Candy Crush Developer King.Com Gives The Banner Saga Trademark Infringement Notice

Candy Crush developer has given The Banner Saga notice of trademark infringement. The reasoning is too silly for me to quantify.

It has been a busy week for Candy Crush Saga developer  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.

Wait, what? 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 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.

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Published Jan. 22nd 2014
  • Chai Chien Liang
    Not even anywhere in the same genre as far as games go and did they trademark "saga" too?
  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    That's the part that confuses me the most. My best guess is that someone in their legal department is going a bit crazy with wanting to be sure they have their trademark covered, and is maybe forgetting they need to actually have something trademarked to accuse someone of trademark infringement.
  • Amy White
    Former Editor in Chief
    It's like when my dog gets mad at someone for jogging across the street from my house. No, they're not in his territory, but BY GOSH THEY LOOKED AT IT FUNNY AS THEY WENT BY!

  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    The entire trademark and copyright legal system is full of these insipid little issues, all based around not only supporting but encouraging companies to be massive bullies. It really should not be possible for companies to exist whose sole form of income is owning trademarks and suing people for using them, usually without realizing they were trademarked.

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