Mojang reaches Scrolls deal with Bethesda

March 12, 2012 // 10:53 a.m.

Tags: #bethesda #markus-persson #minecraft #mojang #notch #scrolls #the-elder-scrolls

Mojang founder Markus Persson has confirmed that his company has reached a settlement with Bethesda over the naming of a card - sorry, 'scroll' - battle game due to be released soon.

When Mojang announced that it was to release a game called 'Scrolls,' few batted an eyelid. Few, that is, except the legal department of Bethesda, a company which is best known for its work publishing the role-playing series The Elder Scrolls. Despite not being a role-playing game, not featuring the word 'Elder,' and a promise from Persson himself that it was nothing to do with anything Bethesda had ever released, the lawyers were drafted to send cease-and-desist notifications.

Thus began one of the more inexplicable lawsuits in gaming history. At one point, Persson was so eager to see things sorted he challenged Bethesda to a multiplayer match over the naming rights. Sadly, Bethesda preferred to duke things out in the courtroom rather than a deathmatch.

While Mojang claimed it had done nothing wrong, Bethesda's position was shortly clarified. It wasn't that the game was called Scrolls, the company explained, but that Mojang had filed for a trademark on the 'Scrolls' title - potentially putting Bethesda at risk of trademark infringement suits in the future. Thankfully, the pair have now reached an amicable settlement.

'We've settled with Bethesda! Yaaaay,' Persson wrote in an update on the case on his Twitter account this weekend. 'The settlement is that we give them the trademark, get to keep the name, and won't make an Elder Scrolls competitor using the name.

'The actual document I signed was like a billion pages, so at least we know a bunch of lawyers got rich. Good, wouldn't want them to starve,' Persson concluded.

As a result of the agreement, work can continue on Scrolls without fear of legal reprisals. While Mojang has lost its trademark, an agreement to use the name along with the protection that having a trademark held by a large third-party company offers will likely see the company clear to future releases, too.

Bethesda has not yet commented on the agreement.
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