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 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.



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!

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Comments on “Candy Crush Goes Trademark Legal; Candy Crush Gets Trolled”

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out_of_the_blue says:

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.


Anonymous Coward says:

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.

G Thompson (profile) says:

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..


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

aldestrawk says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Vidiot (profile) says:

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!

Oblate (profile) says:

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.

John85851 (profile) says:

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 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?

btrussell (profile) says:

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?

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