Jimquisition: The Saga Scrolls: Edge of Candy

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The Saga Scrolls: Edge of Candy

People really wanted a Jimquisition about the Candy Crush thing. This episode exists simply for the purposes of vindication and to stoke the already hot outrage over exploitative bullies and broken legal systems.

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Wear nothing but the mask? My good man, share some pics.

I would like to know who granted King a trademark on the word "Candy" and punch him.

Fun side note. Banner Saga was already done with their Kickstarter before Candy Crush was even out.........
So they are claiming they were copied BEFORE their game came out.

I hate lawyers....

An excellent article on this issue, with quite a lot of detail about the laws involved, was on the Guardian today.

CrazyFikus:
Wear nothing but the mask? My good man, share some pics.

My foreknowledge of Jagi and Fist of the North Star in general have really got me curious about weather or not Jim sharpied-on the seven scars Jagi also has...

on topic though...trademarking single words is utter bullcrap though I'm tempted to walk the streets while shouting words with trademarks just to see what happens.

Thank God for Jim!

Wait, hold on.... yeah, I'm getting sued for using the word "thank". Welp, gotta go hide out in Mexico. Until then, uh, Thank God for Jagi!

Is this a American thing or is the copyright law this broken in most nations?

I think the punishment for patent trolls should be the loss of all patents / trademarks they own, even the legitimate ones. It would be the only way to stop it from happening.

It's also interesting to note that Candy Crush is itself just a knock off of Bejeweled.

Wow, he actually used the title someone suggested somewhere in the comment section of... Something, I can't remember right now (but the idea for the title stuck with me because it was so hilariously silly).

Anyway, vindication for the win! It might not have been necessary, but it's always nice to hear more people point the obvious absurdity of it all (although it would probably be nice if politicians would be the ones discussing about copyright and/or trademark laws).

themilo504:
Is this a American thing or is the copyright law this broken in most nations?

I am from Italy, and as far as I know, the law is different over here.

I'm going to make a game called "The Candy Scroll Saga of Edge"

Set in a nation where Candy making is considered an artform and the scroll is the collected recipes of the greatest candy Chef Ramsey Edge. You play a young Chef named Apple who has left his home seeking to become the very best candy chef the world has ever known, to bake them is his test, perfection is his cause.

themilo504:
Is this a American thing or is the copyright law this broken in most nations?

What goes on in America tends to go for the rest of the world, since if you're say a Swedish game company like Mojang you still want to sell in the US. Unless you're a country like China that mostly does it's own thing.

Anyways, if we had sensible trademark and copyright laws how would the lawyers make any money? We need to keep these valiant souls busy and working hard!

You need a sawed off double barreled shotgun to complete the ensemble.

I'm really not sure what I think about King games.

On the one hand, saying you have a tradmark on "candy" is a dick move.

On the other hand, when I search for "candy" in the games on the google play store, I get Candy Star, Candy Blitz, Candy Boom, Smash Candy, Candy Blast, Candy Rescue...note that all these results are in the top ten for the search, with many, many more farther down. Clearly, just like any time anything is ever successful on the internet, there's no shortage of dicks trying to leech off the success. I can see where King games might be upset at this.

On the third hand, if you name your product something generic like "Candy Crush Saga," this is just going to happen. I know it's helpful to have something simple and memorable for a brand, but that makes it much easier to copy. Intenet trolls seems like a reasonable price to pay for generic branding.

So yeah, I'm kinda ambivalent on this instance of trademark trolling, which is weird. Tim Langdell can go fuck himself though...

Another interesting thing to note, the US actually has little respect itself for things like international copyright and trademarks. Everyone's heard the name of stuff like Kobe beef or Champagne. I forget all the details here but these are actually long standing international awarded trade marks for products created in specific regions in the world. The US never used to give a shit for these things though so they just ignore it and have let their own business use the names to sell their products.

I'm Canadian and we pretty much do the same thing, but at least we're not going around the world cock slapping everyone else with copyright & trademark laws that are important to our own businesses.

You may have trained in darkness mister Sterling but I was born in it!

Butt cereal, copyright laws are a freaking joke. This stuff is so bloody toxic I seriously hope these guys and gals get dogged by online trolls, see how they like struggling every step of the way.

The trademark and copyright laws desperately need an update; not only to keep creativity alive and well but to keep money-grubbing douche-bags like King.com from pulling shit like this. It's the same kind of greed-fueled idiocy that has led to Donald Trump trying to trademark the words "You're fired" and Marvel & DC Comics trademarking the word "Super Heroes". This shit needs to stop like yesterday.

RandV80:
Anyways, if we had sensible trademark and copyright laws how would the lawyers make any money? We need to keep these valiant souls busy and working hard!

If the trademark and copyright lawyers wanna make money, then they should be turning tricks like any honest, hard-working street-walker. Hell, they already got the art of fellatio down to a science.

canadamus_prime:
I would like to know who granted King a trademark on the word "Candy" and punch him.

