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Bethesda 'forced' to sue Minecraft dev over Scrolls name

4:30 PM on 10.07.2011 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

We've heard lots from Minecraft developer Notch over the lawsuit that Bethesda has filed against him, but not a lot from the company throwing its legal weight around. Bethesda has finally addressed the matter in public, claiming it's been "forced" to sue Mojang Games over the name Scrolls.

"Mojang's public comments have not given a complete picture as it relates to their filings, our trademarks, or events that have taken place," said marketing VP Pete Hines. "Nobody here enjoys being forced into this. Hopefully it will all be resolved soon."

Zenimax, the company in charge of Bethesda, certainly has to protect its trademarks. If Mojang releases Scrolls uncontested, it could open the door for more grievous permutations of the name, diluting the strength of the Elder Scrolls as a brand. This is basically what attorneys and Zenimax are saying at the moment, that they have a "duty" to stop Notch for the sake of protecting their product. 

Trademark law is a messy thing, and while it's very easy to take Notch's side and root for the little guy against an evil corporation, there's a lot more at work. Companies often have to go after these little guys just to stop bigger, more nefarious infringements taking place. It's a messed up thing, but Pete Hines is right -- this isn't something that can be solved by Notch's goodwill or developers weighing in. It's something for the lawyers to hash out, however ugly that is. 

Mojang v. Bethesda Part 2: The Attorneys (and Notch & Pete) Weigh In [Kotaku]



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