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Minecraft developers were creating a new game called Scrolls, which Bethesda believed to be a little too similar to their own blockbuster video game franchise, The Elder Scrolls.
The suit garnered attention when Minecraft developer Markus "Notch" Persson's challenged Bethesda to a Quake 3 duel. If Bethesda won, Notch promised to change the name of Scrolls to anything that Bethesda would sign off on.
But apparently there's no love lost between the two dueling game companies. In fact, Bethesda's recent Skyrim game (which is a continuation of The Elder Scrolls) seems to pay homage to Minecraft.
And it's not like the Minecraft developers are crying copyright infringement.
Specifically, one of the "tools" a character in Skyrim can equip is something called a "Notched Pickaxe," which resembles the main tool used in Minecraft.
Let's put our trademark and copyright thinking caps on. Under intellectual property laws, is a name like Scrolls infringing on The Elder Scrolls? And in that same vein, what about the "Notched Pickaxe" -- is this infringing on any of Minecraft's properties?
There's a lot more to be said about the realm of video game intellectual property. Like any copyright-able work, courts will likely have to look at multiple aspects of the game before rendering a decision. And for attorneys with an inner geek streak, following the Bethesda/Minecraft legal battle might be worthwhile.