Candy Crush Saga developer King recently raised eyebrows by trademarking the word "candy," but the potential legal entanglement fun doesn't stop there. King has also apparently filed a "Notice of Opposition" with the US Patent and Trademark Office against Stoic's trademark for The Banner Saga.
Legal documents posted on NeoGAF detail the complaint. "Due to the similarity between Applicant’s claimed mark, The Banner Saga, and Opposer’s [King’s] Saga Marks, the closely related nature of the goods and services of the respective parties, customers and potential customers are likely to believe that Applicant’s goods originate from Opposer, resulting in a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace, and damage to Opposer," it reads in part. Most of the language is similar, regarding brand confusion.
For their part, King has said that their opposition is not to The Banner Saga itself, but rather simply so that they have firm legal ground against copycats. In a statement to IGN, the company said it is not trying to stop The Banner Saga from using its name, and does not believe it's trying to build on King's brand. But, copyright law being as it is, they need to take "appropriate steps" to protect themselves.
"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 statement reads. "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."