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Scrolls lawsuit "would set a bad example for the industry," says Mojang

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Yesterday it was revealed that Bethesda’s lawsuit against Mojang over the name of their upcoming card-based strategy game, “Scrolls,” would be heading to court despite several attempts to ward off the precedings (including a the offering of a Quake competition from Mojang, a challenge they later admitted likely wouldn't have come out in their favor).

Since the story broke we reached out to both parties for more information. While Bethesda declined to comment, we received some interesting remarks from Carl Manneh, managing director at Mojang.

When asked what he thought would be the precedent set if the case would go in Bethesda’s favor, Manneh said that “It would set a bad example for the industry,” adding that it would also “show how poorly the trademark legislation works.”

We also asked if there were any other reasons Bethesda might be going after Mojang, as it seemed as though there might be more to the story than had already come out, Manneh said that he didn’t know of any. In fact, they’ve apparently tried to handle things outside of the legal system, but were consistently rebuffed.

“We have tried to reach out to talk to Zenimax, but we are always blocked by layers of lawyers,” he said. “We think that is a very unproductive and expensive way of communicating.”

We’ve reached out again to Bethesda for comments on Manneh’s remarks, and will keep you updated on the story as it develops.

 Sep 28, 2011

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21 comments

  • ThisIsMyFuckingThirdAccount - October 2, 2011 2:54 p.m.

    Wait, what's the difference between "Scrolls" and and "Skyrim"? They both sound like they have dragons in them. I'm so confused; I'll just wait until they port the better one to my iPhone.
  • jimmymcg - September 29, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    Look scrolls is a decent part of the elder scrolls name. and the fact is that there just arent that many other titles with scrolls in the name. its not that a common word actually in any case but the point of the matter is that bethesda got there first and that gives them a right to take what they perceive to be an infringement to court. on a more juvenile and fanboy note even though mojang has the moral upper ground im still rooting for bethesda because id rather play a hundred hours of oblivion or skyrim or morrowind than minecraft which to be honest im not gonna lie: i hate it think that it is a waste of time with no immersion no plot character or anything interesting to do.
  • soranamineforever - September 29, 2011 3:47 a.m.

    Of course Bethesda refused to comment. What could they possibly say that wouldn't emit, "We are enormous doucefaces!"?
  • Balaska - September 28, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    Just a note to people, it's Zenimax, not Bethesda, bringing the law suit, don't be pissed a Bethesda, they just make games.
  • mbrown3 - September 28, 2011 10:06 p.m.

    This is completely idiotic. Bethesda knows they can't win, but they'll tie things up in court in the hopes that the legal fees will crush Mojang. What a frivolous use of our legal system. Next they'll be suing someone for using the word "The".
  • larkan - September 28, 2011 7:34 p.m.

    They should take all the money and effort tied into this crap and put it towards releasing games that aren't so damn buggy at launch...just saying.
  • BackwaterRifle - September 28, 2011 8:09 p.m.

    We will see if the Gamebryo engine was really the cause of all the glitches after Skyrim Launches.
  • Craza - September 30, 2011 12:08 a.m.

    But then we wouldn't have such amazing things as: [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToKIkw3LIoQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=15s[/url]
  • d0x - September 28, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    Bethesda probably doesn't want to Sue but by trademark law if they don't file a suit they lose the right to defend the trademark. Chances are they will settle but they ate legally obligated to take mojang to court.
  • HankVenture - September 28, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    I can't believe this is still even going on. You know what I am going to call The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I'm going to call it f**king Skyrim, Scrolls will never cross my tongue. and again, I don't know what big corporate made it were I can't cuss but I hate you.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - September 28, 2011 4:31 p.m.

    So I'm guessing they didn't want to play Quake 3?
  • tority - September 28, 2011 4:08 p.m.

    This is really a lame attempt by a big corp to take down a small one. How much will it cost them? And im sure Bethesda has a plan for an upcoming gaming card maybe?
  • BackwaterRifle - September 28, 2011 3:47 p.m.

    I don't care if Mojang loses, more money towards the next Fallout.
  • mockraven - September 28, 2011 2:44 p.m.

    I made a similar comment on the previous article about this but I think it still applies. The stupidity of this law suit is so great it's baffling. I'm glad the people at Mojang are keeping a level head and pushing back over the "Scrolls" case. The whole comparison of "The Elder Scrolls" to "Scrolls" is much like comparing "God of War," "Gears of War," "Star Wars (game titles)," "End War," and so forth. There are so many game titles out there with overlapping names but none are mistaken for the other. The word "scroll" is a very generic term tied to many fantasy games, movies, and books in general, just as the word "war" is synonymous with large-scale conflicts. I suppose if common sense doesn't set in by the end of this mess, Mojang can call their game "Rolled Up Sheets of Parchment."
  • MadMan - September 28, 2011 1:38 p.m.

    Sounds like Bethesda is being the A**hole here... I think this might actually be good publicity for Mojang, and bad publicity for Bethesda. I myself think this is a dick move on Bethesda's part, I mean really, the name "Scrolls" does not make me think of "The Elder Scrolls"...
  • FoxdenRacing - September 28, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    @db1331: Sony's not going to have exclusive rights to 'Evil' so long as EA and Activision still have money in the bank. :-p Hopefully this case gets a lot of publicity, and finally points out just how ridiculous the current trademark laws are. Reading the dust-up between Ford and Ferrari in F1 [over naming their car the F150, in honor of Italy's 150th anniversary of unification], it sounds like they're not even allowed to say 'you know what, there's no way these two could be confused. We're aware of it, we choose to take no action', that trademark law as written says they MUST sue or it gets revoked. If true, gee...lawyers writing laws that say lawsuits are the only option. Conflict of interest much?
  • Thanadros - September 28, 2011 12:50 p.m.

    Bethesda is pissing me off with this. REally???? Scrolls??? If the average gamer is in their 30's then do they really think we are all so dumb that we cannot differentiate the two?? I'm still gonna buy Skyrim, but where my brain used to associate Bethesda with "Oh cool!!" it is now changing to "I hate those bastards!".
  • ThisIsMyFuckingThirdAccount - October 2, 2011 2:56 p.m.

    It's not Bethesda! It's Zenimax!
  • DualWieldingIsNotFeasible - September 28, 2011 12:44 p.m.

    Seriously? Most people don't even know that "Elder Scrolls" is the real name of the series. Everyone just thinks that "Skyrim" is the sequel to "Oblivion". "Skyrim" is what everyone's going to put into Google. Somebody could release a game called "The Ancient Scrolls V: Cloudrim" and nobody would mistake it for Skyrim, because Skyrim's audience isn't confused grandmothers, it's hardcore gamers who know exactly what game they came for.

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