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King opposes Banner Saga trademark

King opposes Banner Saga trademark

Wed 22 Jan 2014 9:23am GMT / 4:23am EST / 1:23am PST
PublishingDevelopment

UPDATE: King responds to dispute - "King has not and is not trying to stop Banner Saga from using its name"

UPDATE: A King spokesperson has issued a response to the apparent trademark dispute over Stoic's The Banner Saga.

"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."

ORIGINAL STORY: King has filed a trademark claim against Stoic over the common use of the word "Saga" in the titles of their key products.

Stoic's debut game, The Banner Saga: Chapter 1, was released just over a week ago, and King's lawyers have argued that its title shares a little too much common ground with the studio's catalogue of "Saga" games, which dates from 2011 and includes both Bubble Witch Saga and Candy Crush Saga.

According to a document filed on December 27 last year, King believes it will be "damaged" by Stoic's "The Banner Saga" trademark, which it applied for in July, 2013. Every trademark application in the U.S. is open to a period of opposition, which in the case of The Banner Saga was extended to December 29 - King's claim was enetered just before the deadline.

The document states that, "The Banner Saga mark is confusingly and deceptively similar to Opposer's {King's] previously used Saga marks." It goes on to argue that Stoic's game is similar enough in terms of content, and will be marketed and sold through similar enough channels, for "customers and potential customers" to confuse the product's origins, "resulting in a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace and damage to [King]."

Yesterday it became clear that King had trademarked the word "Candy", opening up the potential for legal action against developers who have used the otherwise generic term in the titles of their games. Indeed, the news surfaced via a developer who was served with a trademark infringement notice, a developer who subsequently lamented his inability to fight back against the legal resources at King's disposal.

A spokesperson from King had this to say: "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.

"The particular App in this instance was called 'Candy Casino Slots - Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land', but its icon in the App store just says 'Candy Slots', focussing heavily on our trademark. As well as infringing our and other developer's IP, use of keywords like this as an App name is also a clear breach of Apple's terms of use. We believe this App name was a calculated attempt to use other companies' IP to enhance its own games, through means such as search rankings."

While many will no doubt side against King for its actions, Jas Purewal, an expert on IP law in the games industry and a contributor to this site, has published an interesting post on his Gamer Law blog offering a different perspective.

According to Purewal, the vast majority of trademark disputes are routine, and a part of the process that gives the trademark system its value. They are generally solved by small changes to titles and branding, or with "coexistence agreements" that allow both companies to proceed with no changes made - he cites the dispute between Bethesda and Mojang over "Scrolls" as an example of this. Furthermore, Purewal argues that examples of genuine injustice are rarer than most casual observers appreciate.

"IP law and how it applies to the games industry is still evolving fast (that's one big reason I write this blog) and there are a number of issues we don't understand fully yet," Purewal states. "In those situations, it's right that there should be a lively debate about how we want our games industry to develop, including what legal rights games developers should and shouldn't have in their games.

"But there is a lot we DO already understand about IP law and the games industry. How trademarks work is one of those things. I'd venture to suggest therefore that those sections of the games community who are up in arms about this latest trademark issue would probably benefit from taking some time to think things through, to try to understand how games businesses and the law actually works, rather than drawing rushed conclusions from little experience on the subject."

44 Comments

John Bye
Senior Game Designer

479 444 0.9
Popular Comment
Oh come on, this is ridiculous. From Wikipedia - "The Banner Saga is a Viking-themed tactical role-playing video game by Stoic, a trio of indie game developers formerly of BioWare". Does that really sound "similar enough in terms of content" to King's bubble popping and candy matching games to cause confusion?

Also, can I just point out that the use of the word "Saga" in King's games' titles is completely meaningless (do they even have a story?), whereas Stoic are using the word in its classic sense in an epic, story-driven game about Vikings.

*sighs*

Posted:6 months ago

#1

Jakub Mikyska
CEO

197 1,044 5.3
Popular Comment
I think that the next ones in line for getting a letter from King's lawyers are Sega, every single Candy shop around the world and also Disney (Star Wars is a saga, isn't it?)

