Candy Crush Saga trademark as a barrier to any other saga in gaming

Candy Crush Saga is one of the classic games for wasting time while at work. Its publisher’s efforts to secure a trademark for “saga” and “candy” have been detrimental to the competitors’ growth, once again proving the effective contribution of trademark registration towards business success.

By

Jan Buza

Candy Crush Saga has become the most downloaded free game on iPhones in 2013 [1]. Its publisher, King, has registered a trademark for the name of this game. Since the registered trademark contains the term “saga”, it has allowed King to oppose to the development of a Viking-related game “Banner Saga” [2]. The developers of Banner Saga who have received a substantial support from their crowdfunding efforts have recognised the importance of the word “saga” for the name of the game and refused to rebrand the game [3].

The trademarking efforts pursued by the publisher of Candy Crush Saga however go even further, revolving around the word “candy” itself [4]. Although these efforts have been abandoned in the US following the acquisition of the rights to Blackberry puzzle game “Candy Crusher” [4], the publisher of Candy Crush Saga has secured the trademark in the context of the European Union for the word “Candy” [5]. The ongoing disputes with Banner Sage and CandySwipe have been however settled in a pro-competitive manner, with the publisher of Candy Crush Saga retracting their oppositions to these trademarks [6].

The case study of Candy Crush Saga illustrates the substantial power of trademarks in the gaming industry. The successful registration of a trademark has effectively allowed the publisher of Candy Crush Saga to discourage competitors from benefiting the consumers’ associations with the words “saga” and “candy” in the realm of computer games. The values of fair play have been however upheld by this company, allowing competitive companies with genuine interests to pursue the development of their ideas for new games.

[1] Wagner, K. (2014), “Sweet deal: Candy Crush developer trademarks the word candy”, Mashable, available from: https://mashable.com/2014/01/20/candy-crush-trademarked-candy/?europe=true

[2] Lien, T. (2014), “Candy Crush maker King settles trademark disputes with the Banner Saga developed”, Polgyon, available from: https://www.polygon.com/2014/4/17/5624980/king-settles-trademark-disputes-with-the-banner-saga-developer

[3] LeJacq, Y. (2014), “The Candy Crush trademark saga now involves the word saga”, Vice, available from: https://www.vice.com/en/article/bmjx5d/the-candy-crush-trademark-saga-now-involves-the-word-saga

[4] Grubb, J. (2014), “Candy Crush Saga publisher abandons the Candy trademark in the U.S. after acquiring Candy Crusher”, available from: https://venturebeat.com/2014/02/25/candy-crush-saga-publisher-abandons-the-candy-trademark-after-acquiring-candy-crusher/

[5] Vincent, J. (2014), “Candy Crush Saga creator King gets greedy and trademarks the word candy”, Independent, available from: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/candy-crush-saga-creators-king-get-greedy-and-trademark-word-candy-9074902.html

[6] Henry, J. (2014), “Candy Crush maker finally settles trademark disputes”, GameRant, available from: https://gamerant.com/candy-crush-king-settles-trademark-battles/

Jan Buza

Jan Buza

Product Mind

Helped scale portfolio firms for a VC fund

CEMS Prague

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