Trial by combat!

Notch, founder of Minecraft asked for “Trial by Combat” in response to a recent lawsuit by Bethesda over the naming of their most recent project, “Scrolls”.  They feel it infringes on the name of their “Elder Scrolls” game.

Check out Notch’s recent blog post to see for yourself:

http://notch.tumblr.com/post/9038258448/hey-bethesda-lets-settle-this

I suppose this in itself isn’t that exciting, but it got me wondering,  and I did a bit of digging.  Check out these excerpts from wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_by_combat#United_States

“Because the British did not abolish wager by battle until Parliament’s 1819 response to Ashford v Thornton(1818), and because no court in post-independence United States has addressed the issue, the question of whether trial by combat remains a valid American alternative to civil action remains open, at least in theory.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Airlines#.22Just_Plane_Smart.22

“Shortly after Southwest started using the “Just Plane Smart” motto, Stevens Aviation, who had been using “Plane Smart” for their motto, threatened a trademark lawsuit.

Instead of a lawsuit, the CEOs for both companies staged an arm wrestling match. Held at the now demolished Dallas Sportatorium (the famed wrestling facility) and set for two out of three rounds, the loser of each round was to pay $5,000 to the charity of their choice, with the winner gaining the use of the trademarked phrase. A promotional video was created showing the CEOs “training” for the bout (with CEO Herb Kelleher being helped up during a sit up where a cigarette and glass of whiskey (Wild Turkey 101) was waiting) and distributed among the employees and as a video press release along with the video of the match itself. Herb Kelleher lost the match for Southwest, with Stevens Aviation winning the rights to the phrase. Kurt Herwald, CEO of Stevens Aviation, immediately granted the use of “Just Plane Smart” to Southwest Airlines. The net result was both companies having use of the trademark, $15,000 going to charity and good publicity for both companies.”

Imagine if this became more popular?

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