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Bethesda Sues Mojang

News; Aug. 7, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Jenner David Cauton
Subtypes: News
Minecraft dug deep enough to strike gold, but unfortuantely found something else as well

Marcus "Notch" Persson announced on his Twitter account that 3 million copies of Minecraft had been sold as of Aug. 5. Notch also announced that the official launch of the game will be released during Minecon on Nov. 18 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Tickets will be available soon.

Mojang has been working on more than just its block-building goldmine; a card and board game called "Scrolls" is underway.

"About half a year ago, our lawyers recommended us to register 'Minecraft' as a trademark, so we did. I had voted against it initially, but we did it anyway. Better safe than sorry, and all that. At the same time, we also applied for 'Scrolls', the new game we’re working on. We knew of no similarly named games, and we had even googled it to make sure. I’m not even sure if you CAN trademark individual words, like “Scrolls”, but we sent in the application anyway," tweeted Notch.

Bethesda then inquired about Mojang's "Scrolls" game and said that it infringed its rights with the "The Elder Scrolls" series.

"I agree that the word 'Scrolls' is part of that trademark, but as a gamer, I have never ever considered that series of (very good) role playing games to be about scrolls in any way, nor was that ever the focal point of neither their marketing nor the public image," the tweet continues.

Notch says he received a letter from a Swedish law firm demanding that Mojang stops using the "Scrolls" name, has already paid the Swedish court fee, and added they demanded a "pile of money" up front before the case even went to court.

"The implication that you could own the right to all individual words within a trademark is also a bit scary," Notch continues on his tweet. "We looked things up and realized they didn’t have much of a case, but we still took it seriously. Nothing about Scrolls is meant to in any way derive from or allude to their games. We suggested a compromise where we’d agree to never put any words in front of 'Scrolls', and instead call sequels and other things something along the lines of 'Scrolls - The Banana Expansion'. I’m not sure if they ever got back to us with a reply to this."



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