Bethesda Softworks are suing the creators of a game called "Mineworks" over the title of thier new game. As Markus Persson explains on his blog, Bethesda, the software company behind the "Fallout" and "Morrowind" series, have taken exception to Mr Persson's plan to call his new game "Scrolls", which they say conflicts with their existing trademark "The Elder Scrolls".
So can you really own the rights to all the individual words used in a trademark? If Bethesda's lawyers are to believed, then presumably "The" and "Elder" are also out of bounds. That's going to cause a few problems, not least for Bethesda, who can't be the first company to trademark a title containing the word "The". What's going to happen if all media companies start suing each other in cases like this? Could I trademark the titles of my books? (Would I want to?) What about trademarking the entire texts?
Perhaps Bethesda's lawyers are touchy because the company has another "Elder Scrolls" game in development. Also in development is a game called "Rage". That's "Rage" - one word - and is presumably not based on the "Streets of Rage" trademark by Sega.