Candy Crush Goes Trademark Legal; Candy Crush Gets Trolled

from the gonna-be-a-busy-day dept

Candy Crush is the mobile game that finally got everyone to stop playing scrabble and pictionary with their friends during their morning commutes. It was developed by King.com. King.com then turned around and applied for a trademark on the word "candy" (for games and a variety of merchandise) and is now going completely bonkers in the mobile app space, sending out letters to any app on the market that includes that oh-so-unique identifier of a word.

Stories about legal threats over generic terms are a dime a dozen, but at least those fights tend to be over generic phrases or groups of words. Having a trademark in the mobile app space on "candy" is insane. But that doesn't mean some folks can't have some fun with it. Take the indie game makers who have started The Candy Jam, for instance, which is simply a game that requires players to create any sort of game that has to do with candy.

WHY? BECAUSE TRADEMARKING COMMON WORDS IS RIDICULOUS AND BECAUSE IT GIVES US AN OCCASION TO MAKE ANOTHER GAMEJAM :D

RULES: MAKE A GAME INVOLVING CANDIES CONSIDER USING THE WORD "CANDY" SEVERAL TIMES, ALSO "SCROLL", "MEMORY", "SAGA", "APPLE" AND "EDGE" MIGHT GIVE BONUS POINTS
Well, okay then. If an insidious game developer wants to go legal on a generic word, apparently some folks out there will give them all the generic word targets they can handle. The apparent leading game idea thus far, judging by the Candy Jam hashtag on Twitter, is an inventive romp called Candy Candy Candy. We've reached troll level three, apparently.

The good news, however, is that even the lawyers think this is silly.
IP lawyer Martin Schwimmer tells Gamezebo that the fact "candy" is such a ubiquitous term will make it hard for much to legally stick.

"Someone can't plausibly claim that they came up with the term TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES on their own", he says. "An incredibly unique trademark like that is somewhat easy to protect. Suggestive marks are protectable, but the problem is that third parties can claim that they thought up their mark on their own."
And yet many people may simply change the names of their games to avoid trouble, or else find themselves in a court of law having to defend the name of their game including a word that's about as common as it gets. Yay, trademark!



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 3:49am

    So one could say that calling their threats bullshit and defending from any possible lawsuit is easier than stealing candy from a kid? (See what I did there? *wink wink*)

    Still, the sound effects and the song from the game are so creepy I picture the developers with a mix of candy van and pedobear.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 5:49am

    I am now looking forward to seeing a game titled "Scroll Memory: Candy Apple Edge Saga"

     

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  3.  
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    someone, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 5:58am

    what about this name?

    TEENAGE MUTANT CANDY TURTLES :P

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:09am

    Re:

    Does it have rounded corners somehow?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:12am

    Ever notice that anomalies never end? So long as are lawyers...

    And that's just one reason why Techdirt's approach -- or to be accurate, its apparent approach to supposedly suppressing a problem, but we don't actually know that Mike and minions don't wish for much more of the same because they get money from just re-writing of it -- anyway, the name and shame blame game changes nothing, as proven by SIXTEEN years experience here.

    Futility of results doesn't necessarily mean proportionate income.

    Masnicking: daily spurts of short and trivial traffic-generating items.

    02:12:12[c-145-3]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:12am

    Eleanor Abbott the creator of Candy Land would be amused.

     

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  7.  
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    Bt Garner (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:15am

    My next mobile game will be called "Trademark Crash." Then I will get a trademark on "Trademark." Then the fun will truly begin.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:18am

    My newest game, "Memory of the Edge Candy Apple Scrolls Saga"

    I am now working on a new game, it's called "Memory of the Edge Candy Apple Scrolls Saga".

    It's about a world where Candy, Apples, Scrolls, Edges, Memory, and Saga's have all disappeared, thanks to the six evil trolls who dress like a patent lawyer, and sleep on big piles of money under bridges.

    Oh and thanks to the evil troll of memory, no one can remember anything, because otherwise they'd have to pay the evil troll of memory royalties they can't afford. And the only food available is Candy and Apple's, but hardly anyone can afford to eat them, because they'd owe the evil trolls of Candy and Apple's big royalties if they did eat.

    In order to get to the evil trolls dressed like patent lawyers you need to somehow make lots of money to pay the the many tolls set up by the evil trolls.

    Eventually you'll come to one of the evil trolls. But no matter how hard you try to kill one of the evil troll's dressed like a patent lawyer, the troll will summon the evil judge! The evil judge will rule that you have to pay the evil troll all of your money for infringing on the troll's monopolies, and will steal all of your weapons and armor and give them to the evil troll to help pay your debts.

     

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  9.  
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    Vidiot (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:20am

    Forget "candy"

    New strategy: CRUSH! Games with the word "crush" in them; apps with the word "crush" in them; refrigerators with the word "crush" on their ice makers. Dole canned pineapple: number one target! Unless you mean the kind that's sliced in neat round rings -- that's okay. Note to REM: Somehow you snuck that "Orange Crush" song out to market before our game came out, but we'll figure out your dastardly trick, and get you for it!

     

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  10.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:29am

    Re:

    I'm going to trademark "Candy Trademark".

     

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  11.  
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    Simon, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:30am

    It's like taking candy from a baby.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Colin, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:34am

    New wrinkle of hypocrisy in this story: King copied an indie game and called it "Pac-Avoider."

    http://www.polygon.com/2014/1/23/5339800/indie-developer-accuses-king-of-double-standa rd-alleges-game-was

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:39am

    I hope they don't shut the Peppermint Hippo down. :(

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:43am

    Candy Assed

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    jackn, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:53am

    Re: Ever notice that anomalies never end? So long as are lawyers...

