Following King’s trademarking-but-not of the word ‘Candy’ it seems that they’ve gone trademark/lawyer mad and are attempting to take action against the recently released RPG game, The Banner Saga, because of their use of the word Saga..
King are probably most well known for their social puzzle game, Candy Crush Saga, as well as Papa Pear Saga, Bubble Witch Saga, Pet Rescue Saga, and now Farm Heroes Saga. There’s one thing each game has in common, if you hadn’t noticed, and that’s the word ‘Saga’ and it’s because this word can be found in The Banner Saga, King have filed a Notice of Opposition because developers Sotic, have used the word..
Without getting too much into complicated trademarks and licences, like with the word ‘candy’ King also has a trademark awaiting approval for the word ‘saga’, they also own trademarks for things such as ‘Candy Crush Saga’, ‘Bubble Saga’, and ‘Mahjong Saga’ – y’know trademarks for things the company actually own.
Well it’s because of that pending trademark application that the company thinks they have a right to exclusively use the word ‘saga’ therefore have filed a Notice Of Opposition towards Sotic because their game The Banner Saga uses the word ‘Saga’, the opposition also states: “Applicant’s THE BANNER SAGA mark is confusingly and deceptively similar to Opposer’s previously used SAGA Marks.”
I’m sorry, deceptively similar? Oh, that’s because in a previous statement they say: “Upon information and belief, Applicant had knowledge of the fact that Opposer used its SAGA Marks as trademarks before it adopted its mark.” So instead of actually featuring stories, or ‘sagas’ rooted in Norse myth, Sotic saw that King were on a roll with their ‘Blah Blah Saga’ franchise and thought they’d jump on the band wagon?
Now, this is the most saddening part, it looks as if King is playing it against ‘the little guy’ as Sotic are a fairly small indie development company that happened to do well on their Kickstarter and their Alpha of the game but by no means do they have the funds to stand-up against the likes of King if they do push their claim further.
It’s all a little confusing and claims are being thrown here, there, and everywhere about how The Banner Saga will confuse those who favour King’s range of social games even though The Banner Saga isn’t available to play though Facebook or on mobile and requires a Steam account to play.
According to Polygon King doesn’t actually fully own the trademark for ‘candy’ yet and the trademark for ‘saga’ hasn’t even been approved yet so they’re really just throwing their weight around under the guise of actually owning said trademarks..
This is why I decided against being a lawyer.
If you want to read more on what exactly is happening, I’ve bundled together a selection of links which you can find below, see if you can make any sense of what’s actually happening..