Bethesda is Suing Minecraft Creator

The mastermind behind the popular indie title, Minecraft, has updated his blog with some interesting news. Apparently, Bethesda isn’t too happy over Notch’s next game, Scrolls. As you may have already realized scrolls is apart of the well known Bethesda title, The Elder Scrolls and with Skyrim on the way it looks like they don’t want anyone using any portion of their game title. This was a bit of a surprise to Notch as their trademark filling was just for scrolls and he doesn’t necessarily recognize Bethesda’s game for having a major focus on scrolls.

A while later, out of the blue, we got contacted by Bethesda’s lawyers. They wanted to know more about the “Scrolls” trademark we were applying for, and claimed it conflicted with their existing trademark “The Elder 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.

Notch has received a 15 page letter regarding the scrolls name. If he doesn’t change the name of his game he will be sued.

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.

I assume this is all some more or less automated response to us applying for the trademark. I sincerely hope Bethesda isn’t pulling a Tim Langdell.