The law behind trademarks is somewhat of a sticky wicket. Similar can be said about patents, but that’s an entirely different set of loopholes and barrel rolls. In the world of gaming, there is perhaps no more well-known case than that of Tim Langdell, his trademark of the word “edge” and his many attempts to legally hustle various companies. The lengthy history of Langdell is best divulged by Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s coverage of the most recent court case and, by extension, the ChaosEdge blog. But to summarize a bit: Langdell has been legally (and allegedly extralegally) haranguing anyone and everyone that used the word “edge” in any way related to games. Sometimes, as was the case with Mirror’s Edge
from Electronic Arts, he managed to tie up the trademark in such a way as to make sequels and the like a bit tricky for developers, publishers and anyone else involved.
Flash forward to the here and now. Markus “Notch” Persson
, famed developer behind Minecraft
, revealed not all that long ago that the next game from his company, Mojang
, would be a game taking bits from the collectible card and board game genres entitled Scrolls
. If your first response to this announcement was along the lines of, “but wait a darn second, are they making an Elder Scrolls
game or is this some sort newfangled contraption” then you seem to be in good company as that’s what the lawyers from ZeniMax Media
would seem to believe.