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Author Topic: NO "Scrolls" for YOU  (Read 12975 times)
fromhell
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« on: August 05, 2011, 04:13:13 PM »

Bethesda's cracking down on Notch's "Scrolls" due to trademark violation because it might be confused for "Elder Scrolls: Skyrim"

Could OpenArena be in any danger for potentially confusing with "Elder Scrolls: Arena"?




I'm surprised Blizzard didn't whack him earlier for the use of the word "craft" since that's one of the reasons FreeCraft shut down in 2003
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VortexHU
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2011, 06:40:03 PM »

in case you're not joking, IANAL, but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark_infringement, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confusing_similarity.

Cases of this type can be proven by using surveys which show that members of the public who are likely to use the services or goods protected by the trade mark have been confused by it.

Likelihood of confusion is not necessarily measured by actual consumer confusion, though normally one of the elements, but by a series of criteria Courts have established. A prime example is the test announced by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in AMF, Inc v Sleekcraft Boats, 599 F.2d 341 (C.A.9) 1979. The Court there announced eight specific elements to measure likelihood of confusion:

  • Strength of the mark
  • Proximity of the goods
  • Similarity of the marks
  • Evidence of actual confusion
  • Marketing channels used
  • Type of goods and the degree of care likely to be exercised by the purchaser
  • Defendant's intent in selecting the mark
  • Likelihood of expansion of the product lines[1]

  • who still knows about that game? in fpses, id's uses of "arena" are arguably much stronger
  • also closer to q3a, and by intention
  • other games use "arena:" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arena_%28disambiguation%29
  • has anyone but fromhell thought of this?
  • has oa ever been marketed? The Elder Scrolls: Arena is freeware now
  • no purchasing being done in either case
  • oa's intent is to provide q3a-like gameplay w/q3a's engine
  • is oa expanding? Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2011, 08:53:00 PM »

Could OpenArena be in any danger for potentially confusing with "Elder Scrolls: Arena"?

Probably not. The so called 'doctrine of laches' states that a trademark must be enforced within reasonable time after the trademark holder learns about the infringement. I think it's safe to assume Id knows about the existence of OpenArena for years and they haven't filed a complaint yet.
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fromhell
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2011, 10:07:21 PM »

I think it's safe to assume Id knows about the existence of OpenArena for years and they haven't filed a complaint yet.
I've at least seen it mentioned by Quake Live staff before.
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asking when OA3 will be done won't get OA3 done.
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I do not provide technical support either.

new code development on github
fromhell
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2011, 05:34:05 PM »

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/08/08/bethesda-and-notchs-scrolls-off-explained/

I'm convinced. I'm gonna need a new name for this.

My backup plan is to 404 the main page if we get a notice (as if we pulled it forever, could be too attention stunty), but have the board still up to finalize on a name if we haven't by then

this unfortunately would mean i'd have to pull everything from before and try to start fresh on a new name to cut off all association with a trademark violating name. This would also mean a completely new SVN tree (which i've been meaning to do anyway)


Which is a shame, as OpenArena was a great, awesome, punnilicious name. I do want to keep the logo and initials OA though (I don't want to break habitual consistency)... so something O*A* would still have to do.

I moved this out of club nub as this is an important issue
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VortexHU
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2011, 11:50:21 PM »

maybe these will get people thinking. i couldn't do any better after a couple hours' thought.

hmm:
Onerous (but still call it OA)
OpenAggression
OpenAssault
OpenAster
Operation Apophis
Opposition Amassed
Order Aphotic
Osiris Alit
Osiris Arose
Ossified Army
Outright Anarchy
Overt Affray

lol:
OpenArea
OpenAttack
OpenlyAflame
OpenlyArenulous
OverlyAgitated
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2011, 12:38:20 AM »

Changing the OpenArena name would be a shame, IMHO... before doing a such thing, what about trying to write to ID Software (and/or Bethesda) and ask for their permission to use the OpenArena name?
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2011, 01:04:31 AM »

What about OpenParanoïa running over ioCaca3 engine ?
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 01:31:00 AM »

.

