Bethesda parent company ZeniMax settles a dispute over the "Redfall" trademark, which is a name that many expect the companies to use for The Elder Scrolls 6. ZeniMax had been in the dispute with BookBreeze.com, the publisher of Jay J. Falconer's Redfall series of books.
ZeniMax has confirmed that it has settled the Redfall trademark dispute with BookBreeze.com. Redfall series author Falconer had reached out to ZeniMax to try and solve the issue but after his messages were ignored, Falconer asked BookBreeze to act. In a brief statement, the companies say that "ZeniMax Media Inc. and Bookbreeze.com are pleased to announce that they have amicably resolved a pending trademark dispute related to the Redfall trademark."
The settlement between the two companies is also described as "mutually beneficial." The terms of the agreement are "confidential," says the statement and so it's unclear whether ZeniMax will just have to pay Falconer and BookBreeze for the use of the word or something else. However, the companies feel that they, as well as the fans of the Redfall books and of The Elder Scrolls 6, will be happy with the outcome.
The settlement means that The Elder Scrolls 6 won't have to be delayed, or have its name changed, over a trademark dispute. If the trademark dispute had kept going, ZeniMax and Bethesda wouldn't have been able to use the term "Redfall" in its marketing until summer 2020. Redfall may be the location of The Elder Scrolls 6 and so the word could be a major part of the game's marketing. It is probably too late to change the location now, so it would have been very difficult for ZeniMax and Bethesda to get around that.
The Elder Scrolls 6 may not be in production just yet as Starfield will release before it, but video game marketing campaigns can start very early. Not being able to market the game for another year may have been a real issue for the two companies. If the word Redfall wasn't so important then ZeniMax wouldn't have filed for the trademark so far ahead of the game's release.
With the issue now resolved, ZeniMax and Bethesda can do as they wish with The Elder Scrolls 6 marketing. When the first Elder Scrolls 6 teaser was shown at E3 2018, it didn't offer up an official name for the game other than The Elder Scrolls 6, and it didn't offer any big details about its location. However, now that there is no risk of book authors coming after them, ZeniMax and Bethesda can start marketing The Elder Scrolls 6 as a Redfall game as soon as they like.