Mojang's Scrolls legal victory explained

Bodes well for Notch and gang.

Today's Scrolls victory for Mojang bodes well for the Swedish Minecraft maker, legal representative Sheridans has explained to Eurogamer.

Was Zenimax, owner of Bethesda, ever to prevent permanent use of the game-title Scrolls, then a temporary ban - an interim injunction - should have been the first step.

But it wasn't; the interim injunction was denied.

"An interim injunction in Sweden is decided on the merits of the case only to the extent that the plaintiff has to show 'probable grounds' for trade mark infringement," explained Alex Chapman from Sheridans, "and it is reasonably expected that the continued use of the mark diminishes the value of the exclusive right to the trade mark.

"That means that the burden of proof on Zenimax should have been lower than with a full and final assessment of the case and it should have been easier for Zenimax to get what it wanted at this stage compared with a full trial."

"The court's decision vindicates the position Mojang has taken and their commitment to stand up for what they believe in - when many would have felt forced to give in."

Alex Chapman, lawyer, Sheridans

What happens next, explained Chapman, will be one of three things. Either Zenimax accepts the interim decision and withdraws its claim. Or, Zenimax continues with the full action, bearing in mind that it has only lost an application for an interim injunction. Or, Zenimax and Bethesda can settle the dispute.

"We will of course have to speak with our client as to what it wants to do but Markus [Persson], Jakob [Porser] and Carl [Manneh] have made no secret of the fact that they are prepared to settle the matter so long as they are able to use the name 'Scrolls' in the title of their game - which is no more than they are entitled to," Chapman went on.

"The court's decision vindicates the position Mojang has taken and their commitment to stand up for what they believe in - when many would have felt forced to give in.

"I think great credit has to go to them for that," he added, "and also to their fans and indie dev community for their support."

Scrolls is a fantasy card-battling (scroll-battling, in this case) game.

"Tear your opponent limb from limb with the might of your summoned armies, lay waste to the defenses with the obliterating power of your siege weapons or open up the very skies and let bolts of lightning shower his minions until only ash remains," the Scrolls website reads. "The road to victory is yours to choose. Obtain the powerful scrolls and decide which ones you will take to battle as you fight to become the mightiest Magician of all."

Sign-ups for Scrolls alpha testing are open now.

What similarities the game will share to the ultra-successful Minecraft remain to be seen.

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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