Candy Crush Studio" Banner Saga Complaint Is To Fight "Real Copycats" - UPDATED

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Candy Crush Studio" Banner Saga Complaint Is To Fight "Real Copycats" - UPDATED

The Banner Saga header

Candy Crush Saga studio King admits The Banner Saga doesn't infringe on its trademark but says the legal complaint is necessary in order to protect its IP from "real copycats" in the future.

The Candy Crush trademark mess continued rolling along today, as King admitted that it doesn't actually have any beef with The Banner Saga but said that it is compelled by law to defend its trademark against all comers, lest its claim be weakened against some future transgressor.

"We do not have any concerns that Banner Saga is trying build on our brand or our content," a King rep told Kotaku. "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," the rep said. "If we had not opposed Banner Saga's trademark application, it would be much easier for real copy cats to argue that their use of 'Saga' was legitimate."

The rep said King has a series of Saga-branded games including Bubble Witch Saga, Pet Rescue Saga, Farm Heroes Saga and of course Candy Crush Saga, all of which have faced "substantive trademark and copyright issues with clones." Even so, it defies all common sense to suggest that anyone could confuse a Viking-themed fantasy RPG with a fairly generic match-3 game, and that pursuing legal action against an obviously and admittedly non-infringing game is somehow necessary to protect against possible future incursions.

UPDATE: In a statement sent to Gamezebo, Banner Saga studio Stoic said it won't give up its title without a fight. "Two years ago, the three of us at Stoic set out to make an epic viking game: The Banner Saga. We did, and people loved it, so we're making another one," the statement says. "We won't make a viking saga without the word Saga, and we don't appreciate anyone telling us we can't. King.com claims they're not attempting to prevent us from using The Banner Saga, and yet their legal opposition to our trademark filing remains. We're humbled by the outpouring of support and honored to have others stand with us for the right to their own Saga. We just want to make great games."

Source: Kotaku

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The silver lining here: Think of all the free press The Banner Saga got out of this!

Being serious though, that's really damn shitty. How they can just claim to own the words "candy" and "saga" is beyond nuts. The copyright system has seriously got out of control here. Artists aren't being protected with it, they're being persecuted.

Doesn't this mean that King just admitted that their action against the Banner Saga is frivolous and a waste of the court's time? Does that open them up to some liability?

Ah yes, when they explain it like that it all makes perfect sense.


Anyway, off to play some Banner Saga.

Captcha: stop wasting time
Even the soulless machine agrees.

So basically they're admitting they're completely full of shit and are using a shotgun approach to copyright infringement to solve a problem that doesn't exist yet.

Glad that's out of the way.

Captcha: "Scot Free". Sometimes you depress me Captcha.

I used to play Candy Crush from time to time, but since I heard they registered "Candy" trademark I decided to stop playing it and deleted it. Now after reading this I'm glad I've done it, and I would never touch it again.

If it was something like "Sweet Slam Saga", I may have been on your side but you know what, fuck you, King. Before this I thought you were relatively harmless, and hell, your game was fun enough to play whilst taking a shit between playing actual games, and anyone that spent money on your game was daft enough that they'd spend it on something equally moronic anyway, so I didn't care about that, but is just stupid patent/trademark trolling.

But I suppose maybe Square Enix can rake it in now, since they've also got a SaGa series.

Wow, way to be aggressive!

I can understand his point of view ... if he let the banner saga slide, it would set a precedent to the courts in future, "well, you let this "banner saga" game off without copy right claim. Why are you taking issue with this other saga game?".

I'm not saying he is in the right, I am saying copyright laws need a over haul so this doesn't need to be done.

I haven't heard a leap in logic this bad since the Reapers. "We preserve organic life by killing it so it doesn't get killed by synthetics even though we are synthetics that just killed said organics." If you're making logical leaps that fucking bad, you better get yourselves checked out mentally, because they not only went full retard, but are proud of the fact.

Now I'm hoping someone out there will make a game entitled "Saga Saga Saga: The Saga" just to spite them.

Seriously though, copyright laws are broken. The sooner they're done away with and replaced with saner regulations, the better.

sa·ga (säg)
n.
1.
a. A prose narrative usually written in Iceland between 1120 and 1400, dealing with the families that first settled Iceland and their descendants, with the histories of the kings of Norway, and with the myths and legends of early Germanic gods and heroes.
b. A modern prose narrative that resembles a saga.

I'm pretty sure The Banner Saga's use of the word is legitimate. Of course, the fact that the banner Saga is using the word to describe a kind of story probably has little bearing on the legitimacy of a trademark claim.

-m

The only way this could get more amusing, is if they decided to name Shia Lebouf CEO of king games.

