Post news RSS Bethesda are suing us, here’s the full story!

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.

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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.

(Development blog link)

Jake@War - - 280 comments

Bethesda get over yourselves!!!
It would suck If the movie industry was this pedantic about titles! >.<

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Wonkehcheetah - - 249 comments

The asylum would be dead in a heartbeat, which would be a good thing considering the crap they trick people into buying.

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Raphiell - - 195 comments

I agree with jake, bethesda shoul just leave mojang alone

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Slevo - - 555 comments

go Bethesda take their money they are not using it usefully anyways

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Chieftain - - 51 comments

Your a real ****. Do you know that.

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ShogunAssassin50 - - 506 comments

well... what are they doing with the money? they already have the equipment to continue adding things to the game and make other games... what are they doing with their money???

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Juffe - - 393 comments

I Love Bethesda too and really really hope this is some kind of lawyers thing... =(

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rex989 - - 1,627 comments if is put a sentence or make a name with the word "scrolls" in it, i get sued? wow i never knew they owned the word scrolls

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TheMarshmallowBear - - 260 comments

I think they just need some friggin money or something.

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Captain-Arse - - 467 comments

they need money to buy minecraft for all their staff xD

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Salsa_Shark - - 1,292 comments

Just put the word "Cinnamon" at the start of the title, problem solved.

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kappakaskd - - 134 comments

f*** u lawyers! D:

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Rhidgev - - 70 comments


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TheNodCommander - - 1,114 comments

Ugh... These sueing-things does get rather childish sometimes.

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Blue_Dust - - 999 comments

Well,bethesda have just f**ked up because this is the most stupid reason to sue someone.So if we see a game having someone named Mike Dagoth the devs have to be sued,if we see valve put up the TES series on steam with a weekly off price we'll see bethesda sue,not smart!I don't care if their bloody skyrim game took all their budget,instead of sueing they can just ask notch for some help,not find a stupid reason to sue though!

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flyingtoaster - - 111 comments

Sooner or later you'll see companies sueing eachother over using the word "The" in their product's title.

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cW#Ravenblood - - 6,703 comments

But otherwise, what would Noth do, if he has a right on Minecraft and someone would call a mining game Mine 'n Craft?

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Anderan - - 137 comments

Considering calling something Mine n' Craft would more than likely intentionally be ripping off Minecraft. This whole thing with Bethesda would be more like Notch suing someone for calling a game Mine.

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Wonkehcheetah - - 249 comments

I don't understand, why do people care so much about freaking names?

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TeH_n00b_GaMeR - - 154 comments

Minecraft,Starcraft,Crimecraft,Warcraft,World of Warcraft...

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blubbfisch - - 31 comments

i would have never known that my scrollwheel is related to the elder scrolls... :<

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RainieRooth - - 118 comments


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GeneralKong - - 542 comments

the same thing happened between the guy who came up with made the stromtrooper costumes in star wars and Lucasarts, thing is, lucas actually agreed with letting the guy sell stormtrooper suits but Lucasarts lawyers wouldnt have it and started suing the guy, it might be the same case here, i heard mention somewhere that Todd Howard actually saying he was a fan of minecraft, so it could very well be the lawyers that started this

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rizom - - 7 comments

This reminds me of the time that Facebook wanted to copyright the word "face". It's completely idiotic.

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Forking - - 19 comments

They have a copyright on the word 'poke' too.

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ArkaZeen - - 1,696 comments


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xXMaNiAcXx - - 4,807 comments

Wow Bethesda just lost all of their respect with me, GTA style.

Really, what's the problem with you using one word? No one calls TES as "The Elder Scrolls". This is the forgotten part of the name. Everyone is like "Skyrim", "Oblivion" and so on. If I was Notch I would say this and would win, **** off Bethesda, we don't want you to mess with Notch.

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Cod_Fish - - 103 comments

Could always change the name to "Lengthy single strip of paper on a stick"...

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Admiral-165 - - 2,217 comments

I understand people are getting really butt-hurt about this (with Bethesda) like the maniac guy above me. But what you have to realize is that There is a difference between Bethesda and their lawyers, not to mention Bethesda is a company owned by a larger company. Bethesda developed the elder scrolls so technically they are the company which is suing, but in reality it's just the companies lawyers doing what they're paid to do.

Also i'll bet you anything if Todd Howard had control of this situation he would drop the charges in a second considering the fact that him and Notch are friends and they both like each other's games. Unfortunately the person who has the power to stop this is probably some guy we don't know and who doesn't give a **** (although i hope i'm wrong about that.)

Either way Notch said himself they have no case, and i'm positive if this did go to court Mojang would win...

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el-pepi - - 114 comments

They should have said "Notch u r rich give us some moneis :<" instead of doing

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AHvash - - 104 comments

To be honest i just called the game Oblivion, i beat the whole game without knowing the prefix of "The elder scrolls". and i beat the heck out of that game.

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n0way - - 107 comments

They can't win this, even if they will decide to sue you. Its totally ********.

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sanderth - - 75 comments

What if I make a fansite about The Elder Scrolls, do I get sued because I use their name to?:D I like Bethesda games, but this is going to the way how Apple is sueing companys like Samsung.

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Noremakk - - 189 comments

Fight back. You'll win.

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9heads - - 247 comments

Bethesta money maker.

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mathinator - - 302 comments

i sue you notch... you used the world scrolls too many times... XD hey this is easy... really ridiculous suing companies for stupid reasons

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robofork - - 752 comments

Any other day i'd choose Bethesda over Mojang without second thought, but Bethesda dun goofd bad this time.

I suppose they'll have to sue the guys who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, Games workshop for the Elder race in dawn of war and the inventor of Cinnamon scrolls too.

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Trooper-Larkin - - 20 comments

Considering Games Workshop created the ELDAR (it has an A instead of an E) race more than ten years before Bethesda was even a company (Warhammer 40,000 has been around since the late '70s) I doubt they would win that as well.

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limst321 - - 55 comments

Most of you guys said 'a', I SUE U ALL!!

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Lopper - - 1,559 comments

How much $$$?

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deathparadeNL - - 2,061 comments

i was already aware of this over twitter but anyhow this a little more in context so thanks

Bethesda i love there games (Fallout 3 biggest part)
but this is kinda stupid really i mean its not even close to the elder scrolls. i dont think i will confuse it really NOT!

edit: i'll sue ya i'll take all ya money!

this is just where that song is about...

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Mr.Nuke - - 996 comments

stop suing people bethesda!

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DrHojo123 - - 121 comments

It sounds more like the Lawers then Bethesda's fault =S hopefully it will get solved soon ether way i am still playing skyrim

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majorD2 - - 468 comments

I wanna stand outside Bethseda studios and egg there ****. I'd grab a batch of frozen eggs and throw it at there window

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eatleadsukka - - 81 comments

WRONG!!!! It's actually Zenimax that is suing Mojang, not Bethesda themselves.... get it right

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Slevo - - 555 comments

im very happy your getting sued u ripper don't take names from other games its obvious your taking elder scrolls title and changing it to scrolls you took blizards franchise name warcraft and starcraft and used minecraft now your taking elder scrolls and using scrolls geeze do you ever make anything your own. Now your taking stuff from Tellaria you really need your own imagination and stop taking other peoples idea's

grow a imagination....

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Chieftain - - 51 comments

Grow your own imagination but you post a comment.

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