wrestling sites and have problems finding them since there was so much more pro-wrestling fandom. The point is that it's not a situation where there even has to be a direct connection in "products", just something close enough to cause confusion to the everyman for a copyright to be defended/upheld. In this case there hadn't been an obvious conflict for a long time, and little real precedent to sway things either way, the case was going to give The Fund the advantage since they were established first, I beleive The Wrestlers wound up backing down and just changed the name and it never went to court even if the management thought about it because really they didn't have any precedents to fight with against The Fund.

I suspect that if Bethesda are serious about this, they are going to be on the receiving end of one hell of a public lynching.

Or worse.
I hear Anonymous likes their Minecraft.

Bethesda needs to reign their Lawyers in. "Scrolls" can not be protected. Even if a game had Elders which maybe be organized in a Council and then they write Scrolls it would be a rather difficult Case because Elders writing Scrolls in a Fantasy World is pretty much a given.

"Scrolls" alone can not be protected by any law, which leads me to assume the Lawyers at Bethesda just want to abuse the legal System for a nice bit of PR.

I propose the following: If Bethesda wont back off (and seriously consider getting other Lawyers), we should wait for about a Month before we buy Skyrim.

Therumancer:

What your not understanding is that a copyright goes beyond the simple copyrighting of a name.

This issue is completely unrelated to copyright. This is an issue with Trademarks which have an entirely different set of issues related to them, but most importantly it does not go beyond the simple rights of a name.

Part of trademark law says that it is the trademark holder's responsibility to take legal action against anyone who infringes, else they lose all of their rights to the trademark. If someone made an game called "The Elder Scrolls" and Bethesda did nothing they would lose the rights to "The Elder Scrolls".

When you get to a grey area where there are some things in common but not entirely it is simply safer to take action and lose than to not take action and see what happens.

When Mojang's "Scrolls" was announced Bethesda could do one of two things:

Not sue them, which might be followed up next year by someone who is clearly trying to infringe citing Mojang's "Scrolls" as legal precedence that Bethesda does not protect, and therefore does not hold rights to their trademarks. Essentially Bethesda could risk sitting on their hands and letting Mojang proceed and risk losing their flagship IP's trademark due to some legal grey area that someone else could try to abuse in their favor.

Sue them, and regardless of the outcome they set a legal precedence regarding their trademark that shows they are willing and able to protect it. Whether Mojang backs off the name "Scrolls", or if Mojang wins the court case and proceeds with "Scrolls", Bethesda is in no danger at all regarding their hold over their trademark.

It isn't Bethesda being greedy, it is Bethesda, a company, dealing with the laws that affect them.

bob1052:

Therumancer:

What your not understanding is that a copyright goes beyond the simple copyrighting of a name.

This issue is completely unrelated to copyright. This is an issue with Trademarks which have an entirely different set of issues related to them, but most importantly it does not go beyond the simple rights of a name.

Part of trademark law says that it is the trademark holder's responsibility to take legal action against anyone who infringes, else they lose all of their rights to the trademark. If someone made an game called "The Elder Scrolls" and Bethesda did nothing they would lose the rights to "The Elder Scrolls".

When you get to a grey area where there are some things in common but not entirely it is simply safer to take action and lose than to not take action and see what happens.

When Mojang's "Scrolls" was announced Bethesda could do one of two things:

Not sue them, which might be followed up next year by someone who is clearly trying to infringe citing Mojang's "Scrolls" as legal precedence that Bethesda does not protect, and therefore does not hold rights to their trademarks. Essentially Bethesda could risk sitting on their hands and letting Mojang proceed and risk losing their flagship IP's trademark due to some legal grey area that someone else could try to abuse in their favor.

Sue them, and regardless of the outcome they set a legal precedence regarding their trademark that shows they are willing and able to protect it. Whether Mojang backs off the name "Scrolls", or if Mojang wins the court case and proceeds with "Scrolls", Bethesda is in no danger at all regarding their hold over their trademark.

It isn't Bethesda being greedy, it is Bethesda, a company, dealing with the laws that affect them.

Actually, while I probably used the wrong term, (copyright as opposed to trademark) this sounds pretty close to what I've been saying.

thiosk:

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

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

So what about Family Lawyers, who spend most of their time breaking up violent marriages and getting kids away from their idiotic parents?

Azure Sky:
I suspect that if Bethesda are serious about this, they are going to be on the receiving end of one hell of a public lynching.

Or worse.
I hear Anonymous likes their Minecraft.

I also hear LulzSec still has Bethesda User's account information...

If they continue than I won't doubt LulzSec's willingness to release them.

thiosk:

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

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

No, there are semi intelligent vampire lawyer assholes. These are the lawyers who actually manage to fuck shit up for everyone.

TypeSD:
Finish Minecraft! This is getting ridiculous.

I thought Minecraft would be similar to Dwarf Fortress, I was surprised to hear he had any plans of ever releasing it fully.

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