I hate those especially specious arguments. They don't have a trademark to infringe on. It's idiotic. You cannot put a trademark on individual words. We saw this same stupid argument show up with the whole Elder Scrolls vs Scrolls debate. These guys are trademark trolls. The only time anyone could ever come close to infringing on their IP/Trademark (when they officially have one) is if they specifically used any combination of the words Candy, Crush, and Saga. Like, if you make a match 3 game that was called, Saga of Candy Crushing... then clearly there is supposed to be an understanding that these two things are connected. Trademarks also have a specific look to them, a logo (if you will). So that means that if they used completely different words but organized them the same way using a similar font and it invoked the feeling that the two properties were related, then you would also have something to worry about. But no one is making the mistake that The Banner Saga has anything at all to do with Candy Crush Saga, simply because the word "Saga" is used. They are literally sitting here using the excuse that they have to protect it to simply get press. Furthermore, The argument is so circular that it negates itself.

"I have to protect my trademark by attacking things I know have nothing to do with my trademark and there is no consumer confusion at all, because I have to protect it when it's actually under attack, so I need to do this to make my trademark legitimate and I have to legitimize it by attempting to bring legal troubles to properties that I know are not involved because my property may one day actually be infringed upon... (ad nauseum)."

I'm ashamed that so many online games media outlets are treating this with any kind of seriousness because trolling should not be endorsed by a legitimate news outlet.

This is the most disgusting copyright trolling I've heard about since Games Workshop tried to sue people for using the term "Space Marine". Too bad the laws won't get fixed to be more fair and sane anytime in the foreseeable future.

Ratty:
This is the most disgusting copyright trolling I've heard about since Games Workshop tried to sue people for using the term "Space Marine". Too bad the laws won't get fixed to be more fair and sane anytime in the foreseeable future.

Did you mean "Bethesda" and "Scrolls"?

My good god!! It's like a bad dream - someone pinch me!

Why should you be able to trademark words that have existed for thousands of years? Why should you be able to trademark things that you didn't create. Next they'll be after Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga

So what they're trying to say is that they want everyone to associate the word saga with their "games". Why don't they do what every normal company does and stick their name before it, like King's Candy Crush. Besides, who calls it by its full name anyway?

This isn't a copyright issue people, it's a trademark one.
It's still bullshit as you should only need to go after people who are deliberately trying to trick people into getting the wrong game.
Like Caramelle Crash Saga or something. That could be argued that it was a deliberate attempt to dilute your brand.
The fact that you have to do this, go after anything even remotely similar in the slightest way, in order to keep your trademark secure is just Ludacris.

Shhh no one tell them about Sega, their brains might not be able to comprehend basic spelling.

Yeah I love a good idiot story once in a while. Oh well someone wake me up once the King or whatever starts his/her crusade against games that have king or crush in their name.

omega 616:
Wow, way to be aggressive!

I can understand his point of view ... if he let the banner saga slide, it would set a precedent to the courts in future, "well, you let this "banner saga" game off without copy right claim. Why are you taking issue with this other saga game?".

That's not really true, you don't need to aggressively defend your trademark at every turn or risk losing it.

The circumstances under which a company could actually lose a trademark-such as abandonment and genericide-are quite limited. Genericide occurs when a trademark becomes the standard term for a type of good ('zipper' and 'escalator' being two famous examples)... Courts also set a very high bar to show abandonment (usually years of total non-use). Importantly, failure to enforce a mark against every potential infringer does not show abandonment. As one court explained:

The owner of a mark is not required to constantly monitor every nook and cranny of the entire nation and to fire both barrels of his shotgun instantly upon spotting a possible infringer.

Quite simply, the view that a trademark holder must trawl the internet and respond to every unauthorized use (or even every infringing use) is a myth. It's great for lawyers, but irritating and expensive for everyone else. And when done clumsily or maliciously, it chills free expression.

These guys are just being utter assholes.

No it isn't, in no shape or form is that true because that claim held no water whatsoever, you Mr. Trademark Troll are just hitting every target that can be reached to see who caves and pays out before knowing they are getting hustled.

This is a practice very well known in your circles.

craddoke:
Doesn't this mean that King just admitted that their action against the Banner Saga is frivolous and a waste of the court's time? Does that open them up to some liability?

Judging by how copyright law indeed requires you to defend yourself against everyone who even remotely looks at you sideways... not really.

Which is a bloody shame, as consumer electronics companies alone are occupying massive amounts of court time with pretty frivolous claims.

What do they think of the Square Enix "SaGa" series that started coming out in 1989? (14 years before King was even founded).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SaGa_%28series%29

I hold no love for Squeenix, but at least they're not running around suing everyone like a bunch of cunts because people used "Saga" in their game title. Explicitly, games with it at the end of the title

Romancing SaGa - 1992
Romancing SaGa 2 - 1993
Romancing SaGa 3 - 1995
Unlimited SaGa - 2002
Emperors SaGa - 2012

Why do they get ANY claim on the word "Saga"?cal

isn't candy crush saga a "Real Copycat" of bejeweled?

