Earlier this week Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson challenged the team at Bethesda Softworks to a Quake III match in order to settle a lawsuit. Bethesda claims that Scrolls, the title of the next game from the Minecraft team at Mojang, is in violation of its trademark for its long running Elder Scrolls RPG series. Now in a new article at Wired Persson admits that perhaps the idea of a Quake III match to settle the lawsuit wasn"t a good idea.
As we mentioned before, Quake III was developed by id Software which is now owned by Bethesda Softworks. Persson states, "If it came to a Quake III tournament, I have a feeling we just might have to change the name. in retrospect, Quake III might have been a poor choice." However that doesn"t mean that Persson is going to give up on his fight to use the name Scrolls for Mojang"s next game. He states, "If we’re going to court, I will fight this for as long as it takes. It’s a bogus claim, and [Bethesda has] several one-word-named games that share a noun with other games that precede [its] games." An example of that is Rage, the next game from id Software that"s due out on October 4. Rage is part of the title for the classic Streets of Rage arcade brawler game from Sega.
While Persson certainly has a point, so does Bethesda, according to attorney Mark Methenitis. He says, "The basic question here is whether the two trademarks are likely to be confused. There’s a pretty well-established test for this under U.S. trademark law, and based on those factors, Bethesda has a reasonable argument." The gist of Bethesda"s possible argument is that while hardcore gamers would know the difference between the two games, casual folks might confuse the two games since both have "scrolls" in the title and both have a fantasy theme.