The Banner Saga trademark dispute explained by King – statement

Wednesday, 22nd January 2014 14:22 GMT By Dave Cook

Candy Crush Saga developer King has responded to its trademark filing against The Banner Saga, claiming it is preserving its ability to enforce its rights.

It follows King’s trademark claim against The Banner Saga’s use of the word ‘Saga,’ and follows it’s trademarking of the word ‘Candy.’

Now in a statement to, a King rep has explained why it has filed against The Banner Saga developer Stoic. The official line reads, “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.

“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.”

Is King out of line here, or does this all make sense? Let us know below.



  1. Dragon

    More like enforcing its rights to be a patent troll.

    When you use such common words, its bound to happen. Common words should not be allowed to get patented.

    #1 11 months ago
  2. SplatteredHouse

    ““Applicant’s THE BANNER SAGA mark is confusingly and deceptively similar to Opposer’s previously used SAGA Marks.” ”

    BUT WAIT: They’ve now gone on record as stating that they “do not have any concerns that Banner Saga is trying build on our brand or our content.”
    uh…Their opposition to Stoic Studio’s trademark application is precisely that – it’s right there on the filed paper.
    Is the deception and confusion of King’s own making?

    #2 11 months ago
  3. mongbatstar

    To me, it sounds more like the system itself is broken in this case.

    #3 11 months ago
  4. OmegaSlayer

    What Dragon said.
    No patent on common words.
    It might be allowed to patent a logo of a common word, but not the word itself.

    I hope this bullshit will lead King to disaster.
    I enjoy to play Candy Crush sometimes, but the game is clearly made to spill money to the less smart people.
    I would file a suit against King because the game is clearly made to put the player in the position to lose 90% of the time.
    I’m sure the game coding itself is cheap and tampered.

    #4 11 months ago
  5. onlineatron

    they’re picking on the little guys to ensure their ability to pick on more little guys later. gross

    #5 11 months ago
  6. The_Red

    I see the spirit of Tim Langdell lives on. Sadly instead of a single, egotistic asshole, this time a huge company is behind patent trolling. I wasn’t specially a fan of King and after this move, will be sure to never EVER pay for their products.

    #6 11 months ago
  7. Panthro

    IMO this is like George Lucas trying to sue Peter Jackson over the word “Trilogy” … Ridiculous

    #7 11 months ago
  8. grizzlycake

    How can you even patent a word like candy or saga?

    #8 11 months ago
  9. Pytox

    @7 he could sue Peter jackson for lotr:the return of the king :P

    #9 11 months ago
  10. TheWulf

    This is funny.

    A while ago I brought up Candy Crush Saga as an example of a soulless corporate enterprise that uses behavioural conditioning to trick the more weak-willed people out there into buying IAP. It does this by pretending to be a skill game, and becoming increasingly more hard to play (yes, hard to play, not difficult) as time went on.

    I remember one particularly potty-mouthed mod here chewed me out for this observation, and held up King as a paragon of all that is good and right with the world, and that those who played King’s games were obviously lovely, intelligent people who were just having fun.

    Nothing at all wrong with King, they’re not an exploitative company at all.

    I feel so, so smug right now. You have no idea. It’s nice to be right all the time. Sometimes it just takes other people time to catch up with me, but I already called King on their bullshit before. Weak willed people who buy into the kind of behavioural conditioning that King uses are merely showing their total lack of intellect by not catching on. And they’ll defend King to their last, of course.

    I wonder if even this will shake the King supporters out there, if they’ll realise that all this time they’ve just been tricked by snake-oil salesmen, and the people who were trying to warn them about that company were right.

    So. Smug.

    And deservedly so.

    I can smell a corrupt company from a mile away.

    #10 11 months ago
  11. TheWulf


    The US trademark offices just tend to bend over for corrupt organisations like this one. They don’t do the background checking like their European variants, nor do they disallow trademarking of common, day to day words.

