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Mojang Wins Injunction In Bethesda  Scrolls  Case, Appeal 'Within Three Weeks'

Mojang Wins Injunction In Bethesda Scrolls Case, Appeal 'Within Three Weeks'

October 18, 2011 | By Mike Rose

Minecraft developer Mojang revealed today that it has won an interim injunction against publisher Bethesda Softworks in the Scrolls trademark case, meaning the indie company can continue to use the Scrolls title for its upcoming game.

Developer Markus Persson said on his Twitter feed, "We won the interim injunction! We can keep using the name Scrolls. ZeniMax/Bethesda can still appeal the ruling, but I'm very happy."

Daniel Kaplan, Mojang business developer, added to Gamasutra, "We are very happy with the verdict."

He did, however, note that Bethesda can still appeal against the verdict. Kaplan told Gamasutra that the deadline for the appeal is "within three weeks."

Kaplan explained that Mojang's lawyers are currently writing an English summary of the Swedish injunction papers.

Mojang first revealed Scrolls, its second game, back in March as a digital card game / board game mash-up.

Bethesda Softworks later sent a letter to the developer accusing it of infringing on Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls trademark. A month later, it went ahead with the complaint, and filed an infringement claim.

[UPDATE: Kaplan has sent over an English summary of the injunction documents to Gamasutra. It reads:

"The Court in this decision starts by analyzing the goods at hand, finding first that there are significant differences between the games in The Elder Scrolls series and the game Scrolls, and that channels of distribution will be different (Scrolls will only be sold by Mojang on its websites and"

"Nevertheless, the Court finds that there are similarities as well - both games/series taking place in a fantasy setting, and that consumers appear to be somewhat overlapping, and that as a consequence, there is a relatively high degree of similarity of goods."

"The Court then goes on to discuss the consumers of these kinds of games. ZeniMax's opinion is that it is the general public, which holds no particular awareness of differences between various titles and games."

"Mojang on the contrary, has argued that computer and video gamers constitute a well defined (albeit large) group which is very much aware of differences between various games and titles. The Court finds mostly with Mojang, agreeing that the relevant consumers are not the general public, and that their awareness is higher than normal."

"On similarity of The Elder Scrolls and Scrolls, the Court states that there is a certain degree of similarity. However, as Mojang has argued, scrolls feature frequently in titles and as content in fantasy settings, and in particular in fantasy games."

"The word 'scrolls' therefore is considered to be common and therefore less distinctive and as a consequence less important. The distinctiveness of The Elder Scrolls is therefore to a great extent considered dependent on use of the trademark as a whole, meaning that the risk of confusion with Scrolls is relatively low. The Court therefore, in its overall assessment, does not consider there to be shown probable grounds for trademark infringement."

"The decision can be appealed within three weeks. The Court of Appeal will then have to grant leave to appeal in order for the decision to be tried on appeal. Otherwise the main proceedings will continue. Such usually take over a year, and may take up to two years."

"The decision is very good for Mojang since the Court does not consider Scrolls to infringe The Elder Scrolls, even taking into account the relatively low requirement of probable grounds."]

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