Jan 2014
Matt Bourgault

King’s crazy candy copyright claims

Some of these copyright claims are getting out of control.



I’ve never played Candy Crush Saga.

I’ve never played Farm Heroes Saga either, so I don’t really have a good gauge of what King is like as a developer. I can say that they’ve taken some drastic measures to make some money, though.

From what people have told me about Candy Crush, it sounds like a pretty standard freemium game.  It seems addictive enough to drive gamers to plop down some extra cash for a few more lives and whatnot.  All of this is pretty blase in the video game industry at this point. It’s also well known that small studios like King have trouble maintaining success because that requires multiple hit titles.

In order to combat this, they took a step in the “Are we sure these guys are good people?” direction. King has copyrights on the word “candy” in both video games and on clothing, because I guess the only function of copyright judges is to say, “Yeah man, that sounds cool. Wanna go bowling?”

At this point it’s hard to tell how King is going to enforce these claims. Established brands like Skullcandy could suffer some losses depending how this plays.

It has also come to my attention that King is in the process of copyrighting “saga,” which would really take this over the top.

I understand why King would want to copyright “candy.” They need to be able to protect their brand from some knockoff “Candy Crashers Saga” that I’m sure is already in an app store somewhere. But “saga” is different.

“Saga” is a story. Plenty of games want to tell stories. And don’t give me any of the protecting the brand nonsense in this case. People may be searching “candy” to get to “Candy Crush Saga,” but not a single person is searching “saga.”

It’s still to be seen how King will use their new powers, but it doesn’t look good.