Notch contacted me via Twitter to report that my previous story was in error on two counts.
First, I had mistakenly written “patent” instead of trademark. I plea simple error made at 2am on that one.
Second, Notch claims Mojang did not “ignore” the Cease and Desist letter they received from Zenimax. He claims his company offered to change the name of their game to “Scrolls: somethingsomethingsomething” and to drop their trademark application entirely but that Zenimax decided to sue anyway.
I’ve edited the story below to reflect the corrections.
Regarding the second, in the context of protecting the Zenimax trademark on “Elder Scrolls” I don’t see a functional difference between Mojang’s game being called “Scrolls” or “Scrolls: somethingsomethingsomething” in so far as the effect on Zenimax’s trademark, but, ultimately, that’s for the courts to decide.
Still, if Mojang did offer to make a change and/or drop their application it might suggest there was some willingness on their part to work with Zeni to reach an agreement. That Zeni would have proceeded to court anyway suggests there may be another side to this. I will continue to update as the truth becomes clearer.
Ultimately, however, now that this dispute has entered into the “he said – he said” phase, a court hearing would appear to be inevitable.