22
Jan
uspto-logo

Candy Crush Saga has three words in the title, but game developer King only got a trademark approved for the first one. That doesn't mean, however, that the second two are fair game. It turns out a few weeks ago King filed a Notice of Opposition with the USPTO regarding someone else's trademark request. The application in question was for The Banner Saga, a turn-based PC RPG. King objects because it includes the word 'saga.' Yes, seriously.

the-banner-saga-walkthrough

It's important to note that the development house behind The Banner Saga (Stoic) is not seeking a trademark simply on the word 'saga,' but the entire name of its game. King says that because it already has several trademarks that include the word saga, Stoic's trademark should be denied. This would effectively force the developers to change the name of the game. King is taking advantage of the opposition period to try and block this trademark – it's the same opportunity other developers will have as soon as King's candy trademark is published.

King has trademarks on the full names of its titles like 'Bubble Witch Saga' and 'Candy Crush Saga.' Stoic is really just seeking that same protection for its game. Although, King is not claiming that it owns 'saga' in the same way it does 'candy,' but it is essentially taking the position that no other games should be trademarked if they include the word 'saga.'

2014-01-21 23_21_27-King.com - Android Apps on Google Play

It is generally agreed that unique terms like 'The Banner Saga' or 'Candy Crush Saga' are different than suggestive ones like just 'saga.' It would be very difficult to make the claim that you came up with the whole term Candy Crush Saga without knowing about the existing game, but that's what makes it easier to obtain and enforce as a trademark.

Even though this situation has some fundamental differences when compared to the candy trademark, they both involve King jealously guarding single words to reinforce its brand. This isn't necessarily about the trademark system being broken like copyright law is – trademarks are usually enforced in a more narrow manner. Problems arise when the trademark owner is particularly litigious and has deep pockets. King's behavior thus far isn't encouraging.

[Kotaku, USPTO (PDF)]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

  • Jerish Brown

    Fuck these guys. What they're doing is so bullshit.

    • Ryan Stewart

      They are but the real issue is our patent system. The fact that you can patent "pie in the sky" dreams, single words used everywhere and general shapes like a rounded rectangle.

      • sweenish

        Trademark is different, per the article.

        • numpty

          You're right of course, but the principle still applies. With the current trademark system, King are perfectly entitled to do what they're doing, and everyone else is perfectly entitled to follow the procedure to object.

          • Corey Hammond

            Actually they aren't. Stoic isn't taking anything from King, they are trying to name their game and King is literally saying, "we don't want you using the word saga."

          • sweenish

            Which is a trademark thing, which is different from patents. Per the article.

            Mojang's Scrolls is still called Scrolls, is it not? Apple Corp. still exists, right?

  • RarestName

    Good thing I hacked the shit out of their game.

  • ProductFRED

    Go to hell, King. Seriously, f*ck you.

    • thartist

      I just wish these f*cks could be back-sued for harassment

    • numpty

      Shouldn't you be aiming your ire at the people who are trying to trademark "Saga"? That's what King are trying to prevent here, and you're presumably quite happy that people will probably try to prevent King themselves from trademarking "Candy".

      • USSENTERNCC1701E

        Reread the article. They aren't trying to trademark "saga," they are trying to trademark "the Banner Saga." King is trying to fight them only on the grounds of the single word "saga."

      • Kernschatten

        You need to read the article again. King is trying to prevent anyone from getting a trademark for any game title that includes the word "Saga".

      • ProductFRED

        Do you even know what the hell you're talking about? Why should they be able to trademark either? Next thing you know, you're defending them for trying to trademark "the".

      • RantGirlRants

        @scottishwildcat:disqus You. Reading Comprehension. Fail.

      • usaff22

        Your username explains it all...

      • Zomby2D

        Considering the people trying to trademark "Saga", unsuccessfully so far, are King themselves then I'd say our ire is aimed at the right party.

        http://www.trademarkia.com/saga-85482736.html

      • Dan

        You're an idiot. Turn off your computer and go stick your head in the toilet until your brain straightens up. Nobody is trying to trademark the word "saga".

      • squiddy20

        Please show me where, in this article or any other, any company is trying to trademark the word "saga". What a moron.

