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: "3024-7965-4819

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: "3024-7965-4819

 
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InfophileWhich is to say, GG isn't people writing articles about GG; it's the swarm of people lashing out. That's still going on, even if not as many articles are being written about it05/03/2015 - 7:32am
InfophileIt's not about the articles, but about the people receiving threats. Found an article from just last week which says Zoe Quinn is still receiving daily threats: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2015/04/28/gamergate/05/03/2015 - 7:31am
Mattsworknameup hating the game industry on a more general level .05/03/2015 - 7:25am
MattsworknameIts funny, you know what i just realized, I love video games, and I hate the industry that has been forged around them. I hate the big name publishers, the press, all that jazz. But I still love gaming. that kinda sucks that I love games and still wind05/03/2015 - 7:25am
MattsworknameIt's like teh whole thing just went quiet.05/03/2015 - 6:28am
MattsworknameInfophile, I haven't really seen much activity either way, other then a few minor articles here or there, its like GG just sorta went dormant. I dont deny that I have some concerns with gaming press and industry, but I followed GG the last few months05/03/2015 - 6:28am
Infophile@Mattsworkname: It's more of a case that many media outlets have lost interest in their usual actions. "GamerGate still viciously harassing Zoe Quinn" isn't exactly news. Even if they are. *puts on sea lion hunting gear* Come at me, GG! I dare ya!05/03/2015 - 4:40am
MattsworknameAs much a I have some of the same concerns GG supposibly crusades against, i was really under the impression GG had sorta gone into dormantcy , it had been kinda quiet the last feww months05/02/2015 - 7:42pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bxcc3SM_KA if you guys haven't seen it, john oliver goes after patent trolls.05/02/2015 - 6:50pm
Matthew Wilsonwhile I dont like the guests, who ever did this is stupid. I can understand not liking GG, but come on.05/02/2015 - 6:17pm
Wonderkarpwell how about that shi.....poop05/02/2015 - 6:07pm
Andrew EisenKotaku caught it. Ran the story an hour ago. http://kotaku.com/gamergate-meetup-evacuated-after-apparent-threat-170176164505/02/2015 - 5:36pm
Wonderkarpevent was treading pretty hardcore on twitter last night. course thats just twitter. I'll agree with you if it does get reported05/02/2015 - 5:25pm
Andrew EisenAwkward wording on my part but "event" was referring to the bomb threat. It's silly to chastise mainstream press for not covering something that happened a mere 12 hours earlier, well after close of business on Friday, at a gathering very few knew about.05/02/2015 - 5:14pm
Wonderkarpthey arent "uppity" over the event not being covered. they are uppity over the harassment/bombthreats not being reported.05/02/2015 - 5:09pm
Andrew EisenWe've known that for quite a while now but I agree, completely cutting the feature is not a good move.05/02/2015 - 3:49pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/2015/05/02/splatoon-multiplayer-online-shooter-wii-u/ excuse my language, but I call bullcrap. enough with this crap Nintendo its stupid.05/02/2015 - 3:27pm
Andrew EisenKarp - Thanks for the heads up. Passed it on to James. I love how the article is all uppity about the mainstream press not covering an event that no one knew about that happened late Friday night after we all went home for the weekend.05/02/2015 - 2:06pm
ZippyDSMleeSo far FOTNS:Kens rage 2 is okay, I really like the retelling of stuff in KR 1 need to get more scrools to see how bad the new scroll equip system is.I think the other system(where you equipped skills and spent karma on leveling) might have been deeper.05/02/2015 - 12:20pm
WonderkarpI know I said I wasnt going to come here anymore. But this needs to be reported on. Peacefull GamerGate in DC Meetup Recieves False Bomb Threats. http://nichegamer.com/2015/05/peaceful-gamergate-in-d-c-meetup-receives-false-bomb-threats/05/02/2015 - 12:10pm
 

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