Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 6th Aug 2011 08:34 UTC
Games There are two reasons for this news item. First, I want this issue resolved. Second, it allows me to post the most awesome picture ever and ever. The story is simple. Mojang, the company behind the immensely successful Minecraft, is working on a second game called 'Scrolls', which has been in development for a while now. As it turns out, Bethesda has sent a cease and desist notice to Mojang - they claim 'Scrolls' infringes on 'The Elder Scrolls' trademark. As a fan of both Minecraft and Bethesda, this is just silly.
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Savior
Member since:
2006-09-02

Such as threatening not to buy Skyrim if Bethesda remains an ass? I understand that Microsoft, Apple and Oracle are too big to be affected by moves like this, but I would imagine a game company maintains closer ties to its customers (esp. since piracy is a much bigger problem for them)?

Or maybe we can ask Chaosium to go after Bethesda because of the word "elder"...

Edited 2011-08-06 09:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

I thought the 'Edge' lawsuit would have settled idiotic claims like this.

I guess the legal department needs something to do, but it doesn't seem they could possibly win it, particularly given how that trademark suit turned out. Not to mention that the court suggested that trolling on a name like that could warrant criminal penalties in that particular case.

Reply Score: 1

Extortion
by vodoomoth on Sat 6th Aug 2011 09:29 UTC
vodoomoth
Member since:
2010-03-30

Today, I got a 15 page letter from some Swedish lawyer firm, saying they demand us to stop using the name Scrolls, that they will sue us (and have already paid the fee to the Swedish court), and that they demand a pile of money up front before the legal process has even started

Looks like nothing but an extortion attempt.

Anyway, I don't see how "Scrolls" infringes upon "The Elder Scrolls". Otherwise, we would have never seen "Adventures" in more than one game title, or "Life" because "Half-Life" exists.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Extortion
by mbit on Sat 6th Aug 2011 09:58 UTC in reply to "Extortion"
mbit Member since:
2009-07-29

Or "Half-Life" because "Life" exists.

Reply Score: 3

Poor Beth...
by Lava_Croft on Sat 6th Aug 2011 11:11 UTC
Lava_Croft
Member since:
2006-12-24

It's pretty clear that this is an idea from ZeniMax Media, not Bethesda Softworks.

Reply Score: 1

In other news...
by fatjoe on Sat 6th Aug 2011 11:40 UTC
fatjoe
Member since:
2010-01-12

Valve Corporation, the creators of the "half-life" game series was today sued by the Milton Bradley Company.

According to MBC, who brought the lawsuit into court in the Eastern District of Texas, the game is in infringement with the company's well known IP of The Game of Life.


During a press conference earlier today, the company CEO for the first time commented the lawsuit by saying "we can sit by and watch competitors steal our invented words, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original words, or preferably use a whole another language, not steal ours."

Reply Score: 11

Layoff lawyers
by tingo on Sat 6th Aug 2011 13:53 UTC
tingo
Member since:
2007-10-13

I wish buying up and laying off lawyers (or their companies) would work. Bah.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Layoff lawyers
by SReilly on Sun 7th Aug 2011 02:07 UTC in reply to "Layoff lawyers"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Sorry, posted to the wrong thread.

Edited 2011-08-07 02:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

v A company who is over reaching
by Jennimc on Sat 6th Aug 2011 16:51 UTC
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

however I can't help that feel that Thom is arguing that this is supposedly another example of craziness that is the entire patent system.


Lolwut?

Edited 2011-08-06 17:00 UTC

Reply Score: 6

B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

I read the story and agree that their claim is baseless however I can't help that feel that Thom is arguing that this is supposedly another example of craziness that is the entire patent system.

This isn't indicative of any supposed larger problem but rather a company who is simply over reaching with their patent in hopes of getting some free money by using scare tactics towards a smaller developer.

I've come to grow especially larry of any news article on this site relating to patents or really, a company's ownership of any property that is non-physical.


Well, call me Larry and smoke a cigar, you do not have a clue about patents, marks, and copyright, do you?

Reply Score: 8

RE: A company who is over reaching
by SReilly on Sun 7th Aug 2011 02:09 UTC in reply to "A company who is over reaching"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I fail to understand why you even bother posting if you're so upset with Thom's opinion. Not counting the fact that you obviously completely missed the point as this article has nothing to do with patents, if Thom's stance on the US's laws for patents relating to software annoys you so much, why do you bother visiting OSNews (never mind posting)? It seems to me like you might be better off not bothering visiting this site at all. After all, this being the world wide web, I'm sure there's a countless plethora of other sites that are more than capable of catering to your tastes. Surely you would be better off spending your time reading something that upsets you less because, judging by your past comments, you don't seem to take too kindly to opinions that don't aline with your own. Maybe not visiting OSNews would be a good thing for you. Maybe that way your blood pressure would not spike quite so much. I know that I would certainly not miss your less than relevant contributions.

Reply Score: 4

sparkyERTW Member since:
2010-06-09

I've come to grow especially larry of any news article on this site relating to patents or really, a company's ownership of any property that is non-physical.


I am writing to inform you that you have infringed upon my trademark for "Especially Larry", which I filed for as the name of a sitcom starring Laurence Fishbourne I'm looking to get off the ground.

