We heard yesterday that King (formerly King.com) the company behind such smash mobile hits as Candy Crush, had trademarked the word "Candy," meaning other companies wouldn't be allowed to use it in their games without express permission from King. Now the company is taking it a step further, by going after Stock Games' The Banner Saga, because it has the word "Saga" in the title.
It's not trying to sttop the game from using it though, just from registering a trademark, as despite the Banner Saga being quite a literal saga in the dictionary definition of the word, as well as a good hard slog, King's Candy Crush Saga is anything but.
However while it seems like they're being unnecessarily over the top here, it may just be King's way of showing it is willing to defend its copyright.
"We do not have any concerns that The Banner Saga is trying to build on our brand or our content," a King spokesperson said to Kotaku. "However, like any prudent company, we need to take all appropriate steps to protect our IP, both now and in the future."
So it isn't necessarily that King wants to stop The Banner Saga from getting its trademark, it just wants to make it harder for real copyright infringers to get away with it. Similar perhaps to the case of Bethesda going after Mojang's "Scrolls," because it had one word in common with The Elder Scrolls.
"If we had not opposed Banner Saga's trademark application, it would be much easier for real copycats to argue that their use of 'saga' was legitimate," King said. "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."
Of course admitting that your trademark claim is not a legitimate one isn't perhaps the best way to kick off a legal action, but hey, what do I know? Not as much as King apparently.