Minecraft Developer Being Sued by Bethesda
Fans of both Minecraft and its creator, Markus “Notch” Persson, probably know about his developer company, Mojang, and its next project entitled Scrolls. Apparently, so does Bethesda, because their lawyers are suing Mojang for copyright infringement of The Elder Scrolls‘ trademark.
According to Persson, he was contacted by Bethesda’s lawyers who were upset after Mojang made a trademark filing for its next game, Scrolls. “I agree that the word ‘Scrolls’ is part of that trademark, but as a gamer, I have never ever considered that series of (very good) role-playing games to be about scrolls in any way, nor was that ever the focal point of neither their marketing nor the public image,” Persson wrote of Bethesda’s franchise. “The implication that you could own the right to all individual words within a trademark is also a bit scary. We looked things up and realized they didn’t have much of a case, but we still took it seriously. Nothing about Scrolls is meant to in any way derive from or allude to their games.”
Persson suggested a compromise to Bethesda, in which Mojang would never place words before Scrolls in the titles of future sequels or spinoffs, but Bethesda didn’t even respond, at least to Persson’s knowledge.
While the exchange with the lawyers occurred back in February, Persson recently received a letter from a Swedish law firm, demanding that Mojang stop using the title “Scrolls” and that Mojang pay Bethesda “a pile of money up front before the legal process has even started.” While it’s not evidenced, the letter stated that Bethesda had already paid court fees for the lawsuit.
Persson tries to stay optimistic, saying that he is a fan of The Elder Scrolls, and that this is “partly just their lawyers being lawyers, and a result of trademark law being the way it is.”