At your earliest convenience, please empty out your bank account; I'll send someone over to your house in the next day or so to pick up the funds. I would suggest also having a sandwich made as a precaution. Gunther can be somewhat aggressive if he's got an empty stomach.

Reply Score: 1

...
by fran on Sat 6th Aug 2011 17:25 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

I certainly would not confuse elder scrolls with another scrolls title.

I guess from Zeni-Max's perspective the fear is that a noobie customer only hearing a grapevine reference to a great scrolls game would google "scrolls" that would let him unintentionally to buy the wrong game leaving them out of pocket. I hardly think that this would happen so often that it warrant such a case though.

On the legal merits (not necessarily just merits) of the case i don't know. If for instance Zeni-Max copyrighted variations on the title, for instance not only "Oblivion: Elder Scrolls" but also "Elder Scrolls", "Scrolls RPG", "Scrolls game" it might not be so clear cut.

Edited 2011-08-06 17:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

v The Elder Scrolls vs Scrolls
by Evan on Sat 6th Aug 2011 18:01 UTC
RE: The Elder Scrolls vs Scrolls
by siride on Sat 6th Aug 2011 18:40 UTC in reply to "The Elder Scrolls vs Scrolls"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

The word "scrolls" in a genre about medieval themed RPGs? You've got to be kidding me.

Reply Score: 5

RE: The Elder Scrolls vs Scrolls
by Radio on Sat 6th Aug 2011 19:21 UTC in reply to "The Elder Scrolls vs Scrolls"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

I have a copyright over any words ending by "oll".

You are therefore warned that you must stop being a troll. I will sue you. Pay me 100000$ right now or else.

Reply Score: 4

RE: The Elder Scrolls vs Scrolls
by Soulbender on Sun 7th Aug 2011 10:12 UTC in reply to "The Elder Scrolls vs Scrolls"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Is that like how The Elder Scrolls infringes on the game The Scroll, which came out 2 years before the first Elder game?

Reply Score: 3

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

p0wned!! ;)

Maybe someone should mention that little fact to Bethesda?

Reply Score: 2

It worked for Blizzard!
by leech on Sat 6th Aug 2011 18:39 UTC
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

Hey it worked for Blizzard! They sent the Cease and Desist to FreeCraft, because of Course FreeCraft and StarCraft and WarCraft are all so much alike.

What happened with that? Well FreeCraft changed their name to Stratagus and now all is well in the Blizzard universe.. (???)

Not even sure how Minecraft (it didn't capitalize the C?) got away with a craft in it's name without the Blizzard hounds (lawyers). But now Scrolls and Elder Scrolls are so confusing... aren't they?

Horrible stupidity this all is...

Reply Score: 4

RE: It worked for Blizzard!
by nej_simon on Sun 7th Aug 2011 10:33 UTC in reply to "It worked for Blizzard!"
nej_simon Member since:
2011-02-11

Not even sure how Minecraft (it didn't capitalize the C?) got away with a craft in it's name without the Blizzard hounds (lawyers). But now Scrolls and Elder Scrolls are so confusing... aren't they?


FreeCraft is a clone of WarCraft, Minecraft is not related to any blizzard game. That's probably why.

Reply Score: 3

Over simplification?
by MacTO on Sat 6th Aug 2011 21:25 UTC
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

I agree that there is a lot of abuse of the legal system over trademarks, patents, and copyrights. However, it also seems to me that this situation is wildly over simplified and the over simplification may do more harm than good.

The thing is, you have people who will abuse trademarks that they own to suppress or blackmail others. You also have people who want to ride on other people's trademarks in order to make a quick buck. I don't know these people so I don't know if that's what's going on here, but that's the type of nonsense that happens out there and sometimes people get self-rightous about their claims because they suspect that the other side is out to screw them.

As for this case, it looks like both sides are fighting over very similar names for a fantasy RPG. And while the fight includes a common word, especially in the genre, the word isn't so common as to make the potential infringement a non-issue.

Reply Score: 2

in reality
by fran on Sun 7th Aug 2011 13:40 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Some think you can’t trademark one English word. While they're technically right you can, if you have enough money, corner wide ranging market segments with one word.

On your copyright application you submit a code.
This list of codes is an international drawn up document and an international convention.
Your trademark code will relate to for instance "retail", "mining", "paper", "chemical", "engineering" ect.
You are permitted just one code with each trademark application.

Let’s take an example. For instance Apple

When Apple lodges an application "Apple computers" you will submit a code relating to electronics.
When the trademark is already taken can contact the holder and enquire whether he would consider selling and cede the trademark.

When they a have a diverse company or suspect future diversifying they also apply additional trademark applications for different industries.
For instance "Apple Entertainment" with a code registered under entertainment services, retail and "Apple Software" with registered under software dev.

Every software, electronics and entertainment company would now not be able to use Apple in their trademark registration.

It is relative cheap to register trademarks and it's a nightmare finding that right name these days. It's almost like web domains.

Reply Score: 2

Plain general words?
by Dr-ROX on Mon 8th Aug 2011 08:11 UTC
Dr-ROX
Member since:
2006-01-03

As I remember, there are law in Europe, saying, that you can't trademark general words, like "bread" or something. Scroll is simple general word, more historic, but it's yeah, like trademarking word "Life".

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Mon 8th Aug 2011 16:11 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Total nonsense. How can one trademark such a word?

Reply Score: 3