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Wilhelm Riley
Posted - 2011.08.18 14:12:00 - [1]
 

Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. It's Notch's response (Notch of Minecraft fame) to the lawsuit from Bethesda for using the name Scrolls in his upcoming game.

Assuming Bethesda accept his challenge for trial by combat, which I doubt they will, what impact will this have on future game related lawsuits? Probably none, but it's nice to dream of a future where problems are solved with battles in video games.

My money is on Bethesda though.

Blacksquirrel
Posted - 2011.08.18 14:54:00 - [2]
 

Depends on where they fight it...but my guess is they're trying to bully a smaller business into backing down. Really though so long as they can show the games are completely different, and there's no other part to the game they'll be fine. The real cost (IE the bullying part) is that of attrition, and Bethesda's lawyers wanting to drag it out.

I'm pretty sure you can't trade mark the word "scrolls". This kinda thing happens all the time in the digital industry. More so with desktop software or browser software though.

VKhaun Vex
Posted - 2011.08.18 16:11:00 - [3]
 

Edited by: VKhaun Vex on 18/08/2011 16:12:49


I'm no lawyer, but I don't think it has anything to do with the game or how it plays. It's about name recognition and getting sales based on the success of another game.

It also doesn't have to be that they are 'bullying' anyone. They could do this fully expecting to lose, purely to maintain or publicize a posture that they're not to be taken lightly. Legal moves are not so one dimensional that they have to be bullying their target. Just getting the press that they'll go to court with all their might over a word in a title in a completely unrelated game is a message to the industry.

If you have Netflix you may have seen the example of The Asylum. They make movies like 'The Day The Earth Stopped' and 'Battle of Los Angeles' which blatantly steal money and earn subscriptions from anyone they fool using other companies' success. Fox threatened to sue them, but never actually did... so why would they ever stop? Why would they hesitate to do another Fox movie? Why would a major company hesitate to take a cut (Netflix)?

Wilhelm Riley
Posted - 2011.08.18 16:15:00 - [4]
 

Originally by: VKhaun Vex
Edited by: VKhaun Vex on 18/08/2011 16:12:49


I'm no lawyer, but I don't think it has anything to do with the game or how it plays. It's about name recognition and getting sales based on the success of another game.

It also doesn't have to be that they are 'bullying' anyone.



Indeed. Notch said a little while ago that he thought it was probably just an automatic knee-jerk reaction from Bethesda's legal department after hearng the word Scrolls.

stoicfaux
Gallente
Posted - 2011.08.18 17:00:00 - [5]
 

IIRC, there's a rule that if you don't enforce your trademark, you can lose your trademark. So it behooves trademark owners to sue even in "obviously" non-infringing cases such as this.

Bethesda probably isn't interested in winning the infringement case, they're just making it abundantly clear that the Elder Scrolls trademark is being actively maintained and defended.



 

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