Mojang Sticking with 'Scrolls' Name Despite Bethesda Legal Threats

August 29, 2011 -

Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson spent the weekend at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle showing off new features in the latest Minecraft update (1.8) and the first official trailer for its upcoming game Scrolls. While there, he answered some questions about his pending lawsuit with Bethesda over the Scrolls game name. Bethesda alleges that the name "Scrolls" infringes on their trademark for "The Elder Scrolls."

When asked if he had any back-up names for Scrolls in the event that he lost the legal fight with Bethesda, Persson joked:

"Someone suggested 'Rolled Up Parchments'... [Laughter]. No, we don't have any back-up names. And we won't even consider back-up names for now."

Persson also revealed new details about Scrolls, a trading card game that will be released on multiple platforms, and will be playable via the web.

When asked how much it costs, Persson said that they don't plan on charging a lot of money because they "want it to keep it as cheap as possible." You can watch the whole Q&A session here:

You can check out the trailer for Scrolls from PAX to your left.


Comments

Re: Mojang Sticking with 'Scrolls' Name Despite Bethesda ...

Well, after the makers of Minesweeper failed to sue them for MINEcraft, they probably realized they had this one in under control. 

I wonder what would have happened if Gene Roddenberry had tried to sue George Lucas over trademark infringement...

Re: Mojang Sticking with 'Scrolls' Name Despite Bethesda ...

Glad he is sticking to his guns on this one...but I still want to see a Quake match.  Would treat it like a sporting event and get people together if they would show it on TV or just stream it online.

This does go a long way in pointing out the issues we have with our copyright system.  I have talked to some people about it that have taken the extreme and are denouncing Bethesda as evil for stomping on a smaller company (their description, not mine) in regards to the "Scrolls" suit.  I explained how (and if I am mistaken, feel free to correct me please) if something is potentially infringing on a companies existing copyright, they are bound to have some legal action in regards to it, otherwise they risk losing the ability to hold this copyright.  So even something as small and pointless as this one is, if they ignore the issue, it could be brought up in future cases when someone really is trying to breach their copyright as proof.  I honestly don't think Bethesda sees this game as a threat to them and seriously doubt they would really want to "get rid of competition" in this way, but legally they are bound to do SOMETHING.  

Hopefully something is worked out because I do agree that trying to do this over the use of a single word for a game of a different type is incredibly weak...regardless of copyright law.

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast (now on iTunes)
www.ZensPath.com
XBL: "PsychoticZen" PSN: "Zenspath"
Nintendo Network: "Psychoticzen", 3DS: "0860-3238-7260

Re: Mojang Sticking with 'Scrolls' Name Despite Bethesda ...

Trademark, but yeah, you have the right basic idea.  If you do not defend your trademark you loose it, even if that defense is a token lawsuit with the result of saying 'ok, you have an unlimited license to use our trademark in this way'

My big worry about stories like this is they can give people a negative view of trademarks and might steer small studios away from using them properly, which would remove a very valuable tool from their belts under some misguided 'trademarks are for bad guys' idea.

Re: Mojang Sticking with 'Scrolls' Name Despite Bethesda ...

I think it less stories like this, and more stories like that of Tim Langdell that gives trademark a bad taste in the minds of the public.

This is a story of a game company, Bethesda, with an actual game in the market, several in fact, that use the word "scrolls" as part of their trademark. Regardless of Mojang's game using only the single word "scrolls" in his game's name. While an informed consumer would not confuse the two, trademark law uses the "moron in a hurry" test to determine possible confusion.

In the Langdell case, you had a guy who flat out lied about his use of the "Edge" mark to sue companies for a quick buck.

Big difference with the second being more damaging.

Re: Mojang Sticking with 'Scrolls' Name Despite Bethesda ...

I completely agree that the Langdell case does a lot more damage,.. but I do not think this one is completely without risk.

Re: Mojang Sticking with 'Scrolls' Name Despite Bethesda ...

It's early...guess I mixed up words lol.  Appreciate it regardless.

And good point about the negative view for the trademarks being an issue.  People do tend to jump straight into a negative stance on things they may not have a full understanding about, even if it is right in regards to the law.  I'm sure a license will be given once they feel they have "protested enough".

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast (now on iTunes)
www.ZensPath.com
XBL: "PsychoticZen" PSN: "Zenspath"
Nintendo Network: "Psychoticzen", 3DS: "0860-3238-7260

 
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Kronoresearch it. Changing tags to get away from trolls would be like wiping GamePolitics and restarting under a new name to get away from people calling Jack Thompson a cunt in the comments section.09/19/2014 - 9:35am
Sleaker@quiknkold - seems like all that page is is a bunch of random developer opinions and rumors that we're supposedto do what with?09/19/2014 - 9:31am
Kronoas an opportunity to push back against them. It's one of the things muddling the issue. @conster A new hashtag would do nothing to improve anything. Trolls will simply follow to the new hashtag, and it will confuse the issue for anyone attempting to09/19/2014 - 9:25am
Krono@Andrew aaah. Yes, I'm sure there's some of that. Part of the problem is many of the people pushing gender issues are not very nice people. Basically the latest incarnation of moralists we've seen in the past couple decades. Naturually some will take this09/19/2014 - 9:23am
quiknkoldhttp://www.nichegamer.net/2014/09/real-gamedevs-sound-off-regarding-the-gamergate-controversy/09/19/2014 - 8:35am
MaskedPixelanteMeanwhile, in news that actually DOES matter, Scotland voted "NO" to Scottish independance.09/19/2014 - 8:20am
ConsterSeriously? "We shouldn't make a new hashtag - it's better to associate ourselves with psychos than to decrease our visibility"?09/19/2014 - 7:54am
Michael ChandraI forget what it is exactly, but there already is another hashtag that some use, exactly to separate themselves from the abusive behaviour. So don't bother lying to me.09/19/2014 - 7:06am
quiknkold2 to 3 or more09/19/2014 - 6:53am
quiknkoldMichael Chandra : I'll say this. The only reason they havent used another hashtag is because it would look like a form of dividing the arguement. Using another Hashtag has come up, and they feel like if they made a new hashtag, it'll split the debate from09/19/2014 - 6:53am
Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael Chandraallegedly fired over giving a game a mediocre review and the company threatened to pull ads? Sorry but I ain't buying this.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael ChandraBut people arguing this is horrible and just about ethics, even though there's very little support that journalistic integrity was actually violated here, while they never spoke up when a journalist was09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Michael ChandraIf people start with condemning the way GamersGate was used as a misdirection, then use a better hashtag, that would work in convincing me they mean it.09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Andrew EisenOoo, this one came down to the wire! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/749082525/nefarious09/19/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenI don't doubt that many are truly interested in journalistic integrity. The problem I'm often seeing is they seem to have no idea how or where to talk about it.09/18/2014 - 11:46pm
Andrew EisenDidn't word that well. Busy at work. I've seen people claim that GamerGate is solely about ethics and transparency in games journalism and then go on to show that what they're really after is silencing those who talk about gender issues in games.09/18/2014 - 11:45pm
Kronodebate. Becaus apparently people who only post on Reddit are supposed to police twitter before they're allowed to question anything about the people involved.09/18/2014 - 10:40pm
KronoI highly doubt many, if any are using journalistic integrity as a cover for harassment. The people harassing are essentially trolls. They aren't interested in subtle. More often it's othe other way around. People use "but X is being harassed" to shut down09/18/2014 - 10:38pm
 

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