‘Candy Crush’ Makers Target ‘The Banner Saga’ Over Title

Jan 21, 2014 by  

Banner Saga Candy Crush Trademark

We thought that King.com, the makers of runaway success mobile game Candy Crush Saga had already delivered enough confusion today, filing a trademark over the word “candy” in an effort to protect their product from imitators and copycats. The idea of owning a trademark over such a common word raised eyebrows, but the company has taken yet another step, and one sure to raise hackles of many throughout the gaming industry.

Apparently, King has filed a “Notice of Opposition” with the US Patent and Trademark Office against the makers of The Banner Saga, again citing potential confusion and infringement over the use of the word “saga.” That’s right: the developer of a candy-themed Bejeweled clone is taking legal action against a viking-themed, hand-illustrated role-playing game for being too similar.

It isn’t the first time that games publishers have stepped beyond the realm of common sense for the sake of money, as many will recall the dispute between Minecraft developer Mojang and Zenimax over the use of the word “scrolls” (although there turned out to be more to that story than first appeared).

The most recent legal action was noted by Kotaku, issued by King against Stoic – the studio behind the stellar RPG that recently became a perfect showcase for crowd-funded games (read our review). To get a sense of just what the Candy Crush makers are claiming, here’s a brief excerpt of the case being made:

Candy Crush Banner Saga Trademark Suit

Regardless of how ‘casual’ or ‘hardcore’ gamers may view Candy Crush, there was something to be said for their previous trademark on the word “candy”; a quick look through iOS, Android or any online games marketplace will yield results featuring any number of knock-offs, all boasting either names or artwork designed to deceive consumers into believing they are somehow related to the mobile sensation.

But looking over the fact that the game is often referred to simply as “Candy Crush,” dropping the “saga” suffix altogether, the claims being made by King stretch credibility. For those in need of a reminder, below is a screenshot of Stoic’s Banner Saga:

The Banner Saga - Dialogue options

The idea that Stoic’s trademark of the name “The Banner Saga” should be rejected due to consumers being potentially fooled into thinking it is a Candy Crush tie-in is a stretch to begin with, and raises the question of just how many other developers and publishers will be targeted by King next.

It’s hard to believe that King’s case will prove solid – in which case Stoic would be forced to re-title their saga as some other word for “narrative” – so it seems like King’s attorneys may be the ones who come out on top. Nevertheless, we’ll keep you posted as the situation develops.

For now, what do you make of King’s motion? Do you think they have a case, or is this overreaching, and blocking a studio that has nothing to do with Candy Crush in the first place? Sound off in the comments.

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The Banner Saga is available now for $24.99 on Steam.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: Kotaku

10 Comments

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  1. Uh oh, the Star Wars Saga is in trouble.

    • And the Twilight Saga!

      • And the God of War Saga!

        • I think candy crush misused the term ‘saga’. is there even a story in candy crush? we should sue for the misuse of Saga in candy crush saga.

  2. Never cared for the stupidity of Candy Crush to begin with, in fact, I had no idea candy crush had the word “saga” in its name which is saying how ridiculous this case is lol.

  3. As if they could even consider this a case. Might as well just forbid companies from using anything to title their products.

  4. Just greedy filthy company trying to stinge everything they can out of everyone else.

    F***ing disgusting.

    Thats worse then EA… and thats saying something

  5. WOW, this guy just wants everyone’s money… What a douche, I hope he gets hit by a bus tomorrow, or tonight if possible…

    • Amen.

  6. SaGa Frontier came out way before either one.

    You telling me SquarEnix has a right to file against Anything with the word “Saga” in it because reasons?

    Or Marvel to whip paper at people because “Banner” was used, and the character of Bruce Banner will get angry, or something?

    God forbid, someone gets pissed about “The”. How about the makers of Crush Soda sue King into oblivion?

    Oh s***! Now Zenimax is gonna take me to court for using a trademarked word!

    Petty penny-pinching f***s: When will it stop? If not now, then when? Grow the hell up

    PS: Candy Crush Saga sucks

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