(Editor's Note: This is a combination news and op-ed piece; Hendrick is commenting on the firestorm surrounding King.com's aggressive litigation regarding its trademarks.)
Intellectual Property (IP), and the laws pertaining to and surrounding it, is a very tricky subject at times. This is mostly due to the laws and rights which get tacked on to the IP, to ensure the owner of the product is not losing money unjustly. Years of lawsuits and arguments are spent surrounding a single intellectual property that may be infringed upon by a non-licensed individual. What's silly about the whole process is that, in the United States, people can file trademark associated with generic words.
This is the case when it comes to King.com, creators of Candy Crush Saga, who in 2011 attempted to file a trademark on "saga" when it comes to video game media. Since then, it has led to a slap fight between two development houses. So how does this affect other developers? King.com sent their legal departments to approach other developers who use the words "candy" - another trademark they own - or "saga" in a video game title and ask for proof that the product does not infringe upon King.com's products. Failure to provide evidence results in King.com requesting the other developer remove their service for sale.
This procedure caused a public slapfight between two companies. The Banner Saga is finally out, but they now have to deal with King.com. In somewhat ironic circumstances, The Banner Saga's developers, the aptly named Stoic Studios, are now unable to create a sequel to their successful game due to King.com claiming they own the trademark of "saga" in a video game title. The Banner Saga, an RPG strategy game, is likely not to have a sequel because King.com claim exclusivity on the word "saga" in a video game title. Although King.com filed a claim against Stoic, King.com stated they're not trying to stop the studio from using the title Banner Saga. King.com claimed that they want to make sure anyone using "saga" in a title isn't infringing on King's IP and cause player confusion. These are the differences in the games in picture form:
Candy Crush Saga
The Banner Saga
The claim is being made that King.com's titles of Candy Crush Saga, Bubble Witch Saga, Pet Rescue Saga and other products whose title has "Saga" at the end, are facing numerous clones in violation of King's trademark.