King’s open letter defending trademarks

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CEO of King, Riccardo Zacconi  publisher of Candy Crush Saga, has issued an open letter on their website regarding their recent decisions to trademark the words “Candy” and “Saga” while also pursuing Stoic Studios, the creators of The Banner Saga, for using Saga in their name.

“At its simplest, our policy is to protect our IP and to also respect the IP of others,”

Zacconi also explained the decision to publish their game Pac-Avoid as a direct clone of ScamperGhost on mobile devices, which has been seen as a hypocritical action by King.

“The details of the situation are complex, but the bottom line is that we should never have published Pac-Avoid. We have taken the game down from our site, and we apologize for having published it in the first place.”

“Let me be clear: This unfortunate situation is an exception to the rule. King does not clone games, and we do not want anyone cloning our games.”

Zacconi wanted to make it clear that the trademarking is to protect themselves from clone games.

“We are not trying to control the world’s use of the word ‘Candy’; having a trademark doesn’t allow us to do that anyway. We’re just trying to prevent others from creating games that unfairly capitalize on our success.”

Zacconi said that the word “Saga” is important to their brand, as several of their games like “Pet Rescue Saga” and others use the word saga.

“We’re not trying to stop Stoic from using the word ‘Saga,’ but we had to oppose their application to preserve our own ability to protect our own games,” he wrote. “Otherwise, it would be much easier for future copycats to argue that use of the word ‘Saga,’ when related to games, was fair play.”

I think King being prudent about their IP law is good practice, because we all know how stupid copyright laws can be, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. I’m surprised that Popcap didn’t look at Candy Crush and think it was derivative of Bejewelled (Spoilers, it is). Regardless, I hope that they don’t have a problem with my operant conditioning match 3 puzzle game “Lolly Smoosh Journey!™”


Last Updated: January 28, 2014

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