When Minecraft's creator Markus "Notch" Persson first heard from Bethesda's lawyers in August 2011, he offered to add a subtitle to his game or even flat-out drop the trademark, but Bethesda refused the offer and went on with the lawsuit anyway. Notch then proposed to settle the matter by playing a Quake 3 deathmatch (a Bethesda game -- an obvious show of good faith), but the other side didn't even acknowledge the offer. Clearly, Bethesda's lawyers weren't in a very friendly mood.
"And then we're going after The Legend of Zelda, for using the letters 'THE' and 'ELD'."
However, the part of Bethesda that actually makes the games feels differently ... and apparently went so far as to include a righteous dig at their own corporate legal department in Skyrim. At the top of a mountain called the Throat of the World, players can find something called the Notched Pickaxe, a pretty transparent reference to both the creator of Minecraft and the primary tool you use in the game. While the lawyers were doing everything possible to distance the games, the programmers actually brought them closer together.
If you turn it upside-down, it kinda looks like a middle finger, too.
It turns out that Skyrim's creator Todd Howard is still chums with Notch, who acknowledged the shout-out, tweeting: "Adding the Toddhowared Pickaxe to Minecraft." It seems that not even corporate law shenanigans can keep a good game-design bromance down.