    W the f r u talking about. This article is about registering CANDY for trademark. Read it again fool.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: Ever notice that anomalies never end? So long as are lawyers...

    Read the article before attacking this site? Never!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 7:07am

    Re: Ever notice that anomalies never end? So long as are lawyers...

    "as proven by SIXTEEN years experience here"

    You've been here for 16 years and still get the basic facts of any posted argument wrong? I think that says a lot more about you than anyone else.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 7:14am

    Re: Ever notice that anomalies never end? So long as are lawyers...

    So, in sixteen years there has been almost daily "anomalies" to be brought up which reach the threshold of being noticed by some sort of news organization, never mind those that don't get any notice but still happen, and your take away is... what? No seriously, it sounds like your dismissing them as not even worth talking about, but how many times does something have to happen before you can call it a pattern. In fact, you seem to admit a pattern of abuse in the system by pointing out how often you see these stories. So your point is... we need to take a more active role in forcing the government to cut back IP Laws and punish lawyers? But, that is what is already happening, after all step one is to inform.

    So... I am sorry, I am at a loss to your point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 7:27am

    Quick, someone trademark the word crush and send a threatening letter to King.com.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Nick (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 7:31am

    Candy Scroll Saga: An Apple Edge Memory. Someone should totally make that game for the Candy Jam.

     

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  21.  
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    Baron von Robber, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 7:48am

    How about, "Mighty Morphine Flower Arrangers"?

     

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  22.  
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    alternatives(), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:11am

    Dandy krush

    Control ballistic objects to drop on fancy-looking lawyers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    Oblate (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:14am

    Wrong attack vector

    I'm taking a different approach. I will develop a game called "Candy Crush" where the player must line up three or more similarly colored strippers named Candy.

    In reference to where strippers are often found, and because this will be the best game ever, I will name my company "BarKing".

    As few people would confuse strippers with sugar-based confections, there is little cause for a trademark complaint.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:29am

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    vastrightwing, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 9:08am

    Olympic Monster Apple Candy goes Prenda

    May I suggest a game called "Olympic Monster Apple Candy goes Prenda"

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 10:18am

    @

    I want to trademark the "@" symbol in the electronic sphere.

    Maybe also the "&" too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    aldestrawk (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 11:50am

    Re:

    Apart from the whole ubiquitous word issue, Candy Land was the first thing to come to mind upon reading this. I played this as a child, which probably dates me. Hasbro own the rights to this game and still markets it. However, King's "candy" trademark does not apply to board games but only to games on electronic devices (e.g. computers and smart phones). The interesting thing is that Hasbro also sells Candy Land on DVD to be played on a TV. This is not interactive enough to be called a video game but it does conflict with following claim in King's trademark filing: "Video disks and video tapes with recorded animated cartoons". Also, I don't see how Hasbro can be prevented from marketing an actual video game based on Candy Land.

    There seems to be a conflict if Hasbro decided to market "Candy Land" in just about any way on electronic media and particularly if they wanted to market electronic equipment or clothing by slapping "Candy Land" on the device or item. If Hasbro takes notice, I don't see how this service mark can survive the 30-day opposition period. Since it is likely there will be an, Adam Sandler, movie based on Candy Land, I am sure that Hasbro will not ignore this.

     

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  28.  
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    aldestrawk (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 11:58am

    This trademark would also apply to clothing. What upsets me is that if this trademark survives I will no longer be able to buy my girlfriend a sexy candy striper dress to satisfy my fetish for, well, sexy candy stripers. I am outraged and will submit my opposition to the USPTO today!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    John85851 (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 2:37pm

    Blame the lawyers

    How can trademarking a word like "candy" even be legal? I can understand the idea that some companies are making candy-themed games to get into the lucrative candy app market and that King.com needs to protect their brand, but "candy" is too common of a word to copyright.

    Again, though, the blame should be laid at the feet of the lawyers who take cases like this. Even if the company executives think this is a good idea, don't the trademark lawyers know this won't work? Do the lawyers simply take the money without advising the client about the law?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:05pm

    Re: Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:41pm

    Re: Ever notice that anomalies never end? So long as are lawyers...

    Ever notice that anomalies never end?

    Very true and I'm impressed since its a great self reflection on your part..

    Why?

    Because your an anomaly that keeps going and going and going with all the provable bogus crap and never learns!

    Kudos to you for taking the first step towards intelligent discourse

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    btrussell (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 11:30pm

    Re: Blame the lawyers

    "Do the lawyers simply take the money without advising the client about the law?"

    Lawyers are salesmen.

    If you went to staples to buy a computer, and the salesman started telling you about how bad Windows is, even though that is what you have your heart set on, do you change your mind or look for another salesman or another shop to get what you want?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2014 @ 7:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Whew! Good thing they called it "Candy land ADVENTURES" and not "Candy Land SAGA"...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    ezioHD, Jan 27th, 2014 @ 2:43pm

    It's like taking candy from a baby.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 9:09pm

    Re: Ever notice that anomalies never end? So long as are lawyers...

    Wow. For anomalies they happen with frightening regularity. Perhaps you should look up that word and find out what it really means.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    Cliff, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 11:05pm

    Game Name - please someone run with it...

    Can Dylan Crush Apples Again?

    Slightly contrived name but you get...

    CanDy
    Crush
    Apple
    sAga

    with only 4 wasted characters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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