Earlier this year, developer Mojang, best known for its hit PC sandbox game Minecraft, got hit with a lawsuit from publisher Bethesda Softworks. Bethesda claimed that the title of Mojang"s next game, the fantasy RPG-collectible card game Scrolls, infringed on Bethesda"s trademark for its long running Elder Scrolls series. At first Mojang"s founder, Markus "Notch" Persson, wanted to settle the dispute with a Quake 3 multiplayer match, but it now looks like this lawsuit is heading to court.
Kotaku finally got Bethesda to officially comment on this lawsuit with Mojang for the first time. Bethesda"s spokesperson Pete Hines said, "This is a business matter based on how trademark law works and it will continue to be dealt with by lawyers who understand it, not by me or our developers." The article points out that the US Patent and Trademark Office refused to register the trademark Scrolls to Mojang, stating, " ... the applicant has merely deleted the term ELDER from the registered mark. The mere deletion of wording from a registered mark may not be sufficient to overcome a likelihood of confusion."
For his part, Persson said Mojang has offered a number of different solutions to fix this issue with Bethesda, such as " ... us not getting the trademark, and us not using the word "Scrolls" in its raw form, but as part of a longer title. [Zenimax] repeatedly refused, demanding we stop using the word "Scrolls"." But Hines counters, "Mojang"s public comments have not given a complete picture as it relates to their filings, our trademarks, or events that have taken place."