Friday, 5 August 2011

Minecraft Being Sued By Bethesda For Use Of Word "Scrolls"

According to Notch, the creator of Minecraft, Bethesda is suing Mojang over the use of the word "Scrolls" in their expansion. The reasoning is that it's too similar to their use of the word in "The Elder Scrolls". 

This isn't really unexpected. When Mojang's lawyers told them to register the name "Minecraft", they also told them to register "Scrolls" as well to avoid any trouble that might cause in the future. After applying for it, they were contacted by Bethesda's lawyers as to the intention of their use of the word "Scrolls" in their product. Notch told Bethesda's lawyers that their intention was to use it as a precursor to the name of expanions i.e Scrolls - The Banana Edition. To Notch's knowledge, he doesn't know if Bethesda had agreed to the terms. 

Today, Mojang recieved a 15 page cease-and-desist letter from Bethesda's layers saying that if he does not stop using the word "Scrolls" in this work, that they are threatening to sue them should the need arise. Notch doesn't seem too concerned, noting that "I love Bethesda. I assume this nonsense is partly just their lawyers being lawyers, and a result of trademark law being the way it is."

Myself, I'm hoping that this is just something of a misunderstanding. "Scrolls" is such a general term. The patent system is a joke in its current state. The two games aren't similar in any ways, and don't share any of the same appeal to people. It's not like using the word "Scrolls" will somehow hurt Bethesda's business. I know product awareness and saturation is one thing, but this is just a ridiculous situation. Also, I don't think Bethesda wants to be know as the people who sued beloved "Minecraft".