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Off-Topic Discussion => Gaming Discussion => Topic started by: BloodEagle on August 05, 2011, 11:41:53 pm

Title: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: BloodEagle on August 05, 2011, 11:41:53 pm
http://notch.tumblr.com/post/8519901309/bethesda-are-suing-us-heres-the-full-story

Quote from: TFA
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.

A while later, out of the blue, we got contacted by Bethesda’s lawyers. They wanted to know more about the “Scrolls” trademark we were applying for, and claimed it conflicted with their existing trademark “The Elder Scrolls”. [....]

Anyone with experience regarding Swedish trademarking want to weigh in on this?  Because I'm pretty sure Bethesda's trying to ride Minecraft's coattails with negative press.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Droid803 on August 05, 2011, 11:51:27 pm
skrolz and be done with it.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: BloodEagle on August 06, 2011, 12:17:37 am
I really hope someone makes a Lovecraft inspired game entitled "The Elder," just to piss them off.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: -Joshua- on August 06, 2011, 02:56:28 am
I think this might be the aftermath of Tim Langdell: Ever since he put a copyright on the word 'Edge' and started bullying everyone who used 'edge' in his name, companies are very wary of single-word trademarks.

So I don't think the that trademark should be registered at all.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Belisarius on August 06, 2011, 09:53:41 am
When you really want to piss them off then trademark the title "The Elder Trolls" ;7
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Bobboau on August 07, 2011, 09:09:37 pm
the novice scrolls?
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Sushi on August 07, 2011, 10:51:06 pm
http://notch.tumblr.com/post/8519901309/bethesda-are-suing-us-heres-the-full-story
Anyone with experience regarding Swedish trademarking want to weigh in on this?  Because I'm pretty sure Bethesda's trying to ride Minecraft's coattails with negative press.

My understanding is that if when you don't defend your trademarks against potential infringers, you dilute your ability to do so in the future. So this could be seen simply as a way for Bethesda to assert their territory and prove that they are actively defending their trademark (in case a REAL offender ever shows up).
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: deathfun on August 08, 2011, 12:42:51 am
http://notch.tumblr.com/post/8519901309/bethesda-are-suing-us-heres-the-full-story
Anyone with experience regarding Swedish trademarking want to weigh in on this?  Because I'm pretty sure Bethesda's trying to ride Minecraft's coattails with negative press.

My understanding is that if when you don't defend your trademarks against potential infringers, you dilute your ability to do so in the future. So this could be seen simply as a way for Bethesda to assert their territory and prove that they are actively defending their trademark (in case a REAL offender ever shows up).

That's similar to an event that happened with Macrosoft and Microsoft. Macro was perfectly legal, but Microsoft wanted to buy the name simply so people don't confuse the two. This is probably the same sort of case
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Colonol Dekker on August 08, 2011, 03:01:05 am
What happens if you stand up on a rollercoaster?


You " Fall Out"................(TM) :nervous:
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Nuke on August 14, 2011, 12:33:35 am
way i see it, if they dont want to have other companies use their one of the words in their trademark, they should have to by up each and every word in the name separately and pay the legal and application fees that come with them. if they dont their up for grabs. its like tradmarking the word 'a' or 'the' and then telling people they cant use it in any other tradmarks. i dont have no problem with single word trademarks. scrolls != the eldar scrolls, even though it contains a word used in the latter trademark. the subject of a trademark is not the words or images used, but the way a company or product identifies itself, so long as the trademark in its entirety is unique, and noone else has claimed it, it should be up for grabs. of course i dont actually know what the copywrite laws are. but if companies want to mage the guerrilla move to lock down every single letter of their trademark so that noone else may come up with a vagly similar mark, they should have to pay out the nose for it.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Aardwolf on August 15, 2011, 05:19:22 pm
I don't know exactly how the system works, but I'm rooting for Bethesda to lose, based on how the system should work.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: deathfun on August 17, 2011, 11:05:22 am
Notch is awesome
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/112364-Notch-Challenges-Bethesda-to-Lawsuit-Deathmatch
Quote
Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson wants to settle Bethesda's Scrolls trademark lawsuit the old-fashioned way: Quake 3 Team Deathmatch! (And he's serious, by the way.)
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: BloodEagle on August 17, 2011, 02:26:35 pm
I really hope Bethesda accepts, even though they'd purchase ringers.  Something like this NEEDS to happen.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: TrashMan on August 18, 2011, 05:13:18 am
F*** trademarks.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Aardwolf on August 18, 2011, 06:12:53 pm
Hm...

