Bethesda Scrolls Down to Injunction Decision

Video Game Law Blog

October 25, 2011

Mojang, the creator of Minecraft, is in a trade-mark tussle with Bethesda Softworks and has won the first battle. Bethesda, who publishes the "Elder Scrolls" series, objected to Mojang's plans to call its next game "Scrolls" and Mojang's filing of a trade-mark application to protect that name. Posturing ensued and eventually Bethesda launched a lawsuit.

There was an early interim injunction application, and Mojang now reports that it was successful and therefore can keep using the "Scrolls" name for its game as the lawsuit progresses.

Mojang blames the dispute partly on "lawyers being lawyers", which we're not sure how to take, but the case highlights the fact that it's useful to do some trade-mark searches before choosing a brand, and also that brands consisting of common words are usually harder to protect and enforce than brands consisting of more distinctive words.

Coverage at GameSpot here, here and here.