If you don’t know, Notch, creator of Minecraft, is working on a project called Scrolls. However, even if Scrolls is a generic word, there are very few games that use it, with 7 using Scroll and even less using Scrolls (Excluding the Elder Scrolls series) according to the search feature on GameFAQS.
Notch’s blog tells the full story, and puts it down to “lawyers gonna law” as they rightly should, and how his own lawyers recommended him to trademark Minecraft which was done. He also applied a trademark for his project Scrolls, when there were no similarly named games according to his research.
He was then contacted by lawyers representing Bethesda, who claimed that it conflicted with the trademark The Elder Scrolls, implying they had a trademark on the use of the word “Scrolls” by extention. Even if Minecraft’s means of play can be somewhat compared to The Elder Scrolls if done very loosely, Scrolls is completely unrelated and different in all aspects.
Notch has suggested a compromise to the legal representitives of Bethesda saying he would never put any prefixes on Scrolls in order to dispel any possible confusion that may arise. He has recently recieved a 15-page letter from a legal firm that’s demanding he stops using the name Scrolls or else he will face a lawsuit.
I assume that this will result in a backhanding to the lawyers from the men upstairs and being told to back off by the uppers from Bethesda. Regardless, I’m 100% sure that they would be better off going after Chinese knockoffs being sold in stores rather than a publisher who has the backing of several thousands of people and is probably on good terms with higher ups at Bethesda.