For what seems like months now, you may have heard that Notch, creator of Minecraft, has been doing the trademark tango with Bethesda in a dispute over his next game, Scrolls. While Notch was hoping the matter could be settled out of court, he has officially received notice from Swedish officials that the case is indeed going to court. Looks like it’s time to to break out that fancy tie!
Bethesda has already put in their evidence (or as Phoenix Wright calls it, ammo) which include comments and pictures of Scrolls in order to compare in court how it could potentially confuse customers between Bethesda’s game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Mojang’s Scrolls.
Notch also talked about the case on a personal level on his tumblr and his lawyers boiled down the basics for him.
“Essentially it all boils down to whether the relevant public are likely to be confused into thinking that our “Scrolls” game is connected with Bethesda or its games, taking all the circumstances into account; and apparently the “moron in a hurry” doesn’t count.”
So Notch is serious about not just winning this for Mojang but also for little guys everywhere. Meanwhile, Bethesda actually has an obligation to actively defend their trademarks really. To put it simply, if they let it happen once, no matter how insignificant, it’ll create a precedent that will weaken their case in future, more relevant disputes. The Elder Scrolls and Scrolls may seems radically different, but the legal position is that if Bethesda simply let this slip by without action, if someone makes a free-roaming, action RPG called The Old Scrolls, Bethesda’s case against them would be weaker if they decided to let Scrolls go by without doing anything.
You know, just food for thought on this case.