Bethesda has launched a trademark suit earlier this year against Minecraft creator Markuss “Notch” Persson over the trademark of his company’s in-development game “Scrolls“. The suit alleges that the name infringes on Bethesda’s “The Elder Scrolls”.
According to an explanation posted by Notch on his blog, the drama started half a year ago when he and his company Mojang filed for the trademark with confidence that no possible infringement over the one word was made.
“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,” wrote Notch.
Notch and his team were soon contacted by Bethesda’s lawyers who informed them of the conflict between the two names and demanded an explanation.
“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.”
A letter was sent to Notch from a Sweedish law firm, demanding that his company refrain from using the name “Scrolls”, and a pile of money up front before the lawsuit even began. You can read the letter here.