King / Candy Crush Saga


Candy Crush Saga maker King has resolved its trademark disputes with the developers of two independent games, The Banner Saga and CandySwipe.

The mobile gaming giant had initially opposed Stoic’s attempt to trademark the title of its new game The Banner Saga, while the creator of a game called CandySwipe had picked a public fight with King over its “candy” trademark. In updates posted online, both developers now say the disputes have been amicably resolved.

“Stoic is pleased to have come to an agreement with King regarding Stoic’s The Banner Saga trademark, which enables both parties to protect their respective trademarks now and in the future,” Stoic community director Lance James wrote.

King spokeswoman Susannah Clark reiterated that the company had to oppose the smaller companies’ trademarks so as not to set a precedent for potential trademark battles in the future. However, she said the company has no formal policy about such hypothetical battles other than to “protect our IP and respect the IP of others.”

“The whole way along, this hasn’t been about being aggressive or taking things down,” Clark said, “Every case is different.”

No formal litigation took place, she added, and Stoic will be able to trademark “The Banner Saga” while King’s trademarks on “saga” — stemming from the sister games to Candy Crush Saga like Papa Pear Saga and Bubble Witch Saga — are unaffected. In February, the company dropped its attempt to trademark the word “candy” in the U.S., but has maintained its trademark in the E.U.


King's "Saga" and "Candy" applications have always been a joke to me.  Their handling of both the legal and public aspects of the applications has been even more comical.

If King has affirmatively reached an agreement in which they allow Stoic to register "The Banner Saga" they have weakened their own trademark more than if they had just kept their mouths shut and allowed Stoic to register the mark without objection.  By entering an agreement, they have created a data point of what they admit not to be infringing.  A data point that future accused infringes will certainly use against King.

Had King been more judicious with their conduct by not saying anything about Stoic's application, that data point would not exist and King could argue in the future that "____ _____ Saga" infringed their mark.

Given their antics, I expect this company to follow a similar path as Zynga.  


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