igdalogoOne of the biggest hot button issues of 2014 has been King.com's attempt at trademarking the words "candy" and "saga" and today the International Game Developers Association has issued a statement on the matter. IGDA's executive director issued the following statement on their website, as reported by Joystiq:

As an advocacy organization for game developers, the IGDA diligently monitors issues that may restrict a developer's ability to create and distribute his or her work. After reviewing the Trademark filing and subsequent conduct by King Inc. in relation to its popular game, 'Candy Crush Saga,' we feel we should comment.

While we understand and respect the appropriate exercise of Trademark rights, King's overreaching filing in its application for the Trademark for its game "Candy Crush Saga," and its predatory efforts to apply that mark to each separate word contained in that name, are in opposition to the values of openness and cooperation we support industry wide, and directly contradict the statement King's CEO, Riccardo Zacconi, made on 27 January. Our Business and Legal Special Interest Group will be providing a more comprehensive analysis of this issue from its perspective soon.

The Trademarking of the word "saga" became an issue last year in regards to Stoic Studio's tactical RPG The Banner Saga, when King claimed it was "confusingly and deceptively similar to [King's] previously used Saga marks." King later backpedaled and stated that it "has not and is not trying to stop Banner Saga from using its name." More recently, the developer of Candyswipe [$2.99 / Free] publicly announced via a blog post that King was actively trying to get his Trademark of "candy swipe" invalidated by purchasing an earlier 2004 Trademark for "candy crusher." This entire King Trademarking saga doesn't seem like it'll be over anytime soon, and I'll be interested to hear what else the IDGA has to say on the matter once they've had their Business and Legal Special Interest Group look into it further.

[Joystiq]

  • JammyJams

    Good.

  • defunct32

    Yaaaaas! That's what you get for being ridiculous! Trademarking common words like candy and saga? LMAO!

  • Piph

    Thank a non-existing God that a group like these guys exist. Stepping in to comment as an unbiased third party is big of them, and it shows that this industry doesn't have a tolerance for bullshit patent scams like what King is trying to do.

  • cruz30

    As an indie developer i am very pleased to hear that the IGDA has stepped in! I think a boycott of Kings IPs are in order! I really feel sorry for the developer of candy swipe!!! I hope King pays big time!!!

    • mr_bez

      I would love to participate in a boycott, but as I have never played one of their games or had any intention to do so, it would be rather meaningless.

      • Johan

        I just can't believe everyone fell for his "mother died of leukemia, and how can I now put food on my families"-letter when his game is still up. Not even the name of it has changed. Apparently King hasn't shut him down or even asked him to change the name of it.

        By the way, did you hear that Mojang ate my children, and my mother who's got a limp, is blind and deaf is really sad about that. And my father died in Iraq when protecting the American way of life. And I made a game in Basic once which I called Mine Munch, but Mojang made Minecraft and ruined my career.

      • defunct32

        I don't think anyone actually did (well, maybe a handful) but the main problem here is King trademarking common words making it hard for other potential developers to create an app that has the word(s) candy and crush in their app. It's just ridiculous.

  • James Cameron

    A victory for common sense. Shame on King!

  • dancj

    This looks like potentially good news, but do these people actually have any authority?

    • 61050

      i was thinking the same thing, but either way this shows king that at least some of us are paying attention. the real problem is consumer awareness, or lack thereof. i can all but guarantee that 95% of iphone users who are currently playing this shite game don't have a clue that any of this behind the scenes stuff is happening. were you to ask them if they support corporations abusing the legal system and using thug tactics to prevent the working class from being able to provide for their families, the answer would probably be no. ask why they are playing candy crush gaga then and enjoy the blank stares.

      i think step one is teaching the general public that this game is retarded. thats a long road though. "think about how dumb the average american is, and then realize that half of the nation is even dumber than that. "

      ~george carlin, rip

    • loox

      Every trademark is subject to an "opposition period" where the public is entitled to oppose a mark for up to a year.

      Their authority comes from their ability to have their lawyers oppose the mark, or even to bring a declaratory judgment action against King in federal court to invalidate the mark... Among other things.

    • Micah

      I think they're like the UN of game developers. They can strongly suggest King change's its ways, and wag their finger in its general direction, but at the end of the day, its main power is getting the word out more than it already has.

  • Diaboliq

    Well, they WERE the first people ever to use the word Candy and Saga in the English language... Oh wait

  • crunc

    What authority do these people have, or is it just a statement that they don't like it?

  • logik2000

    They're going to be conducting research and providing the results, which can go a long way toward sparking a group that does have actionable power when the researching group doesn't. A similar thing happened when a watchdog group caught Comcast resetting specific user connections years back. It prompted the FCC to step in.

  • NeoZeitGeist

    This will probably be ongoing till some test cases happen similar too what happened with copyrighting application code, it's the biggest reason for the trademarking rush by many app makers.

  • Joseph Nguyen

    King claims that The Banner Saga was "confusingly and deceptively similar to [King's] previously used Saga marks." Well the major difference here is The Banner Saga is actually an original game and not some knock-off like all of King's games, which include Bubble Saga, Mahjong Saga, Puzzle Saga. The word "saga" seems to be simply slapped on those games. It is frustrating to read about such a company caught up in defending "their" property. It clearly shows that King is only using these absurd trademarks as a means to create beyond-ridiculous lawsuits and sue all small and indie developers to make some fast cash. We'll never see King going after some of the big-time businesses like Nintendo, because they know they will get crushed. I hope King's trademark request gets rejected.
    I've been telling my family and friends to boycott all of King's games. Such a company does not deserve money from anyone.

    • NeoZeitGeist

      All the small developers have to Say is "See you In Court" I suspect if anything gets that far the judge will see it for the farce it is.

      • Adams Immersive

        What King (like Tim Langdell and others) knows, though, is that a typical small developer can't afford to take it to court. Trolls like this attack companies too small to defend themselves, because a large part of our legal system is set up (even if not planned as such) so that the deepest pocket is victorious.

      • Joseph Nguyen

        That is exactly what King is doing, sadly.

    • Jake7905

      Completely agree, a company like King embodies all that is wrong with IOS gaming. They produce knock-off freemium games, and then attempt to trademark their brand of plagiarism. The fact that they can actually copyright the word "Candy" is a legal joke, especially considering the unoriginal intellectual property they push. This King needs the guillotine.

  • Themostunclean

    What King is doing is patent trolling, plain and simple. I'm sure their legal team is made exclusively of former ambulance chasers.

  • falco

    TAKE THAT King and your games is not good sorry.

  • dieselj

    Why not trademark the word 'king' and sue them?

  • readysetboom

    I am going to trademark the words "lawsuit" and "sue", so that king has to pay me royalties for any court documents they write up when they press charges against another developer.

  • chuckdoom

    The candy crush guys are fucking insane, because they totally didnt steal their idea from bejeweled

  • ThePersonDerp

    All of my family and friends who play it still play it because "so, it's fun."

    • isana

      The sad reality of the uninterested

  • diaskeaus

    It's people like King that give trademarking a bad name and discourage companies in countries 'like China' from taking trademarking seriously, at least publicly.

  • zergslayer69

    Mom I want to have some candy! Hush now dear, you don't want to get taken away by the lawyers. They'll make you cease to exist.

  • Kane

    I think Namco should trademark the name "KING" because they have a character named that from the Tekken series.

  • makitango

    Maybe these King guys should talk down with the Disney guys who, amongst other things, obtained a saga-themed franchise in a galaxy not far far away....

    • falco

      Yes, like Lego Star Wars Saga... The complete Saga.