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 Banner Saga ,  CandySwipe  devs resolve trademark disputes with King
Banner Saga, CandySwipe devs resolve trademark disputes with King
April 17, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

April 17, 2014 | By Alex Wawro
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    6 comments
More: Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Business/Marketing



Stoic Studios and Albert Ransom -- developers of The Banner Saga and CandySwipe, respectively -- have each published polite statements acknowledging that they have reached an agreement with Candy Crush Saga maker King whereby their games may coexist in the market, seemingly putting an end to a long-running series of trademark disputes.

You may remember that Stoic publicly committed to making more Saga games earlier this year in response to King's formal opposition to Stoic's attempt to trademark The Banner Saga.

King opposed the trademark because "registration of the term The Banner Saga by Applicant [Stoic] is likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception that Applicant's goods are those of Opposer [King]," but it seems the two parties quietly resolved their differences last month.

Stoic published a brief statement in March that claims both parties have "come to an agreement" which will allow both Stoic and King to "protect their respective trademarks now and in the future."

A similar statement has been published by Albert Ransom, the indie developer who admonished King for underhanded trademarking tactics in an open letter published in February. That letter has since been removed from its former home on Ransom's website, which now links to a statement claiming that Ransom has "amicably resolved" his trademark dispute with King.

"I am withdrawing my opposition to their mark and they are withdrawing their counterclaim against mine," reads Ransom's statement. "I have learned that they picked the Candy Crush name before I released my game and that they were never trying to take my game away. Both our games can continue to coexist without confusing players."

The news was brought to Gamasutra's attention by a King representative early this morning, and we have contacted both Stoic and Ransom for further comment.


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Comments


Josh Foreman
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I smell a big wad of cash.

Kevin Fishburne
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I smell a bad actor playing emotionally nice with the "little" guys, gifting them the option of signing an NDA in exchange for the discontinuation of any current or future filings within the scope of the titles in question. Ragged-toothed sharks biting with the precision of surgeons.

If I caught a lawsuit for some inane or imagined infringement I'm not sure what I'd do. I know my anger level would be unprecedentedly high and if pursued I'd attempt to dismantle it at every level possible (economic, social, political, "street", etc.). Hopefully the same was done here and lessons were learned on all sides.

Daniel Borgmann
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It does look fishy. Considering the damage this whole affair has undoubtedly done to King, it doesn't seem far fetched to assume that they would be willing to part with a good bit of money for the sake of damage control.

Be that as it may, I guess that King has learned their lesson and are hopefully going to engage their fellow game developers in a more civilised and humble manner from now on.

John Trauger
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...but it sets a precedent for proper limits on trademarks to "Saga" and "Candy".

E Zachary Knight
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It would if this were a court ruling. Settlements do not make precedent in legal matters. They are at times a way to prevent precedent from being made.

Michael Thornberg
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In short: King found that this whole mess cost them a lot more than they thought it would. So they "agreed" to let Stoic off the hook.

That doesn't change who they are, and 'what' they are.


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