      • Firehawkws7

        So, what's your position at King?

    • Faiz Abideen

      Maybe we should flood them with 1-star reviews. They deserve it.

      • Francois Roy

        Flood in progress

    • usaff22

      I just installed and uninstalled all of their apps with "saga" to give the lot of them one star reviews.

      • Tuấn Ankh

        Just did the same!

    • usaff22

      I just installed and uninstalled all of their apps with "saga" to give the lot of them one star reviews.

    • Diaz

      King, if you read this, know that you're destroying yourself by doing this. Seriously.

      • NexusKoolaid

        Unfortunately, sadly, no. The percentage of their user base that will encounter this story (here or elsewhere) will be in the low single digits. Of those people the percentage who will end up caring for more than 5 minutes is probably less than 10%.

  • Phil Oakley

    Right, so King are basically in the wrong here.

    Glad I never got into the Candy Crush thing.

  • Averix

    Maybe King should go back and look at the Saga Frontier, Romancing Saga, even LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga game titles. I think trying to get a trademark on saga is pretty much a lost cause. One more reason to avoid Candy Crap. Like I needed another one.

    • numpty

      They're not trying to get the trademark on Saga. They're just trying to stop somebody else from getting it, and thus (likely) forcing them to change the name of Candy Crush Saga.

      • Corey Hammond

        No.

      • Cin

        You may want to try actually reading the article.

        A direct quote from the article above:

        "It's important to note that the development house behind The Banner Saga (Stoic) is not seeking a trademark simply on the word 'saga,' but the entire name of its game."

      • RinVindor

        Your reading comprehension needs work, you've told multiple people that King is trying to stop The Banner Saga guys from trademarking the word saga when they're trying to trademark "The Banner Saga".

      • Serge Cebrian

        no, they're not trying to trademark on saga but on "The banner Saga"
        and king doesnt want them to have saga..

        but neither king or stoic have tried to trademark saga yet ( i hope )

      • RTFA

        Good heavens, you are stupid.

  • Luqmaan Mathee

    Lol candy crush is the Apple of gaming. It's a stupid game anyway.

    • RantGirlRants

      I see it more as Monster than Apple.

      • Thatguyfromvienna

        Where's the difference?

  • JT3

    Yeah... now, who believes King's assertion that they won't go after uses of the word Candy (assuming they get the trademark), unless they actually infringe on their trademark? We should have a pool of how many trademark lawsuits are initiated by King in 2014. Probably don't even need to keep track of any numbers under 1,000.

  • moelsen8

    what a piece of sh*t

  • Hubert Song

    Boycott Candy Crush Saga time. Never played it but everyone else can. That company is becoming a real ass with all taht money.

    • realitysconcierge

      If not for this, than for their apps that are built specifically to be addicting. They produce horror stories where people spend inordinate amounts of money on them, sometimes ruining their lives.

  • Gustavo Parrado

    fine, actually, King should go back in time and sue the hell out of the huge amount of "something saga" games on snes, for using such a generic word on their games before they actually had the chance to be EVEN BORN.

    • numpty

      Kind of missing the point here. King isn't bringing action against anyone for using "Saga", nor are they trying to trademark it themselves.

      • Serge Cebrian

        for now.. !!
        they just got Candy

        probably crush and saga are next in line

        they thinking is that anything with saga on it is going to hurt their sales

        they dont understand that the name is not important (as people at least in mexico only call it candy crush any way)
        but content...

        people play it because of the difficulty and to waste time..

        they should only fight the games that are bejeweled (or yoshi's cookies ) clones and have the word saga on it.

        • didibus

          I'd disagree, people play it because of the name. There are other games like Candy Crush, and there can easily be many more games like it in the future.

          Here's an example taken from my own life experience. Friend got a Nexus 10, was like, I want bejeweled. Other friend said, get Candy Crush.

      • demacish

        You really are a King fanboy? Since you seems to defend them with tooth and nails

      • Paul Taylor

        They're bringing action against Stoic for using the "Saga". "King says that because it already has several trademarks that include the word saga, Stoic's trademark [which uses the word Saga] should be denied."

