Candy Crush Developer King.Com Gives The Banner Saga Trademark Infringement Notice
It has been a busy week for Candy Crush Saga developer King.com. It was news at the start of the week when the dev trademarked the word 'candy' as pertains to video gaming, giving them the right to challenge other games based on the use of the word in their titles and promotional material. Concern was raised when the company immediately began launching trademark infringement lawsuits, but they assured everyone they would be responsible with their newly acquired legal rights. Now they have opened a new suit against The Banner Saga.
King.com has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Stoic, the company behind The Banner Saga. They are alleging that the use of the word 'saga' in the title infringes upon their trademarked property by creating confusion between their game and the various games they own bearing the word.
Maybe I am missing something, but I cannot see how King.com thinks it has a case against Stoic based upon its trademark of the word 'candy'. Thousands of people who play Candy Crush do not actually even consciously realize the word 'saga' is even a part of the title, making claims of confusion confusing in themselves. Despite the company's earlier assurances, this appears at first glance to be little more than another company trying to pick on a smaller one in reaction to that smaller company achieving some success.
Clearly this is easily confused with the kickstarted tactical RPG
In their defense...
It is true that a company must be aggressive about protecting their trademark in the United States. Given my admittedly shaky legal understanding of the complex laws involved, I would assume any instance where someone could be argued to be infringing trademark, even where they clearly aren't by common sense standards, can be used as a defense by someone who is blatantly infringing. They can claim they are being singled out and that the trademark is not being defended for its own sake, but merely to pursue a grudge, which can result in the trademark being lost altogether. The company does insist they are only filing this suit specifically to protect the trademark itself.
Time will tell how The Banner Saga and Candy Crush Saga play this out. Hopefully saner minds will win out and this really is just a case of King having to act frivolously purely for the sake of some very silly legal technicalities.