Bethesda hassles Minecraft studio over "Scrolls" game

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Bethesda has threatened to sue Mojang, the folks behind Minecraft, for using the word "Scrolls" in the title of a new game. In a blog post today, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson said he received a 15-page letter from a Swedish law firm demanding that he abandon the name Scrolls because it infringes on Bethesda's registered trademark, "The Elder Scrolls." Although it's news to us, Mojang has been aware of the threat for months.

Upon registering Minecraft as a trademark earlier this year, Mojang also applied for one pertaining to Scrolls. Sometime after filing that trademark, Bethesda's lawyers contacted the independent studio for more details about its new game. Bethesda feared that Scrolls conflicted with the existing trademark for their popular roleplaying games. Notch writes that he wasn't too concerned about the inquiry because Bethesda "didn't have much of a case."

Nonetheless, he attempted to strike a compromise with Bethesda to keep the peace: Mojang would use the word Scrolls in its future game titles, but never with words before it. The first game is expected to be called "Scrolls" all on its own, while expansions and sequels would be named something along the lines of "Scrolls - The Banana Expansion." Apparently, Betheseda wasn't humored by that suggestion as the company didn't bother to reply.

Although he surely isn't happy about the threat, Notch complimented Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series and said he still loves the company, noting that this is probably just "lawyers being lawyers." "I assume this is all some more or less automated response to us applying for the trademark. I sincerely hope Bethesda isn’t pulling a Tim Langdell," the Minecraft creator writes. Bethesda has yet to release a public statement about the letter.

Alongside that sour news, Notch has announced that Minecraft sales are still going strong with three million copies sold. According to last month's stats, Minecraft had some 10 million registered users with 2.7 million paid copies in circulation, meaning 300,000 have been sold in the last 30 days -- not bad for a game that's still in beta. The game will launch on November 11, just ahead of the first annual "Minecon" event on November 18.

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