Posted:6 months ago

#2

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

945 161 0.2
"The Banner Saga mark is confusingly and deceptively similar to Opposer's {King's] previously used Saga marks."
It is??? At least this saga actually has a story. Getting absolutely ridiculous.
I absolutely get this from say the mobile app markets where thousands of 'candy saga' and similar games have been popping up, but this is way out of line.

Posted:6 months ago

#3

Samuel Verner
Game Designer

131 243 1.9
Popular Comment
now i srsly want to create a RPG game called "Saga of the Candy Crushers"

Posted:6 months ago

#4
Popular Comment
You know sometimes its okay to say to your IP lawyers: "Thanks, but we'd rather not become Jackals and Vultures". Sad, wrong, weak, King are just kicking the ladder behind them.

Posted:6 months ago

#5

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,488 1,255 0.8
How does this work financially? Given TBS was going to be a trilogy (assuming that the first part part sold well enough), any money that's spent on lawyers can't go to marketing for this part, or dev for the future parts. But, on the assumption King are told where to stick their claim, do Stoic get reimbursed for legal expenses?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 22nd January 2014 11:37am

Posted:6 months ago

#6

Neil Young
Programmer

270 300 1.1
Really is worth reading Jas's take on this - pleased to see that cited in the article. Would recommend following more of his writing, actually - @gamerlaw on twitter.

Posted:6 months ago

#7

Sam Maxted
Journalist / Community / Support

155 65 0.4
Square Enix has launched four games with "Saga" in the title (ok, technically SaGa) outside Japan, and ten inside Japan itself, but you don't see them trying to block King from using the word.

Posted:6 months ago

#8

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
I see what they are doing here... I bet the next word in line to be tradmarked is the word "Crush". What a bunch of greedy, inept and foolish bunch of people.

Posted:6 months ago

#9

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Candy Casino Slots - Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land had it coming. That name alone is just a culmination of different hit games but this...this is just ridiculous.

Posted:6 months ago

#10

Martin Echenique
Manager, Online Engineering - Sony WWS Online Technology Group

6 5 0.8
One could also say that Kuju own the trademark for "Crush" when applied to puzzle video games, due to their releasing of a game by that name in 2007 (http://us.playstation.com/games/crush-psp.html). It has been re-released on PSN in 2013 and therefore it's still in use. Unlikely as it is, it'd be nice if Kuju pitched in to the effect of "King, don't poke the bear...".

Posted:6 months ago

#11

Darren Adams
Managing Director

222 383 1.7
Popular Comment
When this gets laughed out of court if they are foolish enough to go ahead with taking people to court, I really hope the court fines them shit loads of money and makes the owners of the business pay it personally. Then maybe they will think twice about a blatant exploitation of trademark law.

Examples need to be made of these companies and this practice should have harsh penalties to those who think they can game the law for their own benefit.

Protect unique brand names? Sure that is perfectly fine. Protect common use words? No way, it should have been thrown out before it even got past the first phase.

Posted:6 months ago

#12

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
Hmmm... now I know a chunk a change can allow you to own a word... and If i were to own a word... i would pick "NINJA"... cause ninja's are cool.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 22nd January 2014 2:31pm

Posted:6 months ago

#13

Tamir Ibrahim
Programmer

75 56 0.7
The problem with the way current system works is that if King don't go and contest every use the trademark they have been granted, regardless if they want to or not, it will become a problem for them when they do genuinely want to contest a breach.

Posted:6 months ago

#14

Darren Adams
Managing Director

222 383 1.7
@Tamir

I have to disagree there.

They specifically Trademarked (from what I have read) individual words "Candy" and "Saga", so the excuse of "they have to enforce it" is a straw man argument. They tried to game the system like Langdell and "Edge" before them and imo they should be punished for proactively doing so.

This behavior has to be stamped out, period.

Now don't get me wrong, I have no problem with people using trademarks to protect their brand. They could have trademarked "Candy Crush Saga" as a whole and nobody would have batted an eyelid. But to separate the words, it implies they knowingly looked at it as a money making exercise, not protecting their brand.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 22nd January 2014 3:15pm

Posted:6 months ago

#15
If King force them to change the name or to pay up then we'd know what they said above was just the weasel words of a troll, but that hasn't happened yet and thinking about it, it seems unlikely. It could be that so far the objection is just a formality and the issue will die as soon as it's raised and logged. Let's hope it goes no further than that, I really wouldn't like to think this is in all our futures.

