Bethesda Possibly Pulling A Tim Langdell Over “Scrolls”
Notch and his Minecraft team are working on a game called Scrolls and apparently Bethesda’s lawyers aren’t very happy about him using a word from the English Dictionary. According to Notch, they contacted him to find out more about the trademark he made for the game “Scrolls”, claiming it conflicts with Bethesda’s trademark for “The Elder Scrolls” despite the two seemingly being two completely different types of game. Today he got a letter from a Swedish Lawyer firm demanding he either changes the name of the game or else he’ll be sued.
As Notch points out, this may just be lawyers being lawyers but it does remind me at least of one Tim Langdell and his (failed) quest to sue everyone and anyone using the word “edge” in their products. I suppose in terms of games, a one letter word title may have to be trademarked for the sake of the game, but suing someone for using a word of a game’s title in a completely unrelated project just seems wrong. We’ve only heard Notch’s side of the story for now and hopefully Bethesda will get this problem sorted for the best, because otherwise they’re looking incredibly dumb right now.