This story isn't an example of a failed trademark system. King does not actually have a trademark on "Saga" yet, and they probably never will. They don't even have a trademark on "Candy" yet, but that keeps showing up. The trademark system is not broken, it is not outdated, and it doesn't not need massive changes. Don't confuse it with copyright (which works but is just way too long) and the very messed up US patent system.

Do you really want to go to the store to buy Coca-Cola and walk out with something made down the street that tastes like sewage? The ability to trademark a brand is pretty useful.

Also, King.com is not "trolling" here. "Trolling" is when you go after money for some kind of IP infringement (normally patents) and that is your sole source of income. King actually has a successful product they are trying to protect from real threats. They're definitely going way overboard though.

Chareater:
isn't candy crush saga a "Real Copycat" of bejeweled?

Yeah, in the same sense that Half-life 2 is a clone of Doom. There are tons of match-3 games out there. I don't think Bejewelled is even the original. There are actual board games from the 1800s that use the basic concept. I've never played it, but the big difference is that the game is played across levels that require reaching different goals. Eventually the players runs out of lives and needs to pay or the levels get so hard that they need to pay for special items. They seem to have refined the art of catching "whales" that Zynga created. So, most people play for free on facebook fueling the few people who get obsessed with the game to pay out hundreds of dollars to continue to progress.

Also, game rules are not covered by patent, copyright, or trademark, so it doesn't matter if they "cloned" Bejewelled. This is a good thing since the entire games industry would be a disaster if someone could own the idea of an RTS or whatever.

So are they gonna go after AKSYS for Sorcery Saga next? Cause that game needs publicity.

Fuck off king and your ruination of a great word like saga.

Hope the courts throw this legal bullying out but I doubt it.

So yeah. King tries to take legal action, while admitting they have no legal standing. I don't see how this can benifet them in any way, shape or form. Good work, King, you made yourself look like an absolute bastard and are likely to have a lost court case in your near future.

As for The Banner Saga, I wasn't really going to get it, but now I think I might, come next steam sale.

Keep digging your hole, trolls. You'll be buried in it soon enough hopefully.

Hmm, they aren't suing they're filing a motion of opposition to Banner Saga gaining an official trademark. That said, their claim is bogus and shouldn't be hard to refute for any competent attorney. That said it is a shame they aren't being sued because that would open the door to said attorney crushing them in front of a judge and having King pay for the privilege, but that doesn't seem doable in this case.

If they have the money for it the hilarious long-term, albeit expensive, fix for this is to seek an injunction against King to prevent them from filing such claims in the future based on their explicit statement that they intentionally filed them against marks that they knew did not conflict with their own and have a history of making such claims that the courts and USPTO has thrown out. That said, this would be more expensive and would likely fail unless you did some very good discovery.

This is ridiculous, plain and simple. It's already been proven that you don't lose your rights to your copyright/trademark just because you don't chase after every single possible case. Seriously, all I heard from this was "Yeah, we know we have no legal standing here, but we're doing this anyway because, uh... because if we bully everyone who's innocent that means people who are actually trying to steal from us will be too scared or... something".

If I make a game, I'm going to name it "Scroll's Edge Saga".

Sir Pootis:
Good work, King, you made yourself look like an absolute bastard and are likely to have a lost court case in your near future.

That's assuming Stoic actually takes them to court, which they might not do, being a tiny indie dev with limited funds that they'll probably want to use to make more games.

On the other we have King, which earns several million dollars daily just from Candy Crush Saga alone. Should Stoic sue them, all King has to do is send in a whole bunch of lawyers to bog down the court case with legal shenanigans until Stoic has to give up from attrition.

They're assholes because they think they can afford it. And they probably can.

craddoke:
Doesn't this mean that King just admitted that their action against the Banner Saga is frivolous and a waste of the court's time? Does that open them up to some liability?

Objectively and morally? Totally. They're straight-up admitting "Yes, we know they aren't trying to infringe on us and there is no actual copyright infringement in this case. But we're trying to block them from using the name anyway."

Technically and legally, they are actually probably in the right. Under US copyright law, if a studio doesn't defend their copyright against ALL potential infringement, it actually weakens the copyright and their ability to protect it down the road. Or that is the reasoning a lot of big companies use, at any rate. It's the same reason that a lot of the big videogame companies go around shutting down fan-projects, no matter how respectful to the material they are, or how much the makers assure that it is non-profit. It isn't actually about whether or not someone does damage to your IP, it is about the legal perception of how strong your hold on the IP is. It's all very dumb.

In this particular case, it's a staggeringly wealthy company (these Candy Crush guys literally make millions a day on their game) being patent trolls simply because they can. They probably make more in a week than The Banner Saga will ever make in its entire release lifetime, and they know it.

So "these guys aren't infringing, but we want to hurt them anyway, just in case someone does infringe in the future".

What a fuckin' load of horseshit. What kind of idiot thinks like that? And then to go online and flat-out admit that you're wrong and don't care? Double idiots.

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