    What this means is that anyone who feels like doing so legal trolling can easily do so. They’ve gone from exploiting dim-witted, weak-willed iOS owners to legal trolling.

    I just wonder what their next act will be.

    #11 11 months ago
  12. TheWulf


    Good for you! I really hope other people catch on. It’s been kind of my life’s work to warn people about companies like this whose sole raison d’etre is to exploit people and legal loopholes.

    And I feel like I’m one of the few people on earth self aware enough to see it. Though in most cases, I think it’s just that I’m more versed and educated in psychology than the average person, what I know about how brains work would be decried as nonsense, most of the time. But that’s how it is with some people, if something is ephemeral, it can’t exist.

    Conversely, the people who believe they can’t be hypnotised/conditioned are the easiest ones to actually hypnotise/condition. Car salesmen use this to their advantage all the time. It’s worryingly easy to just dick around with another person’s thought processes unless they’re fully aware that this is possible, and are more guarded against it. The success of exploitative games like World of Warcraft and Candy Crush Saga prove this beyond the shadow of a doubt.

    I really think that more advanced psychology should become mandatory knowledge from this point on. Marketing has gone beyond tapdancing on the edge of our will to, in places, completely overwriting it.

    I really wish this was something more people knew anything about.

    #12 11 months ago
  13. TheBlackHole


    “They’ve gone from exploiting dim-witted, weak-willed iOS owners to legal trolling.”

    Firstly, the US trademark office has MUCH more control over its activity than a relatively small business (King, compared to other patent/TM-heavy technology companies) in relation the US economy.

    Also, 500,000,000 people are not all dimwitted just because you don’t like the game.

    I’ve been playing it foe over a year, and while I haven’t spent a penny yet, I’ve still thoroughly enjoyed it, and still do.

    Suggesting that people are naive because you don’t like the way they monetise is arrogant, itself naive and very short sighted.

    #13 11 months ago
  14. TheBlackHole

    “I’m one of the few people on earth self aware enough to see it.”

    WOW. That’s some arrogance you have their TheWulf.

    I’d reign that ego in if you’re to be taken seriously anywhere on the internet, let alone real life.

    #14 11 months ago
  15. Darkfield

    @12 I get that you are not a fan of World of Warcraft, but putting it in the same category as Candy Crush Saga is just wrong. They are not the same, and WoW is anything but soulless car ad. And frankly I never understood what your actual problem with WoW is, beyond some rare cases you point out every now and then like the one that you brought up more than a few times about a mother abandoning/ignoring their children or something like that. It’s not like Blizzard have some sort of switch that turns people sense of responsibility and compassion off when they log in to WoW.

    If you are well versed in psychology you’d know those cases which may or may not be rare and or extreme would not have originated from people’s gaming habits, it’s far deeper than that. People live unhappy lives for variety of reasons, just because some of them did something stupid while playing WoW, GTA, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, etc that doesn’t make them the reason which all that is wrong with people on a mental and psychological level are originated from.

    #15 11 months ago
  16. Ireland Michael

    “I feel so, so smug right now.”

    Yeah, we don’t doubt it bud.

    We don’t doubt it at all.

    #16 11 months ago
  17. fearmonkey

    Candy crush is the type of game I ignore as I can’t stand games that monetize the way it does. Now with this, I can’t see how anyone can support them. I hope their customers wise up and refuse to support such tactics.

    Are these guys the new “Edge”?

    #17 11 months ago
  18. TheBlackHole


    No, because Tim Langdell sat on a trademark and never used it. King actually make games – very popular games – with those terms explicitly in the titles.

    There is a HUGE difference between those two cases.

    #18 11 months ago
  19. The_Red

    This is sadly true and will probably help King keep doing what Langdell failed to do: Infinite Patent Trolling (Though I do agree that some of those “Candy” and “Saga” games on AppStore do deserve this treatment).

