Bethesda trying to sue notch.

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#1 Posted by gike987 (1752 posts) -

Apparently they think Scrolls is to similar to The Elder Scrolls. 
 

A lot of people want more details about what is going on, so here is everything I know:

First of all, I love Bethesda. I assume this nonsense is partly just their lawyers being lawyers, and a result of trademark law being the way it is.

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. We knew of no similarly named games, and we had even googled it to make sure. I’m not even sure if you CAN trademark individual words, like “Scrolls”, but we sent in the application anyway.

(Disclosure: We’ve enforced the trademark for Minecraft once, when there was a minecraft clone on iOS, using our name. People were emailing me saying our iOS version was buggy and bad, so we asked them to change the name of their game, and they did.)

A while later, out of the blue, we got contacted by Bethesda’s lawyers. They wanted to know more about the “Scrolls” trademark we were applying for, and claimed it conflicted with their existing trademark “The Elder Scrolls”. I agree that the word “Scrolls” is part of that trademark, but as a gamer, I have never ever considered that series of (very good) role playing games to be about scrolls in any way, nor was that ever the focal point of neither their marketing nor the public image.
The implication that you could own the right to all individual words within a trademark is also a bit scary. We looked things up and realized they didn’t have much of a case, but we still took it seriously. Nothing about Scrolls is meant to in any way derive from or allude to their games. We suggested a compromise where we’d agree to never put any words in front of “Scrolls”, and instead call sequels and other things something along the lines of “Scrolls - The Banana Expansion”. I’m not sure if they ever got back to us with a reply to this.

Today, I got a 15 page letter from some Swedish lawyer firm, saying they demand us to stop using the name Scrolls, that they will sue us (and have already paid the fee to the Swedish court), and that they demand a pile of money up front before the legal process has even started.

I assume this is all some more or less automated response to us applying for the trademark. I sincerely hope Bethesda isn’t pulling a Tim Langdell.

Link
#2 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

Bethesda, those motherfuckers.

#3 Posted by MaFoLu (1858 posts) -

Change the name to Edge Scrolls and everything will be fine...

#4 Posted by Mikemcn (6982 posts) -

Fuck you Bethesda.

#5 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -

So basically the same situation as the Trench/Trenched issue?

#6 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2686 posts) -

I don't care.

#7 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I agree that an individual, already existing word like "Scrolls" should not be trademarkable. If you wanted to trademark "Scrollz" than that would be fine, but anyone else could still use the real spelling. This is the very reason why you often see games with this kind of stupid spelling.

#8 Posted by Hector (3359 posts) -

Are freaking serious...sheesh. The people making tons of money want MORE money.

#9 Edited by eroticfishcake (7783 posts) -

As Notch says: " First of all, I love Bethesda. I assume this nonsense is partly just their lawyers being lawyers, and a result of trademark law being the way it is." So it's not such a big deal. He still loves Bethesda. Try not to think about it too much people.

#10 Edited by Mikemcn (6982 posts) -

@eroticfishcake said:

As Notch says: " First of all, I love Bethesda. I assume this nonsense is partly just their lawyers being lawyers, and a result of trademark law being the way it is." So it's not such a big deal. He still loves Bethesda. Try not to think about it too much people.

Bethesda doesn't care if Notch is a fan or not, greedy publishers are greedy, and even if Notch inevitably wins, hes going to have to deal with court nonsense for months if this moves forward. With such a small team thats very bad.

At least, having sold 3 million copies of Minecraft before its released, he can cover the expenses.

#11 Posted by MachoFantastico (4620 posts) -

As Notch as said, sounds like lawyers being lawyers.

Seriously, what a stupid thing to sue someone about.

#12 Posted by eroticfishcake (7783 posts) -
@Mikemcn: Oh I know. It's complete bullshit. I just threw it out there so people don't get (more) angry then they need to be.
#13 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

Just two weeks ago i watched a video of Notch and Todd Howard sitting together in a room "interviewing" each other and praising each other's games.. 
 
weird.

#14 Posted by amomjc (977 posts) -

Man, I feel for you Notch, that's ridiculous. What is with trademark scandals nowadays? I know for a fact that no way in hell could I confuse "Scrolls" with the "Elder Scrolls." I guess now the iOS game "Gears" should be taken down by Epic because it *may* confuse the consumer that its a counterpart of Gears of War.