On the one hand, IMO Bethesda ought to drop the suit out of realizing how stupid it is, or lose humiliatingly in court as a result. It would be horrible if they won.

But on the other hand, if they accepted Notch's offer, that would be equivalent to them saying "trademarks are worth as much to us as the outcomes of team deathmatch games"... i.e. nothing. Maybe that was the point?
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Sushi on August 18, 2011, 07:36:18 pm
Hm...

On the one hand, IMO Bethesda ought to drop the suit out of realizing how stupid it is, or lose humiliatingly in court as a result. It would be horrible if they won.

But on the other hand, if they accepted Notch's offer, that would be equivalent to them saying "trademarks are worth as much to us as the outcomes of team deathmatch games"... i.e. nothing. Maybe that was the point?

There's precedent for this sort of shenanigans, apparently...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_air#.22Just_Plane_Smart.22
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: deathfun on August 20, 2011, 03:13:03 am
Quote
Notch admitted his choice of game might have been a poor one. "If it came to a Quake 3 tournament, I have a feeling we just might have to change the name," Notch told Wired.
http://www.joystiq.com/2011/08/19/notch-challenging-bethesda-to-quake-3-duel-might-have-been-a-p/

I actually want to see a video of this going down if it ever does
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: karajorma on August 20, 2011, 03:48:11 am
There's precedent for this sort of shenanigans, apparently...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_air#.22Just_Plane_Smart.22

It's nice to have the people in the PR Dept. occasionally realise that sometimes there are ways for everyone to come out of this sort of situation ahead. :D
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Nuke on August 20, 2011, 11:07:05 am
i dont think a bunch of minecrafters would stand a chance against your more traditional fps players. i mean there is a reason these people play minecraft, they get pewned at dm too easily.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: BloodEagle on August 20, 2011, 04:13:03 pm
i dont think a bunch of minecrafters would stand a chance against your more traditional fps players. i mean there is a reason these people play minecraft, they get pewned at dm too easily.

You forget yourself, sir!
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: headdie on August 20, 2011, 07:05:10 pm
i dont think a bunch of minecrafters would stand a chance against your more traditional fps players. i mean there is a reason these people play minecraft, they get pewned at dm too easily.

You are talking to a former CounterStrike clanner here, and if I had a better net connection I would still be playing
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Ace on August 21, 2011, 06:51:55 pm
(http://cdn.driveredtogo.com/Items/DETG/IllegalUnder21.jpg)
*This* is what Bethesda legal should be going after, not the Minecraft developer...
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Sushi on August 21, 2011, 08:33:37 pm
i dont think a bunch of minecrafters would stand a chance against your more traditional fps players. i mean there is a reason these people play minecraft, they get pewned at dm too easily.

(http://www.somethingimpressive.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/successful-troll-is-successful.jpg)
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: deathfun on October 24, 2011, 12:41:12 am
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Notch-Scrolls-Minecraft-Mojang-Trademark-Infringement,13741.html

"Victory is mine! For now anyhow" - Notch (paraphrase)
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Aardwolf on October 24, 2011, 12:47:38 pm
YAYYYYY
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Ghostavo on October 25, 2011, 03:16:00 pm
I'm not sure that's good news. Too early to tell. Like someone says in the commentary section at Tom's Hardware:

Quote
Quoting jacobdrj
I'm really sorry, but I think this is a rare case where Bethesda had a point. Any time someone said 'Scrolls' I thought they were just people referring to Elder Scrolls in short-hand. I have never played Elder Scrolls, nor do I plan to. But I would never have even looked at this game because I immediately assumed it was 'another Elders Scrolls game.

I also thought Minecraft had something to do with Blizzard, because they have a tendency to add '-craft' to the suffix of their Strategy games... Star-Craft, War-Craft, Mine-Craft...

IMHO, the creator of the Minecraft/Scrolls games is strategically using recognizable pieces of other people's IP in a confusing way.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Aardwolf on October 25, 2011, 04:50:56 pm
Ahahahaha, the person says they were confused by "Scrolls", and they were also confused by "Minecraft"... all that shows is that the person in question is easily confused.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: BloodEagle on October 25, 2011, 05:41:06 pm
He has a point about Minecraft.  When I first heard the name, I thought it had something to do with Blizzard, as well.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: deathfun on October 25, 2011, 06:31:49 pm
I didn't

Then again I had picture representation to go with it
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: sigtau on November 03, 2011, 03:37:33 pm
Of all the -craft names, I didn't think Blizzard would be one to develop a game called "Minecraft" when all their other -craft names seem to derive from what may sound a little more "epic" to some (or at least, have more of an awe-inspiring connotation).

