ZeniMax has been hit with a dispute after applying to trademark the word “Redfall.”
That comes from author Jay Falconer, who believes ZeniMax is infringing on the title of his Redfall series of science fiction novels.
ZeniMax applied for the Redfall trademark in September 2018 and so far it has seemingly only been successfully registered with World Intellectual Property Office. It is still pending with the respective US and Canadian IP bodies, USPTO and CIPO.
It’s very possible the next in Bethesda’s long-running series would be titled The Elder Scrolls: Redfall and ZeniMax was looking to secure the trademark as soon as possible. While the delay may disappoint some, it’s not like the next Elder Scrolls was due out anytime soon anyway.
All this being said, there's no sign that this relates to The Elder Scroll IP, let alone the forthcoming sixth numbered entry. If this is for the fantasy RPG franchise, it might even be for on-going MMO The Elder Scrolls Online.
According to Falconer, lawyers representing him and his publisher Bookbreeze.com attempted to discuss a licensing deal with Zenimax but were met with silence.
“My lawyers made attempts to contact gaming company to work out a simple licensing deal for them to use my Redfall name,” said Falconer, in a response on Twitter to the GamesRadar article.
“They ignored me every time. Shame. Left me no choice. All could have been avoided. Just call my attorneys back.”
It’s hard to feel sympathy for Zenimax over the dispute. The company hasn’t been shy in flexing its legal muscles on smaller developers, forcing Praey for the Gods to change its name to avoid confusion with Arkane’s Prey. It had also argued that Mojang’s short-lived card-game Scrolls infringed on Bethesda’s fantasy RPG trademark.