King.com tries to explain they are not really looking to crush the competition but rather make sure they are protected. Over the last couple days stories have come out about the maker of the famous Candy Crush Saga game trademarking the word “Candy” for video games and clothing, and they are also looking to trademark the word “Saga”.
King made a statement about the Saga situation,
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.
Read Write covered the story and explained that King.com might be in a “Use it or lose it” type situation.
From the article:
King’s explanation might sound silly at first when you consider how Banner Saga and Candy Crush Saga are simply using a word that already exists in the dictionary (“saga”). But there’s some legitimacy to King’s legal parrying: With trademarks, if you don’t use them, you stand to lose them.
Trademark law says companies’ rights to marks must be maintained through actual lawful use of the trademark, and if it’s not used or enforced in cases of infringement, the owner could be removed from the register on the grounds of “non-use.” Owners like King aren’t required to always take action against all infringement cases if it’s proven to be “minor” or “inconsequential,” but generally trademark owners are compelled to defend their marks, especially when others in the same industry are attempting to capitalize on their popularity.
It is worth noting that King.com makes roughly $700,000 a day and is worth billions according to Read Write, they are also highly dependent on Candy Crush Saga so they are pulling out all the stops to keep their company at the top of the market.
The other thing that keeps getting overlooked in all these articles written is that they mark is open for opposition in the U.S. and possibly enough app developers could object and prevent it from becoming a registered trademark.
Has anyone called Hasbro, the makers of Candy Land ? They don’t have an app but they do have several video game titles based on their famous board game.