Well, that's the problem with the bureaucratic system that exists in the trademark, patent, and copyright offices. They're some of the lowest funded offices within most governments and deal with heavier traffic than just about anything in either the public or private sector. To simply get these offices in the US alone would ensure pretty much no employment issues but would increase it's budget ten fold. And that's just staff payments which doesn't even include offices and other expenditures. To that end, these offices tend to simply look at it, see no technical issues with the application itself (the equivalent to red marks on an essay sort of thing) and approve it simply because they have no time to any real research in it. Because of this lack of time they simply rubber stamp it and let the lawyers fight it out.

LordLundar:

canadamus_prime:
I would like to know who granted King a trademark on the word "Candy" and punch him.

Well, that's the problem with the bureaucratic system that exists in the trademark, patent, and copyright offices. They're some of the lowest funded offices within most governments and deal with heavier traffic than just about anything in either the public or private sector. To simply get these offices in the US alone would ensure pretty much no employment issues but would increase it's budget ten fold. And that's just staff payments which doesn't even include offices and other expenditures. To that end, these offices tend to simply look at it, see no technical issues with the application itself (the equivalent to red marks on an essay sort of thing) and approve it simply because they have no time to any real research in it. Because of this lack of time they simply rubber stamp it and let the lawyers fight it out.

Still to rubber stamp the trademark of a single commonly used word when the word isn't even the full title, the person must be pretty damn rushed or jaded to let that pass.

Finally someone who understands. At the moment trademark law and patent law do not work they should protect innovation but at the moment they do the opposite. I would also try to avoid the term intellectual property as it glosses over several laws and causes more confusion http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html

canadamus_prime:
I would like to know who granted King a trademark on the word "Candy" and punch him, in the throat

Fixed

Fire with fire.

We should convince Paradox to trademark "King" in relation to their "Crusader Kings" franchise.

Then they can serve King with a cease and desist.

Because I know I'm getting him confused with the Paradox title of the almost-same name.

Jim in no way showed that trademark law is "broken". At least not any more "broken" than any other type of law. Throwing in copyright and especially patent law only confuses the issue. Patents on software and "business procedures" etc. is a real disaster. Patent law allows you to sit on an "idea" and then sue for ALL THE MONEY later.

Trademark does not have this problem. The biggest problem with trademark is that somtimes bad actors try to push things too far, like King.com is doing. Even in those rare cases though, they lose. There are hundreds of examples of terrible patents that make their owners tons of money. How many examples of that do you have in trademark? Basically zero.

King.com is not going to actually get a trademark on "candy" or "saga". Neither of those things have happened yet, and they probably won't. That's because trademark law smartly has a period allowing outside entities to object to a trademark request. That was the case when Mojang tried to trademark "Scrolls" and now with the trademark on "Banner Saga". King's own request for "Candy" is open for opposition now. Trademark largely works exactly as intended - it avoids consumer confusion over brands.

To claim that a law is "broken" based on what King.com has done so far is just nonsense. What aspect of law stops someone from sending basic "Cease and Desist" letters? What area of law stops someone from suing you? That's just how law works. Trademark doesn't cause a situation where you have to give the suitor all your money if they win - you just change the name. You think it's unfair that King.com get to "bully" smaller developers who can't afford an attorney? Again, what area of law doesn't have this problem? You don't have to fix trademark law here, you want to fix the entire legal system of most major countries - especially laws that affect business.

I do agree that King.com is horrible ...

Jim completely fails to offer an alternative outside of "Magical law that never makes gamers mad". There are no real suggestions on how to improve it. The current law does not require King.com or Bethesda to go after every single minor use of a word. That's just their lawyers taking things to far. There's no way to avoid that. You can't change trademark law to allow King.com to only go after agregious examples, since that would clearly be unfair to allow the mark owner to decide who gets to use it in an arbitrary fashion. It's not a brand if you let others use it.

The more I think about it, the more I feel like people are being unfair to King.com

First, as a disclaimer, King is most definitely not in the right. Suing Stoic Games for Banner Saga, while publicly declaring that "we don't really think they're doing any harm" is a dipshit thing to do. If you don't think it's doing harm, then call off the damn lawyers.

At the same time, comparing them to Tim Langdell is disingenuous. Tim Langdell trademarked a common word, did absolutely nothing worth mentioning with it, then targeted small developers for legal action because he knew they didn't have the money to fight back.

King, on the other hand, actually made something successful, and they're lashing out because they're being swarmed by copy-cats. They're like the Phil Fish of development companies--they're acting like assholes, but you can kind of understand because the internet is treating them like shit. When I look at King, I don't see money-grubbers, I see a company that rightly pissed off by parasites leeching off their brand stupidly lashing out against innocent bystanders.

Well, I'm not totally opposed to the trademarking of Candy. If they had more games with the word "candy" in their title. If your brand is relying on the word "candy", then ya. But all King has is a plan to develop more games with the word "Candy". Sooo... a little too early on that one. I can understand the whole Zenimax waving their whole floppy trademark at Mojang's Scrolls (that's something someone might want to protect), but King waving their trademark at Banner Saga is too heavy-handed and unnecessary. There is a possibility that King is bent over by their lawyers who are just trying to get more billables.

