news\ Oct 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Minecraft's Notch Responds to 'Scrolls' Trademark in Mojang vs Bethesda Case



Today, Kotaku posted an article attempting to make sense of the whole Mojang vs Bethesda/Zenimax 'Scrolls' Trademark court case.  In the article, which you can read here, Kotaku paints the court case in a different light.  In this rendition, Kotaku depicts Mojang as the sneaky villain attempting to steal the "Scrolls" title, and all trademark rights that come with it, from beneath Bethesda's feet. As a result to this version, they try to explain to why Bethesda is taking Mojang to court and reason with the readers as to why Bethesda may not be the big, bad villain the public (and Notch) is painting them out to be.  The article does make some pretty good points as to why a bigger company like Bethesda could be worried about Mojang attaining rights to the name "Scrolls", but it's still the same argument we've heard over and over.

Basically, they told the same story we've all heard either through Notch or through the news.  Except this time, they tried to reason as to why Bethesda would sue over the "Scrolls" name.  They do make some interesting points, but none of us will really know how everything went down.

Notch, who is known to wear his emotions on his sleeve, and share his thoughts on Twitter, responded to the article.  Today, the mind behind Minecraft, and the voice and cajones behind Mojang responded to this article via his blog:

I feel the need to clarify a couple of things:

We realized we should apply for the trademark “Minecraft” to protect our brand. When doing so, we also sent in an application for “Scrolls”. When Bethesda contacted us, we offered both to change the name to “Scrolls: <some subtitle>” and to give up the trademark.

They refused on both counts.

Whatever reason they have for suing us, it’s not a fear of us having a trademark on the word “Scrolls”, as we’ve offered to give that up.

No matter who you side with, I'm sure we can all agree that this whole court case is stupid.  Both sides see themselves as right, and neither will budge (although Notch does claim Mojang is willing to negotiate).  You can't really believe anyone in this case.  All we have is heresay.

In the end, both games are completely different and all they share is one simple word: Scrolls.  I'm still confused as to how someone can trademark a word.....

What are your thoughts on the whole case?  Is Mojang really as innocent as Notch is trying to make it look or did they have a sneaky plan the whole time?  Or is Bethesda/Zenimax just trying to bully the indie developers around?

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