      • Zomby2D

        Actually, that's exactly what they are doing. They trying to prevent Stoic for using the word Saga in the tile of their game AND trying to trademark Saga for themselves. Do some research before posting your crap.

  • Jadephyre

    These retards are prime examples of what greed does to people.
    I will talk to a buddy of mine who plays this shite, hopefully I can talk him out of touching it again.

  • Simon Belmont

    Couldn't King just be happy with the millions it's making on Candy Crush Saga and it's other games? This is ridiculous.

    Any game with "Saga" in it? Doesn't King realize that there were TONS of games before Candy Crush Saga (and their other Saga games)? What's next? Going after Burger King's mascot, "The King" for having the same name?

    • numpty

      That is kind of their point. They're not trying to get the trademark for Saga here, they're trying to stop somebody else from getting it, by pointing out that their games (and presumably others that they don't care about) already use it.

      • Corey Hammond

        No. Stoic is trying to get a trademark for "The Banner Saga", as in the whole name. Not each individual word. King is trying to stop them from trademarking the name because it has the word "Saga" in it. Maybe you should actually read the article.

        Straight from the article: "It's important to note that the development house behind The Banner Saga (Stoic) is not seeking a trademark simply on the word 'saga,' but the entire name of its game."

      • Brendan Dillon

        Jesus you're stupid.

      • ubz91

        Dude, are you by any chance a spokesperson for King? All over the article, you have been encouraging what they are doing even though what they're doing is shite... Ridiculous. What do you get from it, huh? Dough?

  • david coffey

    what a joke. i remember being a fan of the Saga Frontier series from squaresoft YEARS ago. Squaresoft (Square-Enix) has made several games with the word 'saga' in it years before these effing hacks came along.

  • Matthew Fry

    If the trademark office agrees to this, I hope all future King "sagas" are denied under the same grounds.

  • Arthur Dent

    Boycott these retards. Candy Crush is a stupid game anyway. Not sure why people play these games that demand that you either pay to keep playing or whore yourself out on Facebook to promote their game to your friends in order to keep playing.

  • Kingu Prima

    they should patent "stupidity" which is the only thing they can pretend to own...

  • Simon Belmont

    Great job, King. Keep fucKING that trademark system.

    *dodges tomatoes.* *giant hook pulls me off the stage.*

    • Serge Cebrian

      attack the hook with your whip dude
      and throw knives to the tomatoes

      * the image is an apple but you get the idea*

  • Justin Howell

    This is a disaster. I remember when King.com was just an online game developer, and I honestly used to enjoy their games. At this point, all they do is produce bullshit that's meant to take advantage of the new "HEY, EVERYONE. PLAY THIS GAME SO I CAN WINLOL." tactic, and I'm not about it. It's sad to see companies that you used to like go down like this, but I sincerely do hope they go down now (and I hope the rest of the gaming industry takes a note from it).

  • Paul Taylor

    Aww... I was hoping they would release Whippy Tales: Nappy Saga, looks like it's not to be.

  • DeadSOL

    Two things:
    1) I've never played Candy Crush
    2) Doesn't it remind people of Bejeweled?

    • realitysconcierge

      Except you have to pay money when you fail. For some reason people prefer to do that instead of owning the game.

  • Sir_Brizz

    Anyone who still plays King games is tacitly supporting this behavior. They are likely trolling for a sale and using this to expand their portfolio of IP. If their revenue MOM drops drastically, then they will be sorry. Tell everyone you know to stop playing these dumb games (honestly, there are better alternatives that aren't F2P messes and came before) and make a real dent in their revenue.

  • blahmoomoo

    While I do see their reasoning (the average consumer might assume "blankity blank Saga" is another game created by King), it's still a week argument... Combined with the fact that they are definitely being overaggressive with trademarks makes this look really bad.

  • Wesley Modderkolk

    "We have trademarked the word 'CANDY' in the EU, as our IP is constantly being infringed and we have to enforce our rights and to protect our players from confusion. We don't enforce against all uses of CANDY - some are legitimate and of course, we would not ask App developers who use the term legitimately to stop doing so."

    Well, that changed rather quickly...

  • Tim McCabe

    Uninstalling Candy Crush because of this.

    • Guest

      I just installed and uninstalled all of their apps to give them one star reviews.

