Mojang will be able to keep the “Scrolls” name for their upcoming game, at least for now. Notch tweeted this morning that although they won the interim injunction, “ZeniMax/Bethesda can still appeal the ruling, but I’m very happy. :D”
Daniel Kaplan posted a link to the verdict through Twitter (it’s in Swedish).
Bethesda may have been better off taking up Notch’s offer to settle the whole thing through a Quake 3 deathmatch. Notch stated on his blog back in August, “Remember that scene in Game of Thrones where Tyrion chose a trial by battle in the Eyrie? Well, let’s do that instead!”
He added, “I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3. Three of our best warriors against three of your best warriors. We select one level, you select the other, we randomize the order. 20 minute matches, highest total frag count per team across both levels wins. If we win, you drop the lawsuit. If you win, we will change the name of Scrolls to something you’re fine with.”
Bethesda did not take the offer. They say that Notch is violating their “Elder Scrolls” trademark by calling his new game “Scrolls.” Notch had posted the letter from Bethesda’s lawyers to his blog, but it doesn’t seem to be showing up.
Among the arguments Notch made early on were that “Elder Scrolls” games are not typically identified by the “Elder Scolls” name, and users typically refer to each game in the franchise by its specific name, such as “Morrowind” or “Skyrim.” He also noted his game, “Scrolls,” has little in common with the “Elder Scrolls” games, aside from the fantasy setting—it’s a digital card game, after all, while “Elder Scrolls” are open-world adventure games.