That said, my first thought when I heard the name and knew absolutely nothing of the game was "what's so epic about a mine?"
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Ghostavo on November 03, 2011, 05:06:13 pm
Think of mine as in Mines of Moria... epic enough for you?
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: TrashMan on November 04, 2011, 12:43:21 pm
Bethseda are a bunch of morons.  Confusion? Only morons get confused because of stuff like.. You can't copyright a verb dammit!
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Ghostavo on November 04, 2011, 02:57:14 pm
It's not confusion as in costumers confusing products with each other. It's confusion as in willfully using a popular brand image of another company to indirectly advertise their own products.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Flipside on November 04, 2011, 03:19:51 pm
To be honest, I cannot see the connection, but that doesn't neccesarily mean that Bethesda were wrong to challenge the usage. The problem is that Legal Departments, and particuarly Lawyers that are bought in on a per-case basis, are interest in generating income, whether that be through payouts or court-fees.

When Mojang offered to surrender up the copyright, that should have been it, all that really should have been required between parties was an understanding that the two products were not linked intentionally or unintentionally.

I remember there was a gane called 'Pirates of The Caribbean', which was nothing whatsoever to do with the film and was, in fact, a re-release of an earlier game called 'Sea Dogs 2' that had been re-packaged to cash in on the Film market. That was actually authorised by Universal iirc, but it's that sort of thing that I would call unacceptable use of a name.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Locutus of Borg on November 05, 2011, 12:05:37 pm
I thought modern warfare 3 was trying to latch onto fable's IP because they put an f in the title
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Aardwolf on November 05, 2011, 03:06:12 pm
willfully using a popular brand image of another company to indirectly advertise their own products.

Do not presume to understand their motives.



And since you like taking issue with such innocuous things, here's something for you to get offended by:

(http://www.leescountryrv.com/images/starcraftext.jpg)
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Ghostavo on November 05, 2011, 03:54:18 pm
Because we all know Blizzard sells trailers... There's a vacuum cleaner with the name Freespace too, but that's besides the point; Mojang and Bethesda are in the same business, therefore it's an entirely different matter.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: karajorma on November 06, 2011, 01:45:51 am
They should just pass a law stating that this kind of over-aggressive protectiveness of your trademark can result in you losing it entirely.

If your product is better known by a common word than the actual name of the game there is no need for you to have a trademark on the real name. :p
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: TrashMan on November 07, 2011, 01:09:14 am
It's not confusion as in costumers confusing products with each other. It's confusion as in willfully using a popular brand image of another company to indirectly advertise their own products.

I really don't care. You can't copyright a verb PERIOD.
It's getting redicolous in the case of Elder Scrolls, as apprently no game should use the words "elder" or "scrolls"?

Givne the number of games out there, at this rate will be running out of words realy fast.
I cna certanly understand pople trying to protect their intelectual property, but INDIVIDUAL WORDS are not it.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: BloodEagle on November 07, 2011, 09:56:39 am
The only point Bethesda has here, is that if Notch got the scrolls trademark under the terms he submitted, he could then bring legal pressure to Bethesda.

That being said, the fact that this is even a concern really shines a draconian light on the handling of trademark/copyright/patent systems, worldwide.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Ghostavo on November 07, 2011, 10:11:13 am
It's not confusion as in costumers confusing products with each other. It's confusion as in willfully using a popular brand image of another company to indirectly advertise their own products.

I really don't care. You can't copyright a verb PERIOD.
It's getting redicolous in the case of Elder Scrolls, as apprently no game should use the words "elder" or "scrolls"?

Givne the number of games out there, at this rate will be running out of words realy fast.
I cna certanly understand pople trying to protect their intelectual property, but INDIVIDUAL WORDS are not it.

First, scrolls as used by Mojang and Bethesda is not a verb, it's a noun.
Second, the ones attempting to create a trademark consisting of a single noun is Mojang, not Bethesda.
And third, if they don't protect their trademark, in latter cases the courts might find them null and void because of their lack of protection.

Consider this, if Mojang trademarks "Scrolls" what stops them from using, as BloodEagle suggests, that trademark to sue Bethesda to stop them from using "The Elder Scrolls"?
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: MP-Ryan on November 07, 2011, 10:14:37 am
I really don't care. You can't copyright a verb PERIOD.