Interesting little factoid: Sony tried to copyright the word "blue" as part of Blue-Ray, when what we now know as Blu-Ray was first introduced. The application was rejected, citing that "blue" is a high frequency term, and particularly protected as the name for a colour. As such, I'm kind of surprised to see "Candy" get copyrighted.

Basically, if that had gone through, you'd have had to pay Sony royalties every time you said the word "blue" if they'd have pushed to protect that "property".

On the topic of patent, copyright, and trademark law (recognising they are all, indeed, vastly different from one another), they need to be reformed with the customer/consumer put first, and then businesses second. Mind you, every law should have the people most prominently considered, and then businesses second.

RandV80:
Another interesting thing to note, the US actually has little respect itself for things like international copyright and trademarks. Everyone's heard the name of stuff like Kobe beef or Champagne. I forget all the details here but these are actually long standing international awarded trade marks for products created in specific regions in the world. The US never used to give a shit for these things though so they just ignore it and have let their own business use the names to sell their products.

I'm Canadian and we pretty much do the same thing, but at least we're not going around the world cock slapping everyone else with copyright & trademark laws that are important to our own businesses.

Not true - these days you can't find U.S.-made "champagne" in U.S. stores, instead finding "sparkling wine". The same holds true for port - if it's origin is the U.S. they aren't allowed to call it port (I've spoken to vineyard owners about this, because I'm a nerd and that's what I do when I go wine-tasting). If you see champagne, port, burgundy, etc in the U.S. that is actually labeled as such, read the bottle, and you'll see that it isn't made in the U.S. (though it might be bottled here).

I haven't paid attention to the current status for non-alcoholic beverage items, like meat and cheese, so I'm not sure how they are currently working.

Shoggoth2588:

CrazyFikus:
Wear nothing but the mask? My good man, share some pics.

My foreknowledge of Jagi and Fist of the North Star in general have really got me curious about weather or not Jim sharpied-on the seven scars Jagi also has...

on topic though...trademarking single words is utter bullcrap though I'm tempted to walk the streets while shouting words with trademarks just to see what happens.

Oh come now, they aren't that stupid. There's no way they would sue someone for just saying the words...

Right?

Reyold:

Shoggoth2588:

CrazyFikus:
Wear nothing but the mask? My good man, share some pics.

My foreknowledge of Jagi and Fist of the North Star in general have really got me curious about weather or not Jim sharpied-on the seven scars Jagi also has...

on topic though...trademarking single words is utter bullcrap though I'm tempted to walk the streets while shouting words with trademarks just to see what happens.

Oh come now, they aren't that stupid. There's no way they would sue someone for just saying the words...

Right?

Right. You have to actually damage the brand, in a not fair-use-protected way (so you can legally use the word in critique and make parody and still be protected) to be sued. King isn't going to sell fewer games of Candy Crush if you walk down the street shouting "Candy" so there's no reason to sue.

Of course, it doesn't stop them from trying, but they aren't going to win.

And the commonality between all these terrible things? The USPTO.

Fist of the North Star is fucking awesome. It is so damn awesome that we need more of it:
image

Flatfrog:
An excellent article on this issue, with quite a lot of detail about the laws involved, was on the Guardian today.

Thanks for posting that. That's a great article that explains everything pretty well. Even better was the linked article written by an IP lawyer: http://www.gamerlaw.co.uk/2014/some-thoughts-on-game-trademarks-king-and-candy-crush/.

From that article: "how many situations have there actually been where this situation actually comes up - where a pre-existing game is harmed by a similar trademark being registered and then used to attack that earlier game (maliciously or not)? I'm an IP expert in the games industry and I can tell you it comes up pretty seldom."

The problem with both articles is that they present this as a complicated issue, not one that lets you simply yell at your computer at how evil "copywrite and trademarks" are.

Thank God for, JIM! xD

First; Love the title of the Episode. Very subtle. ;p

Second: I didn't really know much about King.com until this story, but I got to say I'm with you Jim.

I mean, really? They want to trade mark the word candy, but they themselves did THAT with one of their games?

Guess we know what King is the king of now.
(Hypocrites.)

You guys think the copyright situation is weird? Let's talk about software patents.
You are allowed to patent the execution of your idea, IE the code methodology. You are not allowed to patent the idea for software.

Yet when you see patent trolls, what do their patents look like? Flow charts with no code or methodology. This is the realm of the embarrassing situation where someone yelling "Doritos!" do their TV is a patent (this one's owned by microsoft).

And speaking of this, you know programmers right? We're dirty commies. We all function on collectively available code databases and libraries that are copy/pasted. Nobody cares.

Not only do they need to clean up the criteria for being able to trademark something, but they need to start imposing large penalties to people who file spurious nonsense claims like the one King did here. When the courts eventually throw this nonsense out (and they will) then they need to also slap a multi-million dollar fine on King for wasting everyone's time. That would make companies think a little before spamming the court system.

(Next week, Microsoft youtube corruption?)

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