Minecraft-Bethesda fight going to court

Creator of open-ended PC indie hit says trademark battle over the use of "Scrolls" in the name of Mojang's next game could not be settled.


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Minecraft: Pocket Edition

In August, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson suggested his legal tussle with The Elder Scrolls publisher Bethesda Softworks be settled with a few games of Quake III Arena. It turns out that not only did Bethesda balk at that idea, but the two sides apparently couldn't come to a settlement on the issue at all.

The next Elder Scrolls game arrives November 11.
The next Elder Scrolls game arrives November 11.

Earlier today, Persson posted on his Twitter account, "The Scrolls case is going to court! Weee! :D"

The dispute went public in early August, when Persson posted on his blog about a threat from Bethesda's legal team regarding the title of his next project, Scrolls. Bethesda has a trademark on its Elder Scrolls series of games, the latest installment of which, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, is set to launch later this year.

"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," Persson wrote at the time. "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."

Persson went on to stress that he was still a fan of Bethesda's work but called the situation nonsense. As for why it was happening, Persson said it was "partly just their lawyers being lawyers, and a result of trademark law being the way it is."

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