wrote:Bethesda are suing us, heres the full story!
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 were working on. We knew of no similarly named games, and we had even googled it to make sure. Im not even sure if you CAN trademark individual words, like Scrolls, but we sent in the application anyway.
(Disclosure: Weve 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 Bethesdas 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 didnt 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 wed 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. Im not sure if they ever got back to us with a reply to th
I'll say again that I really don't care much for minecraft (or have it for that matter), But I thought this might be topic worthy since it seems a couple of people here have an interest in it.
Here's the full article - http://notch.tumblr.com/post/8519901309 ... full-story