Bethesda Breaks Silence on “Scrolls” Lawsuit

A post on Kotaku yesterday allowed Bethesda the opportunity to break their silence about the burgeoning legal battle over the title “Scrolls,” as they have brought suit against Minecraft developer Mojang over alleged trademark infringement.

Last time we checked in with the case, Mojang’s Marcuss “Notch” Persson had said that his company offered to change the name of their upcoming “Scrolls” game to incorporate a subtitle, and to drop their own pursuit of a trademark on the “Scrolls” title entirely. The offer was rejected by Bethesda, said Notch.

But now, Pete Hines, Bethesda’s vice president of PR and marketing, has offered the first public comment on the situation from the plaintiff in the case: “This is a business matter based on how trademark law works and it will continue to be dealt with by lawyers who understand it, not by me or our developers,” Hines is quoted as saying. “Mojang’s public comments have not given a complete picture as it relates to their filings, our trademarks, or events that have taken place…Nobody here enjoys being forced into this. Hopefully it will all be resolved soon.”

One thing these comments are not: inflammatory. Hines isn’t coming back at Notch with the fire and passion that Notch has been throwing towards Bethesda—the veritable sling that David used to take down Goliath, if I may use a cliché but relatively apt analogy. In this war, it’s likely that one of the ways that Mojang will get an edge is in the realm of public perception, and no matter which way you slice it, the plucky, independent game studio that created the charming Minecraft is a lot more sympathetic than the big, “faceless” corporation looking to piss on their parade.

But, Hines isn’t here to be personal, and he’s not here to add fuel to the fire. In fact, he’s conducting himself in a pretty classy way, basically saying, “Look, you don’t know the whole story, and no one likes going to court.” And at the end of the day, as the Kotaku post goes to great lengths to point out, games are a business, even though it’s all about games. Competition is real, and so is the money that’s changing hands. Hines is being wise here by not condemning Mojang, or even defending its position, since that will happen in a courtroom, where it matters.

Via Kotaku

  1. well at least they finally speak they still look like a bunch of stupid suits. What about the art man?

  2. I totally agree with the David and Goliath analogy unfortunately I predict that this will not end the same way as the story of David and Goliath as mojang, the ‘plucky’ independent developer, will most likely be crushed by games giant Bethesda. Bethesda are all a bunch of suits trying to get money out of a smaller company who they see could be a potential threat in the future. I wish the best of Luck to Mojang.
    Long Live Notch!

  3. Bethesda I think you have better stuff to do instead of whining about another companies game that doesn’t relate to yours

  4. This whole case is dumb. And being near robotic about their side of the story does not help their public image. It looked like a default letter that was sent out, not a true “we don’t like court either” image that they were going for.

  5. I trademarked the alphabet… pay up

  6. The gaming industry is just that, an industry; if youre not prepaired to handle this in an adult way, you are sadly mistaken. But dont get me wrong I love minecraft and and Bethesda games.

  7. Wait, if Notch can’t create a name for a game called Scrolls (Cuz of Elder Scrolls), why can Bethesda publish a game called Rage when there are other games that have the word “rage” attacked to the name of the game?

    And yea, I kinda got this from a source somewhere but I forgot…

    Just to add some thing…

  8. You got that from notch himself :P

  9. You’re still a bunch of idiots for doing this Bethesda.

    Whats next? Suing people for the word “the”?

  10. Seriously this is so typical, you guys don’t know anything and keep spotting your mouths about how Bethesda is terrible and Mojang is so innocent, a few weeks ago Machinima showed an episode of All your history about Bethesda, they are the basic formula for a small company that sailed a tight ship, and is now competing in the big leagues their not suits, they have suits that work for them, that understand different legalities, gaming is unpredictable and is becoming a huge market but not many people are involved in it as much you guys are and thus the name similarities could be catastrophic especially from the number one game Bethesda depends on. Honestly stop being hypocritical dicks that understand nothing and let them settle it

  11. Bethesda should just tell its suits to stfu about this and not take it to court. its not like the suits own them.

  12. First, most people have to understand business. If you don’t want to have to deal with this, don’t go into business at all and sit there and buy the games and play them. Comment on the games not the companies that make them. When you enter business and start a company you enter a whole new world of corporate takeover, stocks, the bottom line profit and anything at all can detract from that bottom dollar. It then takes more money to make those game you love to play.

    Second, yes its stupid that they are going to sue over one little word anyone can use and no one would even think of the Elder Scrolls franchise. Because its just that, Elder defines the Scroll in the name. But Bethseda is probably going to win, and when they do, it doesn’t change the game that Mojang is going to make or anyone’s opinion on Minecraft or the reviews that will come in by their new IP when it comes out. Deal with it, this is corporate America, hell this is Corporate Earth now, get used to it. The game will be what it is, even if it isn’t called Scroll. Play it because you like Mojang and Minecraft and support the company with your dollars, that is what really speaks in the corporate world we are in today and have always been in.

  13. I’m not mad at Bethesda, I’m mad at the lawyers. They’re a bunch of idiots.

  14. I love Bethesda and Mojang, but seriously I feel that Notch is more to blame here. When Mojang filed its trademark on the word Scrolls, they literally filed it for everything. Games, shows, movies, books, toys, etc. That’s ridiculous, and it also screws Bethesda in the rear. If Mojang’s trademark had been passed, Mojang could sue Bethesda upon releasing TESV: Skyrim. Mojang was basically asking for Bethesda to mount them. I’m not even sure if Notch was serious about the trademark because it was that silly.

    It stinks to see so many people saying “stupid suits! stupid Bethesda!” because Bethesda is just protecting itself and its biggest money making game. I think it would be better for people to remain impartial unless they really know what’s going on, and that includes myself!

  15. Lawyers should be made illegal. Its that easy. We dont need them.

  16. This is a fucked up law suit.

    For one, Bethesda has absolutely no ground to stand on. You cannot trademark a common word. Props to Notch for pointing out Bethesda’s hypocrisy by way of the fact they have produced multiple games containing words described in Trademarked titles, with no repercussions.

    Second, this is extremely immature. Notch knew damn well what he was doing when he titled his game “Scroll”, but did it anyway. The fact that he has iconicized himself as the underdog and the victim is misleading. For a game not yet in the Alpha stages, changing the title would be a minuscule thing. Both parties just want the PR.

    Third, I enjoy both of these companies’ work very much. This lawsuit does not change that, however inappropriate it may be.

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