King Trying to Crush The Banner Saga

Yesterday came the news about King, developers of popular game Candy Crush Saga trademarking the word ‘Candy’ and issuing threats to any other developer using the word in their game titles.

The trademark application was spotted by Gamasutra and it has been reported that Apple has already started serving notifications to several rival apps requesting a change of name, although some of these are clones of King’s successful title, many others have been caught up such as All Candy Casino Slots.

It now appears that not only have they trademarked ‘Candy’ but also ‘Saga’ and have filed against Stoic Studio’s recently released The Banner Saga.

A Notice of Opposition has been filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office on behalf of King, reading “The Banner Saga mark is confusingly and deceptively similar to Opposer’s previously used Saga Marks.”

“The use and registration by Applicant of the mark The Banner Saga for Applicant’s goods is likely to cause confusion or to cause mistake or deception in the trade, and among purchasers and potential purchasers, with Opposer’s Saga Marks, again resulting in damage to Opposer.”

The Banner Saga’s dissimilarity to Candy Crush is not mentioned as a turn based strategy game featuring Vikings on PC.

King responded by telling IGN “King has not and is not trying to stop Banner Saga from using its name. We do not have any concerns that Banner Saga is trying build on our brand or our content. However, like any prudent company, we need to take all appropriate steps to protect our IP, both now and in the future.”

“In this case, that means preserving our ability to enforce our rights in cases where other developers may try to use the Saga mark in a way which infringes our IP rights and causes player confusion. If we had not opposed Banner Saga’s trade mark application, it would be much easier for real copy cats to argue that their use of ‘Saga’ was legitimate.” They continue.

“This is an important issue for King because we already have a series of games where ‘Saga’ is key to the brand which our players associate with a King game; Candy Crush Saga, Bubble Witch Saga, Pet Rescue Saga, Farm Heroes Saga and so on. All of these titles have already faced substantive trademark and copyright issues with clones.” It concludes.