Not content with candy-related takedowns, King has seemingly contradicted its promises to be thoughtful in its application of trademark claims by filing a notice against The Banner Saga, a game with absolutely no connection to Candy Crush Saga beyond a shared word.
Following rumours earlier today, King’s claim against The Banner Saga developer Stoic was confirmed by the discovery of a Notice of Opposition filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
“The Banner Saga mark is confusingly and deceptively similar to Opposer’s previously used Saga Marks,” King’s lawyers wrote in the claim.
“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 is a turn-based tactics game wrapped up in a narrative-driven RPG for Mac and PC, whereas Candy Crush saga is a casual, social puzzle game about sweets for mobile and Facebook.
Before we get out the tar and feathers and start screaming for King’s blood, remember that under US trademark law if companies do not protest potential trademark infringements then they are in danger of losing their trademarks altogether, leaving them open to genuine copycats. Even when both companies are aware of any real impact, the legalities must be pursued – as when Bethesda and Mojang went to war over Scrolls, managing to settle the case without a title change. Superannuation has been tweeting examples of silly-seeming trademark claims today.