(oh fuck, how can I miss "modify" and click "quote" without noticing each time ...)

Allow self-deletion. Current permissions won't prevent people to blank their own posts if they really want to.
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andrewj
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2011, 03:02:22 AM »

There is no need to change the name right now.

In the unlikely event that id software (or whoever owns them) suddenly start making a stink about the name, THEN change the name.

The "Scrolls" case is special I think, since it can be considered an abbreviation for "Elder Scrolls" and hence there is a real potential for confusion in the gaming market.

But "Open Arena" is much more distinct from "Quake 3 Arena".  Neither of these have ever been abbreviated to just "Arena" (the common abbreviation for the latter is just "Quake 3").  Plus I bet there are numerous commercial titles (and FOSS stuff) using "Arena" in their name.

Finally, trademarks need to be actively enforced and so far (afaik) nobody has actually complained about this project, a project which is very well known and very easy to find via google.  They cannot just allow your usage of the name "Open Arena" for many years and then suddenly decide to pursue legal action, that can work for patents but not trademarks.

But I'm no lawyer and I know that fighting any kind of claim would be a major pain in the ass with no guarantee of success.  Hence I say only change the name if a bunch of lawyer clones attack.
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2011, 03:47:25 AM »


I'm still fairly convinced you don't.  Firstly Elder Scrolls: Arena is a DOS game from 1994 and Bethesda has been giving it away for free since 2004, so it makes very little sense for them to enforce any eventual trademark rights on the "Arena" part of the name (as opposed to the "Scrolls" part that's still in active use). Second and most important, Bethesda would have to enforce its "Elder Scrolls: Arena" trademark against Id too for marketing "Quake III: Arena", which would mean shooting itself in the foot very painfully.

Edit:
Also, there is no reason to change names preemptively. You can only be sued for damages after you've been summoned to stop infringing on the trademark but refused or failed to do so.
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2011, 05:10:21 AM »

Let's name it OpenArenaScrolls then.
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2011, 05:45:15 AM »

If the name has to be changed I like Open Aggression for some reason that just sounds like the coolest name on VortexHu ‘s list.
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VortexHU
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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2011, 07:29:22 AM »

There is no need to change the name right now.

In the unlikely event that id software (or whoever owns them) suddenly start making a stink about the name, THEN change the name.

[...]

Hence I say only change the name if a bunch of lawyer clones attack.

Also, there is no reason to change names preemptively. You can only be sued for damages after you've been summoned to stop infringing on the trademark but refused or failed to do so.

i would likely use these strategies, but consulting a real lawyer might be appropriate before (not) taking action. while fromhell might not have to change the name now, having an alternative name ready would speed recovery from this sort of blow were it to occur (we wouldn't have to frantically discuss it at that point).

btw nobody mentions "OpenAggression" on google except a couple player names. openarena.ws/board/index.php?action=recent is the top result now. Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2011, 10:43:58 AM »

Lets not put more into it than we need to.

Notch are registering Scrolls as a trademark and Bethesda are required by law to challenge that.

Bethesda will likely loose but by showing interest they will not loose the right to "The Elder Scrolls".

Trademark violations are not like there copyright violation. If someone have broken my copyright, I can choose not to care.

This is also why OpenArena has gone to such lengths to prevent referring to "Quake" in any names or advertising.

It would be too late to object to the name "OpenArena" by now.
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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2011, 04:34:18 PM »

I thought leilelol was making a joke post.  Nobody owns the rights to generic names. Who owns the rights to the Open? Bethesda can't claim any game that has Arena in its title as infringing their IP's. 
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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2011, 04:35:55 PM »

Bethesda's cracking down on Notch's "Scrolls" due to trademark violation because it might be confused for "Elder Scrolls: Skyrim"

Could OpenArena be in any danger for potentially confusing with "Elder Scrolls: Arena"?