Posted:6 months ago

#16

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,488 1,255 0.8
You know, it sounds like I'm making this up, but I'm genuinely not...

When I first heard the name Candy Crush Saga, I thought "Oh, cool, a spin-off of the Romancing SaGa series."

I kid not.

Posted:6 months ago

#17

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,133 1,039 0.5
Next up, Rovio trademarks "Angry" and "Birds", sues both twitter and the Hitchcock estate and the earth explodes. Like that joke, this is getting dumber by the second...

Gonna go play some Devil's Crush now...

Posted:6 months ago

#18

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,133 1,039 0.5
Oh, and Morville - Until I saw it being played, I thought Candy Crush Saga was slightly related to Crimson Gem Saga: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimson_Gem_Saga , which popped up on the PSP in Japan in 2008 (and iOS in 2010) and here in the US in 2009. It sounds like a puzzle/RPG, but it's just the sequel to the not so hot RPG called Astonishia Story.

Posted:6 months ago

#19

Gonzalo Figueroa
Game Designer

9 1 0.1
I know you can register common words as trademarks and that is really complicated to protect them. Usually they are more easy to protect if it is a unique market or a particular segment. Registering Candy as a trademark for All games, clothes, etc... it does goes a little bit further than protecting their IP, Candy is a really common word. They should protect Candy Crush Saga or Candy Crush (I hardly noticed the "Saga" title on it, I have never heard anyone saying "I'm playing Candy Crush Saga")... Saga is also very common word which should not be allowed to have a Trademark for all games, this actually sounds like the beginning of the "Edge" word issue.

Protect the IP, no discussion there. If the actual game is taking advantage of the actual game name, sure... fight it!! but stop your fight when the game is not even closely related to your type of game, you are well known for Match 3 games and that's it. You are not know for RPG, Shooters, etc... So any Candy Shooter should be allowed... thankfully Match 3 games genre is not allowed to be protected, if not, no one else would be able to create a Match 3 game anymore...

Posted:6 months ago

#20

Tom Hunt
Game Developer

21 15 0.7
Their shortening of "The Banner Saga" to just "Banner Saga" would serve their purpose in convincing a legal authority of their claim of the mark being confusing and deceptive. Which to me seems pretty confusing and deceptive, if not a bit disrespectful of the proposed mark.

Omitting the word "The" from a title in informal use is fine, but this is a legal matter specifically dealing with word marks. You just don't casually omit things like that.

Posted:6 months ago

#21

Rick Cody
PBnGames-Board Member

144 14 0.1
It's not law, but there needs to be an accompanying visual. For example, a very specific font and graphic accompanying the words. Simply using "Candy" or "Saga" is commonplace. You're taking standard words used for kids games ("Candy") and standard word used for adventure/action/RPG games ("Saga") and making them your own. I hope all of this legal action shines a light on what damage King is doing to the gaming community and these judges then a ruling on them. Candy Crush is fun but this is too much

Posted:6 months ago

#22

Kayleigh McDougall
Studying BA(Hons) Game Design and Production Management

21 1 0.0
Just spotted this and thought it would be of interest to some - http://www.change.org/petitions/us-patent-and-trademark-office-do-not-allow-king-to-trademark-the-words-candy-or-saga

It seems like The Banner Saga's fans are trying to stop King from getting the trademarks. And to be fair I'm with them on it. It's just ridiculous that people can get away with trademarking common words.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Kayleigh McDougall on 22nd January 2014 7:09pm

Posted:6 months ago

#23

Murray Lorden
Game Designer & Developer

199 72 0.4
King pricks.

