If you have not played Candy Crush Saga, you probably know someone who has. In light of the enormous popularity of the game, the developer of the game, King, sought to protect the name of the game through trademark law. Specifically, King has sought to protect both the words “Candy” and “Saga.” Some people believe these terms are too generic for trademark protection and King has received a fair amount of criticism over its trademark filings. The situation merits a closer look to see what would motivate a company like King to seek trademark protection the way it did.
King filed for a mark for the word “Candy” in the European Union. The application was approved on January 15 of 2014 and other parties have 30 days to oppose the trademark. The mark was listed in many categories such as games, game accessories, merchandise, and paper hats. In the United States, this application may have been rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but you can never truly predict what the office examiners will do.
King also filed a trademark application for the word “Saga” in the United States back in 2011. Meanwhile, another game company named Stoic Studio filed a trademark application for the name of its game, The Banner Saga. King filed an opposition to this mark at the end of 2013. In the opposition, King cited its own use of the word “Saga”, which spanned many games, not just Candy Crush Saga.
When asked about these filings, King insists it is not seeking the exclusive use of the words “Candy” or “Saga.” King claims it will not enforce its rights against those who use the term “Candy” legitimately, only those who infringe upon the Candy Crush Saga brand. Similarly, King claims it is not trying to stop Stoic Studio from using its name but filed the opposition to protect its existing trademark for its many games. It is true that King would damage its trademark protection if it ignored Stoic Studio’s application. However, for the same reasons it cannot let the Banner Saga name be used. Nonetheless, all of these filings are still pending at the time of this writing, so time will tell who will prevail in the eyes of the respective Trademark Offices.
If you are considering filing a trademark application, please visit our online application page here, where you can start the process. If you would like to set up an appointment to speak with a trademark attorney, or just get some general information about the trademark process, give our office a call at 732-444-6303.