Scrolls Settlement

Am I the only one who doesn’t think this settlement is good news? GamaSutra has a short article today pointing out the problem with this agreement, but in my opinion the problem is more fundamental than that: Zenimax never had any right to the Scrolls trademark.

Zenimax were obviously engaging in a bit of trademark trolling akin to the antics of Tim Langdell, and the fact that Mojang caved to such ridiculous claims strikes me as a step backward. It only lends legitimacy to the unscrupulous exploitation of trademark laws for corporate gain, completely undermining the intended purpose of the system. The whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I’m surprised I haven’t seen this opinion expressed on any gaming news sites I follow, some of which routinely mix in opinions with news.

People are saying both parties “win” or “come out on top” with this settlement, and that simply isn’t true. Mojang got screwed, apparently willingly, and all small companies and individuals hoping to make use of the trademark system to protect them will pay for it as well. Good luck to the indie developer who eventually tries to make a game called Elder.

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