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Notch's solicitor lays out Bethesda defense

Gamers can distinguish Scrolls from TES.

Gamers are sophisticated enough to be able to easily distinguish between Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls series and Mojang's forthcoming Scrolls game, so say the solicitors representing Markus 'Notch' Persson's studio.

Alex Chapman, head of Interactive Entertainment at London law firm Sheridans, told Eurogamer that it believes the differences between the two titles are such that it's unlikely any potential customer would be confused into thinking Notch's game had anything to do with Bethesda's long-running RPG franchise.

"The question here is whether the relevant consumers are or are likely to be confused into thinking that Mojang's Scrolls game is connected with [Bethesda parent company] ZeniMax's The Elder Scrolls series," explained Chapman.

"In determining the answer the judge will have to take account of a number of factors including the overall impression of the marks and the relative significance of the component words, as well as the level of sophistication of the applicable consumers and the channels through which the applicable products may be sold or marketed.

"In simple terms would consumers buy one thinking it was connected to the other," he continued. "We think not, given the sophistication of consumers of each game type, the types of game and the respective channels of marketing and distribution, amongst other things."

Bethesda announced it was taking legal action against Notch's studio last month, claiming Mojang's as yet unreleased Scrolls project infringes its trademark.

Despite Notch's attempts at reaching an amicable out of court settlement, the Minecraft creator confirmed earlier this week that the case will go in front of a judge.

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Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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