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Old 15th August 2011, 01:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bethesda's Legal suit against Mojang

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notch
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.
Just heard about this, damn.

GG Bethesda for becoming a patent troll.
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Old 15th August 2011, 10:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It isn't Bethesda. It is is their parent company. Notch says nice things about the developers etc at Bethesda.

Mind you, on Twitter etc, this "dispute" has developed a life of its own. People are very imaginative on how they think future games should be named. For instance, a Star Wars expansion called the Endor Scrolls.

Look up Tim Langdell and Edge Games if you want to see how ridiculous it can get. I am waiting for someone to claim ownership of "the", the most common word in the English language.

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Old 15th August 2011, 01:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have just trade marked the letter a and e from now on if you use em you need to pay me one bajillion dollars.

The thing is I can sort of understnd the action despite disagreeing with it. i am sure it will all be sorted out in time.
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Old 15th August 2011, 02:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkDuck View Post
I have just trade marked the letter a and e from now on if you use em you need to pay me one bajillion dollars.

The thing is I can sort of understnd the action despite disagreeing with it. i am sure it will all be sorted out in time.
" "

(Just incase someone starts patent trolling TOG, I'm going to be careful and just post nothing from now on... lol.)
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Old 15th August 2011, 07:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've trade-marked oxygen, so if any of you use it, you'd better pay up!
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Old 15th August 2011, 07:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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reoh used 9 a's and e's you owe me 9 bajillion dollars, payment can be made now or anytime within hte next 1 trillion years. All funds must be paid in Zimbabwe dollars. so in actual fact you owe me, oooh $1.83 australian!!!!

but in all seriousness. The human brain works on pattern recognition (ie our sub concious stores images not individual words) as such the idea that a similar name game ie scrolls to elder scrolls it is plausable that people would think the two are related.

that being said this is where sensible thinking has to enter hte scene. from reading the post the Trademark has been issued, which actually means there is no case. when the patent is lodged, thre is a timeframe in which objections need to be lodged, this appears not to have happened, so in actual fact, the threatening behaviour simply is baseless and reflects badly on the company.

where this bahaviour suceeds though is that the company (Bethesda's parent) has the funds to destroy Mojang by making Mojang spend all their money on lawyers replying to these letters. this is classic bullying tactic and sadly it does mean that I will not by the new elder scrols game because I do not support bullies.
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Old 18th August 2011, 11:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Notch has a suggestion of how to settle the "Scrolls" issue:

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://notch.tumblr.com/post/9038258448/hey-bethesda-lets-settle-this
I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3. Three of our best warriors against three of your best warriors. We select one level, you select the other, we randomize the order. 20 minute matches, highest total frag count per team across both levels wins.
If we win, you drop the lawsuit.
If you win, we will change the name of Scrolls to something you’re fine with.
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Old 18th August 2011, 06:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A much more fun way to settle disputes

If all the worlds wars were solved over a game of Starcraft it would be great
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Old 18th August 2011, 07:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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or any game

play offs, I want to invade france off to the arcade for a play off!

it prevents wars, save lives being wasted and makes all those brats who have played games worth something in their life! I like it
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Old 18th August 2011, 08:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I approve of this idea!

It's creative, fun, and good publicity. They should totally do it.
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