I'm surprised Blizzard didn't whack him earlier for the use of the word "craft" since that's one of the reasons FreeCraft shut down in 2003

I think freecraft was shutdown because it was letting people connect to warcraft servers without having a purchased warcraft copy, not because of the name itself.
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fromhell
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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2011, 05:49:17 PM »

Joke? I wish I were joking.

I'm not renaming yet, but in the rare event that we are ever hit by one just for "Arena" and the whole potentially confusable products thing, I want to have a backup plan.

Freecraft was hit for two reasons IIRC, the *craft name and that "gameplay is too similar to Warcraft II's rules".  Though the FCMP although has different archetypes filling in the roles (instead of orc peons it's satyr peons), it has VERY BLATANTLY WARCRAFTY voices. The lines said are even exactly the same, EVEN THE TROLLS!

There was a Stratagus/Wargus media project on Sourceforge that ports FCMP material to Wargus, but whoever ran it decided to 'fuck it' and upload copyrighted Warcraft II material to it instead, licensed as GPL. I forgot the name of the project, but I think it's still rotting on SF.NET unscathed under the radar. It made me facepalm heavily.

Also, don't confuse Freecraft's troubles with Bnetd. That's a DMCA violation for the latter.
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asking when OA3 will be done won't get OA3 done.
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« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2011, 01:12:31 AM »

Nobody owns the rights to generic names.

Really? Try publishing some software with the word 'Windows' in the title then.

The real point IMHO is that Bethesda can't fight the 'OpenArena' name as a trademark violation to 'Elder Scrolls: Arena' without fighting the 'Quake III Arena' name also. Since they didn't do that years ago, any trademark claim on the 'Arena' name should be null and void by now.
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« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2011, 04:16:34 AM »

Nobody owns the rights to generic names.
Maybe not copyright... but trademark I think is appliable.

Again, I think "OpenArena" name should be "safe" enough... If we want to foresee a "B plan" with an alternate name with the same initials, ok... but just for emergency... there is no need to change the name at the moment, and probably neither in the future.
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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2011, 12:42:57 PM »

Well, apparently Notch has a great way to settle this :

http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/606524-minecraft/60053223

A Quake 3 match between them, whose outcome determines whether the name is changed.  Maybe the OA team could do that too!
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« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2011, 04:03:18 PM »

Well, apparently Notch has a great way to settle this :

http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/606524-minecraft/60053223

Awesome Cool

20 minutes 1 vs 1 doesn't sound like Notch has played much tournament though. 20 minutes 1 vs 1 is mentally exhausting, you're prone to lapses of concentration (generally by losing track of item timings) after playing about 15 minutes nonstop.
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fromhell
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« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2011, 04:44:14 PM »

Good thing it's a Quake 3 match (note the lack of the word "Arena" here), because I'd hate to see them try a OA match.
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asking when OA3 will be done won't get OA3 done.
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I do not provide technical support either.

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Gig
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« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2011, 05:19:29 PM »

It  seems that link simply mentions "quake", not specifying  the exact game (q3? ql? Or even Q1?)...
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« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2011, 12:27:26 AM »

It  seems that link simply mentions "quake", not specifying  the exact game (q3? ql? Or even Q1?)...

There is a link posted in that gamefaqs topic:
http://www.oxm.co.uk/32516/news/minecraft-creator-challenges-skyrim-dev-to-quake-duel-over-scrolls-lawsuit/

Quote from: Notch
I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3. Three of our best warriors against three of your best warriors. We select one level, you select the other, we randomize the order. 20 minute matches, highest total frag count per team across both levels wins.

If we win, you drop the lawsuit.

If you win, we will change the name of Scrolls to something you're fine with.

Hmmm, after rereading, this doesn't sound like duel at all. More like a regular TDM.
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