    #19 11 months ago
  20. schnide


    “It’s nice to be right all the time.”

    First lesson for you: No-one is right all the time.

    If you were, you’d be a millionaire instead of a random commenter on a gaming blog, which is what you are. And it didn’t take a genius for anyone to know that are an exploitative company, in fact it would have only taken an idiot not to have seen it. Everyone knew that months ago.

    You sound like a typical A-level student who knows a little about one thing, and thinks he knows everything about everything. Take it from someone – one of the many – who’s been there and grown up since, that you’re only going to piss off a lot of people, make very little difference, and end up being embarrassed by your actions when you grow up and look back.

    #20 11 months ago
  21. runbmp

    Well i’ll make sure to stay from any of his tittles in the future. One can only hope a bigger company or one with trademark or similar patent applies the same amount of legal ridiculousness to his games or brands.

    It’s a shame we have people like that in the gaming biz.

    #21 11 months ago
  22. Ireland Michael

    Hilariously, the update to this story shows that TheWulf was completely wrong.

    #22 11 months ago
  23. infernalism

    Yeah, I’ve seen that particular poster comment on female archetypes in games a while back. He was making it look, like he knew better when women should be offended by their depictions in games, than they could themselves (he supposedly quizzed a lot of them beforehand, that’s how he KNEW).

    It’s just one of those instances, when you just think it has to be trolling. I mean the guy is at least capable enough to use some uncommon words and string them together in a compentent manner, but at the same time, when you read those lines strung together…it just makes you say WOW. How can one be so smug and stupid at the same time? It has to be an act, right? Then again, that inability to accept inconvenient truths about yourself is one of the definitions of stupidity…It just boggles the mind. Regardless of that dilemma, some psychiatrist could still write their PhD dissertation off of that guy.

    #23 11 months ago
  24. Ireland Michael

    @23 I think you may be mixing him up with salarta in that instance.

    Don’t worry, it’s hard for us to tell the difference too. =P

    #24 11 months ago
  25. infernalism

    I don’t think I am though. I’m familiar with the username salarta, but not his views on the depictions of women in videogames (or any of his views for that matter, I’m just aware there is someone using the username ‘salarta’).

    Still, I am almost (you can never be 100% sure about those things, I mean it’s just a comment section on a videogame site, so you don’t document it or even devote to it a remotely important role in your memory) sure it was TheWulf because I have been “following” (meaning if I stumble upon his username, I stop scrolling, and read his comment out of curiosity, I don’t seek out his posts by reading through every single article’s comment section) his posts ever since that moment, and I’m pretty sure of that particalar brand of a sanctimonious tone when I see it. He had written a lot more on the subject of females in games, than about king and the all important cases of “candy” and “saga” (great, you made me say it, and now I’m probably getting sued…). It would actually be pretty embarassing if I did mistake those two guys, but I’m fairly sure I didn’t.

    I mean, just look at what you yourself quoted from the guy (not to mention other, very quotable tidbits from his entries in this comment section). Does salarta write stuff like that as well?
    Cheers mate. :)

    #25 11 months ago
  26. Ireland Michael

    @25 Yes, salarta does post a lot of similar things like that. Women in gaming is basically salarta’s only thing though.

    The general tone is fairly similar – taking really small points and blowing them completely out of proportion to try and substantiate their own personal views, whilst outright ignoring any evidence that may even remotely call their opinions into question. It’s all about personal gratification, as opposed to any sort of intellectual growth or desire to learn.

    Maybe he’s a mini-me.

    #26 11 months ago
  27. FeelTheBurn

    I’d like to hear some feedback from TheWulf right about now.

    #27 11 months ago
  28. Llewelyn_MT

    Oh, for duck’s sake! Whenever I think this can’t get more ridiculous, King makes a statement.

    @Staff: Whoever thinks comment box should be above comments (especially since they are not in reverse order) should be slapped with a dead trout. Damned retarded website designers…

    #28 11 months ago

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