You keep spouting about verbs, which makes me wonder, as "elder" is an adjective, and "scrolls" is decidedly a noun.

If you're going to rant on about specific types of words being subject to copyright, try to at least describe the word type correctly.

EDIT:  Ghostavo beat me to it.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Flipside on November 07, 2011, 10:22:20 am
In fairness though, thanks to the Tim Langdell affair there is precedent against that, but it depends which court such a case would be heard in.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Aardwolf on November 07, 2011, 12:42:40 pm
Consider this, if Mojang trademarks "Scrolls" what stops them from using, as BloodEagle suggests, that trademark to sue Bethesda to stop them from using "The Elder Scrolls"?

Maybe a bit crazy to suggest this, but how about "common sense"?

1. The trademark for "The Elder Scrolls" is for the phrase as a whole, and doesn't include trademarks for "Elder", or "Scrolls" (or "The").

2. The trademark for "The Elder Scrolls" came first. A new trademark doesn't undo an existing trademark.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Ghostavo on November 07, 2011, 12:56:47 pm
Maybe a bit crazy to suggest this, but how about "common sense"?

Trademarks and common sense on the same topic is oxymoronic.


And also, notice that while the last time something like this happened (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edge_Games), although it was established that that was the case, the guys with the single word trademarks lost theirs (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/104251-Langdell-Loses-Trademarks-in-Finalized-Judgment).

In fact, I would assume just because the issue came up is reason enough for Bethesda to pursue it.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Aardwolf on November 07, 2011, 01:09:11 pm
Well yeah, the entire system is insane.

But you agree that in a more sane world, "Bethesda had theirs first so Mojang's doesn't supersede it" ought to work?
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Ghostavo on November 07, 2011, 01:12:10 pm
I have no idea how the concept of trademark would work in a sane world to be honest. On one hand you need it to prevent a whole set of issues, on the other hand it causes a whole set of issues...

I've long since given up trying to understand the whole mess.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: karajorma on November 08, 2011, 07:30:51 pm
And also, notice that while the last time something like this happened (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edge_Games), although it was established that that was the case, the guys with the single word trademarks lost theirs (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/104251-Langdell-Loses-Trademarks-in-Finalized-Judgment).

Yeah but the guy was being a dick with that trademark! :p The way he was acting with it basically showed that he deserved to lose it.

Quote
But in a recent email sent to Eurogamer, an unnamed Edge Games rep said that despite the most fervent wishes of the gaming press, Edge was sure to prevail in both cases. "We are completely confident we will win," the rep said. "Isn't it amazing how biased towards Electronic Arts the press is on this? When did EA suddenly become the good guys?"

Well done highlighting what a massive tool you must be! :p



If anything that case should have convinced Mojang that Notch wouldn't be able to be a dick with the trademark for Scrolls. Besides as is pointed out, he did say he was willing to give up the trademark to Scrolls so that's obviously not the issue anyway.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Ghostavo on November 08, 2011, 09:40:43 pm
I'm not really sure we are getting the whole picture regarding Notch or Mojang or whoever willing to give up on the trademark. If that was the case, they would have done so already and would not have to go to court over it.

Also, you don't lose trademarks by being a dick, otherwise, I'm pretty sure most companies wouldn't have trademarks.
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: karajorma on November 08, 2011, 11:15:36 pm
Well he lost it by lying in court about his trademarks in order to win. To be honest he was lucky to avoid a criminal prosecution over the case.

But I would say that in the end he lost it by being a dick. Only a dick would have started an argument which stood a good chance of ending up in court, with as flimsy a case as he had, against a company like EA which has vastly more money and proven history of being dicks themselves. :p
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Scourge of Ages on November 09, 2011, 12:19:20 am
I read an article about this a while ago (may have been mentioned here already).
If I understood properly, it boils down to: If Bethesda (or technically Zenimax) doesn't attempt to defend their trademark now, they won't really be able to later if it's necessary. To them, it's not really about winning or losing, it's the act of defending that is necessary.
Here we go: http://kotaku.com/5847295/mojang-v-bethesda-part-2-the-attorneys-and-notch--pete-weigh-in
Title: Re: Bethesda Softworks vs. Notch
Post by: Aardwolf on November 09, 2011, 04:37:57 pm
Awesome. We've got a system where we are legally obligated to be dicks.