Posted:6 months ago

#24

Brett Ballow
Director of Development

5 8 1.6
If King owns the trademark for saga in the appropriate classes, they can not only fight to have games with infringing names pulled from app stores and retail outlets, but can also prevent Stoic from attaining their own copyright. But if King blocks Stoic's trademark and allows them to release with the name Banner Saga (which isn't uncommon according to my legal council) then Stoic has another concern; if their property, Banner Saga, ever becomes popular they won't be able to protect it from copy-cats.

We are just completing an independent browser game called Crossword Combat for online gaming portals. We recently received word from the TM office that the word combat has been protected by Atari since the early 80's, therefore they won't grant us the TM. Our council informed us that although crossword is a generic term, combat evokes emotion (or something...), so is the key descriptor, and can be protected. We then learned that another company has employed two major law firms over the last 18 months in an attempt to secure the TM for Card Combat - if they are ever to succeed they would undoubtedly block us themselves, having pursued the mark so vigorously ($$) and now having precedence. What does this mean? I guess that in the future I'd be better served to register a single word of the title than the whole title, as that seems to give the same protection and allows more leverage... then again, would also open up more legal battles to engage in.

We were also advised that changing the spelling of Combat (to a K, for instance) does not keep the term from being confusingly similar - does this mean that Mortal Kombat has never had any TM protection?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Brett Ballow on 14th February 2014 7:24pm

Posted:6 months ago

#25

Yann Corno
Chief Technical Officer

4 1 0.3
I was so upset when I read this article that I went directly to Steam and bought the deluxe version of the game right away. It has been on my wish-list for a while, but I thought I should vote with my money and support the 3 Stoic guys. My only regrets is that some part of my contribution won't go into their pocket - it will probably go into their lawyer's purse because of King.
In any case, I now have this beautiful game, and no stupid lawyer will remove it from my hard drive. :-)

Posted:6 months ago

#26

Matthew Hardy
Studying Multimedia/Game Design

38 99 2.6
Right or wrong, I will never engage in a King product ever again & will go out of my way to get others to do the same.

Posted:6 months ago

#27

Steven Hodgson
Programmer

77 120 1.6
now i srsly want to create a RPG game called "Saga of the Candy Crushers"
that sounds actually quite interesting, I'd play that on title alone

Posted:6 months ago

#28

Christopher McCraken
CEO/Production Director

110 251 2.3
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."
&
"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."
Is anyone else here astounded by the seriously forked tongue coming out of King's mouth? I for one, am laughing hard at the fact that their ham fisted attempt at "IP rights protection" is actually weakening their case.

The comments in one case serve really to undermine the other case. In any event, I do not expect them to be able to hold on to a trademark for either of these terms in the United States. As for the EU, I am not entirely sure how their trademark laws work, whomever granted them the trademark for the word Candy over there for anything under the sun needs their head examined.

But the real harm here is to developers and the community. I'd wager that 95% of clientele for Kings "Candy Crush" are not even aware of this dust-up, and wouldn't care if they did. For them, IP issues don't directly impact them.

From where I sit, King has now hit what I call "The Zynga Threshold"....Like Zynga, they don't really make games any longer, they make Skinner Boxes for profit. That's what Candy Crush is really, when you get down to it. Something made to resemble a "game", which is just an application with psychological triggers. The Zynga/King model exists, we get it, it works.

But it's never been ethical, and companies who show a propensity for unethical actions tend to meet the same fate.

I'm betting when the next farmville, candy crush, etc comes along....King will lose most of their value and slide into bad acquisitions, hucksterism based sales, and eventually become irrelevant.

You know, like Zynga.

Posted:6 months ago

#29

Aleksi Ranta
Product Manager - Hardware

268 124 0.5
Why are people and the press astonished byt this? its just normal procedure.
If King wouldnt dispute even legitimate uses of their "Saga" brand, they would be quietly agreeing with any use of it, everywhere.
This would give legal backing for all the trademark trolls and copycats. This is just how the law works in most cases.

What would be more intresting to read from gamesindustry.biz would be an article on the actual legal frameworks companies work in when they are trying to enforce they brand and cases where they are actually forced to dispute others?

