Zenimax, the parent company of Bethesda, has issued a copyright infringement notice to the developer of Dragon Shout, an iOS map app for Skyrim. However, Apple is not forcing the app to be removed, according to iOS gaming news source Touch Arcade.
Zenimax didn't specify what the app is specifically violating, developer Blalock said to Touch Arcade in an email. Blalock has not yet received a C&D and has emailed Zenimax several times for clarification on the matter.
I did my best to ensure the app was not violating anything, Blalock said to the Apple-gaming website. I looked up US trademarks and copyrights for 'Dragon Shout' and at the time there wasn't any. I had the map hand drawn. I intentionally didn't use any graphics or wording that would possibly be owned by Bethesda. So, I'm still not sure what they say the app violates.
The app is described as an indie 'Skyrim' app for your adventures, according to the iOS store's description. The downloadable app can help players locate beneficial gameplay landmarks, such as an epic dragon battleground and where to sell dragon scales for the best price.
Use Dragon Shout App to mark your greatest battles, how you tackled quests, where you found unique items, and more, reads the app's official page.
In April, Zenimax filed a trademark for the term Fus Ro Dah, which is a dragon shout used to unleash a powerful shockwave attack in the game. Some fans speculated that this would somehow intertwine with the new DLC that Bethesda recently announced, which will be called Dawnguard. However, the company recently unveiled Skyrim connectivity for the Kinect, in which dragon shouts play a big role.
This also isn't the first time Bethesda has been protective of its IPs. Last year the company sent Minecraft creator Markus Notch Persson a legal note claiming that the name of his new game infringes on its trademark, according to ComputerAndVideoGames.com.
Just got a letter from Bethesda's [sic] lawyers. They claim 'Scrolls' infringes on their trademark and everyone will confuse it with 'Skyrim,' he posted on Twitter in August of 2011.
Notch told Wired that it's a bogus claim and if we're going to court, I will fight for this for as long as it takes.
He also noted on Twitter that I still <3 Bethesda. This is hopefully just lawyers being lawyers, CVG reported.
There has been no official word on the legal action that will be taken against Blalock, but as of now the app still remains in the iOS app store. And now, the app is said to be even freer, according to Touch Arcade. In version 1.5, the social add-on includes database searching, marker sharing and chat, and is available free of charge.