Stupid. Sadly, it wont stop be from purchasing Skyrim, but it's a tasteless move by Bethesda on every part.

#15 Posted by Aronman789 (2676 posts) -

Notch can change it you know, his dumbass card game isn't finished yet, plenty of time to change it. 
 
Naming it so close to something with a much larger company was a stupid thing to do in the first place.

#16 Edited by alternate (2696 posts) -

Bethesda is big enough that they likely don't directly know anything about this.  They pay lawyers to look after there trademarks and lawyers have a vesting interest in charging billable hours.

#17 Posted by Aronman789 (2676 posts) -
@Ahmad_Metallic said:
Just two weeks ago i watched a video of Notch and Todd Howard sitting together in a room "interviewing" each other and praising each other's games..  weird.
Considering Notch's large amount of cash, I'm sure he paid for that.
#18 Posted by Doctorchimp (4074 posts) -
@Aronman789 said:
Notch can change it you know, his dumbass card game isn't finished yet, plenty of time to change it.  Naming it so close to something with a much larger company was a stupid thing to do in the first place.
I don't know you. I'm pretty sure you're joking.
 
But if you're not, I can't even begin to tell you how worthless your life is if that's honestly what you think...
#19 Posted by Aronman789 (2676 posts) -
@Doctorchimp said:
@Aronman789 said:
Notch can change it you know, his dumbass card game isn't finished yet, plenty of time to change it.  Naming it so close to something with a much larger company was a stupid thing to do in the first place.
I don't know you. I'm pretty sure you're joking.  But if you're not, I can't even begin to tell you how worthless your life is if that's honestly what you think...
How am I wrong in this? having close names usually leads to legal issues, Notch should have foreseen this.
#20 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1145 posts) -

I suggest he change the name to Scrolls of Duty.

#21 Posted by TobbRobb (4603 posts) -
#22 Posted by Jimbo (9800 posts) -

Bethesda will walk this back.

#23 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7077 posts) -

@Aronman789 said:

@Doctorchimp said:
@Aronman789 said:
Notch can change it you know, his dumbass card game isn't finished yet, plenty of time to change it. Naming it so close to something with a much larger company was a stupid thing to do in the first place.
I don't know you. I'm pretty sure you're joking. But if you're not, I can't even begin to tell you how worthless your life is if that's honestly what you think...
How am I wrong in this? having close names usually leads to legal issues, Notch should have foreseen this.

So no one should ever be able to make any video game with the word "scrolls" in the title again? Same goes for "Call", "Gears" , "Duty", "War", "God", anything. Individual words should not be off-limits. That's fucking ridiculous.

#24 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4396 posts) -
@alternate said:
Bethesda is big enough that they likely don't directly know anything about this.  They pay lawyers to look after there trademarks and lawyers have a vesting interest in charging billable hours.
This and even if they do know about it, this comes down to our questionable patent system. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of companies don't go after other people out of money, but because they more or less have to. If you trademark something and you don't protect it then you risk losing the entire trademark altogether. And by protect it I mean, you practically have to be a dick about it whether you want to or not.
Online
#25 Posted by Arker101 (1474 posts) -

Darn. I really like both Mojang and Bethesda. Bethesda is being obnoxious about name similarities, and as long as Scrolls isn't a 1st/3rd person open world RPG, this shouldn't be a problem for them. 
Hopefully, Mojang won't be hindered in the development process by this court case. 

#26 Posted by SpunkyHePanda (1615 posts) -

Objection with pointing.

#27 Posted by BeachThunder (11847 posts) -

Would creating a game called The Elder Oblivion be acceptable?

#28 Posted by Shadow (4979 posts) -

This is bullshit. The makers of MineCRAFT would never, ever purposefully name their franchise in the same way as another, more popular game.

#29 Posted by A_Cute_Squirtle (685 posts) -

For all the people damning Bethesda: Pretty sure it's the company that owns Bethesda that is pursuing this, not Bethesda itself.

#30 Posted by LiquidPrince (15911 posts) -

You can't fucking trademark regular words... I'm gonna go and trademark "The"... and make trillions of dollars...

#31 Posted by Trace (3553 posts) -
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