Candy Crush Saga already owns your wallet, your Facebook feed and for many of you, your soul. And now King, the makers of the addictive, social, and free-to-play moneymaker Candy Crush Saga own the word “Candy.”
Or ta least they won the trademark for the name, when it comes to games and, oddly, clothing. They’re now looking to get all games on Apple’s iOS app store that feature the word “Candy” removed, or changed. Game developers that have games featuring the word have reported being hit with legal notices, asking them to remove their games, or prove that their games don;t infringe upon the trademark.
"Your use of CANDY SLOTS in your app icon uses our CANDY trade mark exactly, for identical goods, which amounts to trade mark infringement and is likely to lead to consumer confusion and damage to our brand," Sophie Hallstrom, King’s IP paralegal told Hsu, in an email published by Gamezebo, after he;d questioned the notice.
"The addition of only the descriptive term "SLOTS" does nothing to lessen the likelihood of confusion."
Hsu believes that he, and a number of other indie developers don;t have the money or resources to fight King, and may be forced to change their games names. That’s despite their games having nothing to do with Candy Crush Saga. King actually filed for the trademark last year in February, and it was approved last week.
People have the right to protect their work, but I think trademarking single, generic words that already exist is a step too far. Especially when, if you get right down to it, Candy Crush Saga is little more than a Bejeweled clone (itself heavily inspired by Russian “match 3” puzzler Shariki) wearing fancy clothes.
Last Updated: January 21, 2014