  • h4rr4r

    These morons should never have gotten a trademark on Candy in games, only on "Candy Crush" as a phrase.

  • Android Developer

    Why can't they just trademark the entire name (and/or text-style) instead?
    "saga" and "candy" are too generic...
    surely no end user can ever confuse this game from theirs...

    I think the whole patents and trademarks should be like that:
    if end users cannot differentiate between 2 products, it should be forbidden.
    in order to make things different, (entire) name should be different, logos should be different, company name should be shown, graphics should be different...
    and of course code should be different.

  • Jeffrey Tarman

    i'm gonna trademark "crush"

  • burltech

    Irregardless of who ends up with what word, or phrase, for the most part, King is going to receive a lot of negative publicity from this. Hopefully that's sustained long enough to sting a little.

  • foghorn67

    Can I block any king.com apps from displaying in my Play Store? That should be a new feature.

  • Sent

    OMG.... why do i have to live in age of spoiled idiots whom can't see further than their noses .....

  • mustbepbs

    Sega should jump on King because Sega named their game Panzer Dragoon Saga back in the 90s.

  • Chip Estrada

    I've never played candy crush smegma. Whats the big deal? Words are words. King is an idiot.

  • http://www.dogspelledforward.com egoebelbecker

    Wow King is a real....wait for it.....Monster.

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

    I don't understand how can anyone get a trademark on such generic words? So, no one can make a game with "candy" in the name? Names with "candy" anywhere in them will be trademark violation? Example names - "See, Candy", "Where's my Candy", "Nom Candy Eater" all are violations? Jeez.

  • Android Developer
  • ANYMINUTE

    Men abuse their power all of the time, watch these nobodies fall.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Trademarks and patents should die. It's a system that will eventually kill every industry because there will be no available names to put on products, or else in the future we will have something like Samsung Galaxy AJKBHHJUQ just because some word will be trademarked like here

  • nixhax

    This is when everyonebl should take a few minutes posting on twitter #boycottkinggames using @king_games in the tweet explaining the boycott so king gets the message loud and clear. Also maybe send a tweet with this post linked so others can read get enraged and join the boycott and publicity

    • Wesley Modderkolk

      And that, all while everyone is still playing their games. They won't even care slightly about a few dudes sending them angry tweets about it.

  • Dan

    King needs to die. it's time for 1-star reviews on every King title.

  • nixhax

    Please do post to twitter on this issue. I am so overly diagusted by this. I know it seems first world problems and all but I can't explain how or why this has such struck a nerve with me but it has and I am passionate about making sure King games understands that consumers are bigger than this and won't stand for the bullying.

    • cy_n_ic

      Way ahead of you! @king_games i have your next new title. Trademark faggot saga. Or cant get past a one star rating due to being a faggot...saga

    • Primalxconvoy

      Already emailed them.

  • Alan Shearer

    Future CEO of EA, Former EA employee, former apple employee? Where is he from?

  • Maniac

    Maybe Square Enix should protest against King's trademark. Romancing Saga, 7th Saga, or just http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SaGa_(series)

  • Karan O

    Dear King ,

    i can't stand with any of your childish games at all and you always try but you're taking dumb people's money and because of that you are rolling in your shit every damn second your lack of innovation and creativity Literally makes me puke , TWICE and since you're accusing one of the best indie games of this year to trademark robbery or something cause you think you're a big guy now and you can own every thing i must say GO FUCK YOURSELF

    sincerely EVERYONE

    • Primalxconvoy

      I just went to Google play and emailed them about this article. I suggest others do the same.

  • Forget_you

    ok I seriously dislike this company now. gtfo king!

  • WhyWai

    people still play candy saga??

  • Luqmaan Mathee

    I think we can all agree that candy crush is just a copy of bejewelled. I've played bejewelled long before this stupid game even came out.

  • Deeco

    How sad.

  • Your Mother

    they learned this type of behavior from apple.

  • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

    I personally encourage people to down-vote his games containing the words in question and write in the review the reason for the vote is this business decision.

  • Jeffrey Meeks

    wait till the star wars saga trys to get sued its gonna get hilarious.

  • pikachukaki

    ha!i will trademark my dick.....