Posted:6 months ago

#30

Chung-wei Kerr
SEO Account Manager

8 11 1.4
Guys, calm down. This is just basically a routine way of how applying for trademarks works here in the UK. It's just been picked up because it's got a sensationalist spin on the story, and I think King is being viewed rather unfairly as a result (let's face it, we all like to see giants fall, but this has more of a witchhunt feel to it). Noone's suing anyone yet, and I think the games community in general needs to take a closer look at the legalities of the situation before breaking out the pitchforks and torches.

My view is that as a company, King don't really have any other recourse if they want to have any chance of protecting their IP from the real copycats. Still, all this negative PR for King makes for good business for the Banner Saga guys, makes you wonder who alerted the games media about it in the first place...

Posted:6 months ago

#31

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,488 1,255 0.8
Speaking to Polygon, Stoic's Alex Thomas said the studio has plans to make a sequel to The Banner Saga, and that it filed for a trademark for the game's title before King filed its own trademark for the word 'saga'.
Do people still want to try and defend King? :)

Posted:6 months ago

#32

Chung-wei Kerr
SEO Account Manager

8 11 1.4
Yes, because if Stoic gets their trademark application approved for the word Saga, and then when King's application goes through, then Stoic will have to do the same damn thing that King are currently forced to do, which is to oppose the application of anyone thinking about using the common words "Banner" or "Saga" , or they'll lose the right later to challenge anyone who decides to actually infringe upon their work.

Seriously, this isn't about who got their application in first or not, or some David VS Goliath battle going on within the industry. This is about the whole messy trademarking legal process in the UK and the games media portraying it in a sensationalist way.

Posted:6 months ago

#33

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,488 1,255 0.8
I think the issue I have is that there are, I'm sure, many words/titles/phrases that are trademarked, but which aren't defended, and many which shouldn't be defended. Yes indeed, it's an issue with the process, but, as Brett's example a few posts above implies, the process can be abused. It's a situation which conjures up the image of Mutually Assured Destruction, and the infamous quote from Wargames ("The only winning move is not to play").

In this context, whilst the media can be seen as sensationalist, it's a (very small) rallying cry against how... moronic the whole thing is. King may be (technically) in the right, but I don't think there's any way what they are doing can be seen as "just".

[For an appropriate parallel in how the media approaches these things, you could also look at the recent MS/EA/Youtube incident].

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 23rd January 2014 4:09pm

Posted:6 months ago

#34

Steven Wemyss
Senior QA Engineer

33 31 0.9
Stoic are attempting to trademark "The Banner Saga", not "Saga" and there's a massive difference there.

Reality is King are attempting to defend themselves from those ridiculous clones with blatantly similar names and The Banner Saga is just caught up in this mess. It's not Stoics fault and tbh it's hard to really blame King either when you see the state of the App store (tho the irony is more that its the word Saga that's causing this dispute when no-one ever really uses that in terms of King's games other than King), so yup I defo agree that it's more of an issue with the trademarking process but it's more a combination of that along with the use of common words in the titles and the sad state of affairs that is the cloning/naming situation on mobile platforms.

Posted:6 months ago

#35

Chung-wei Kerr
SEO Account Manager

8 11 1.4
Brilliant thread going on Reddit at the moment from a lawyer specialising in TM and IP for the games industry. She basically sums up this issue really well.

http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/1vvvkh/the_great_tm_saga_ama_with_monaibrahim_game/

And it's not a moral argument or whether what they're doing is "Just", it's a legal one and to view this as anything otherwise is simply letting our own perspective and opinions of the parties involved cloud the issue. King don't have a choice in acting the way they have, and if Stoic were in their place, they'd be doing the same thing. There's no bad guy here in this story, and our preferences for smaller indie developers over casual gaming companies should be irrelevant with regards to this issue.

Posted:6 months ago

#36

Tamir Ibrahim
Programmer

75 56 0.7
There is still obviously a misunderstanding here about the fundamentals of how trademarks work. Either that or just a flat out refusal to try and understand.

So to try and help there is a good article By Jas here
Once you have a trademark, you have to enforce it or you risk losing it. Put it another way, there’s no point going to all that expense and time to show the world that legally the trademark is associated with your business, if you then let anyone in the world make use of the trademark without consequence. If you did, it wouldn’t really be a trademark for your business at all and would risk invalidation.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tamir Ibrahim on 23rd January 2014 4:40pm

Posted:6 months ago

#37

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,488 1,255 0.8
There's no bad guy here in this story, and our preferences for smaller indie developers over casual gaming companies should be irrelevant with regards to this issue
.

Should be, yes. But that's not how people think. :)

Posted:6 months ago

#38

Chung-wei Kerr
SEO Account Manager

8 11 1.4
Evidently...otherwise I wouldn't have needed to say what I said.

Either way, I've got a feeling that Stoic are going to be milking this for as much as they can to drum up interest in their game (which I can't fault, it's looks like a great game and any PR is better than no PR). I just hope they don't go too far in vilifying King in their efforts to do so, because to do so via that method would be in poor taste.

Posted:6 months ago

#39

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
There is still obviously a misunderstanding here about the fundamentals of how trademarks work. Either that or just a flat out refusal to try and understand.
I don't think the issue here is one of big guy versus little buy or generalized misunderstandings of TM law but rather the difference in the desire and application of certain marks themselves.

King is marking some very common, generic words. These are generally not even allowed under USPTO law because of how pressured a mark owner would be to constantly defend their mark against scores of infringers (intentional and otherwise).

Defending their mark against that other "candy" game made some sense as it was obviously a grouping of keywords of popular titles. But this one looks like the start of another "EDGE" situation. Attacking anything and everything with your mark despite prior use, unambiguity, etc...until it seems to become the entire focus of the company, rather than content creation.

Posted:6 months ago

#40
I hope that this whole episode is the equivalent of a computer somewhere spewing out a robot letter due to the marks clashing, as some here are stating. I really hope that's it but I'm not sure it is.

When we get a notice of infringement we do not HAVE to enforce the mark - we look at it ourselves and advise our lawyers whether to proceed to block or not. The lawyers may say "this may make things more difficult for you in future" but this is just advice. If we, the owners, determine that the other company is transparently NOT trying to rip us off and its just a coincidence, we let it slide because we don't want to damage anyone's honest business, trademarking hiccups or no.

To say that "Well everyone ever will use your mark willy nilly" if you let one blatantly honest (and easily provable in court) coincidence slide just sounds mealy-mouthed to me. King could string up 1000 companies by the throat if they wished and they know it.

King are not restricting the use of the word Saga in The Banner Saga name (as they *very* carefully stated in their PR) - no, they are legally blocking Stoic from owning the name "The Banner Saga". This would be bullshit especially if turns out (a) King appear not to fully own the mark and (b) "The Banner Saga" was applied for as a mark before King even thought to apply for "Saga."

As far as I can see Stoic have every right to be aggrieved and I don't see any evidence of cynical fakery in their reaction so far - I think it highly probable they are actually fuming over this.

Please stop saying "It's the law". Sometimes the law is an ass. King don't need to be an ass about it too. Lawyers don't spontaneously decide to work for free on Kings behalf, so lets wait and see if after raising it, they drop it just as fast. Let's hope this is all a formality or a big mistake and we're being clucking hens over nothing.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Barry Meade on 23rd January 2014 6:22pm

Posted:6 months ago

#41

Bonnie Patterson
Freelance Narrative Designer

157 422 2.7
Surely you cannot trademark a word that is being used in its literal meaning - "A long story of heroic achievement"?

Posted:6 months ago

#42

Sandy Lobban
Founder and Creative Director

310 195 0.6
I would guess they have been lead down this path by their legal team in order to exhume as much as possible from the franchise before it fades into history, which it will.

Personally, I think anything with the words candy, crush and saga in them would only serve to prolong their product's shelf life, but they seem to be going in the opposite direction.

Posted:6 months ago

#43

Petter Solberg
Freelance Writer & Artist

60 39 0.7
I heard Tim Langdell is working on a game called Edge of the Saga. It's a free-to-play adventure where you play as the hero Fringe who goes on an epic quest to Valhalla where he sues Odin over trademark infringement. Upon failing the impossible quest the player will get sued instead.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Petter Solberg on 28th January 2014 12:42am

Posted:6 months ago

#44

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