Legal Issues

by Karl Bode

Filed Under:
candy crush saga, trademark


King Backs Off Ridiculously Broad 'Candy' Trademark, Will Still Be Obnoxious In Other Ways

from the King-Kong dept

King, makers of the very successful Candy Crush Saga mobile game, have been nothing if not creative in their attempt to bully other companies using absurdly broad trademark claims. Unsatisfied with simply enjoying their luck and fortune at creating an entirely derivative yet somehow hugely successful game, the company felt compelled to apply for a trademark for the word "candy." That unsurprisingly resulted in an ocean of criticism in the press, and even a little playful retribution -- including developers making a game in which players have to create a game with the word candy in it.

King is now filing to abandon their trademark on the word candy. That's not because they were willing to admit any fault on their part, but because the company will instead focus on an older, more specific trademark for "candy crush" in an attempt to wreak havoc. The company only just acquired that 2004 trademark in the last few months, and has already used it to try shut down a game called CandySwipe that came out two years before Candy Crush Saga. CandySwipe is still available in the Google Play store, and it has been flooded with five star reviews by people tired of King's shenanigans.

King released a statement to the press describing their decision as such:
"King has withdrawn its trademark application for Candy in the U.S., which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher. Each market that King operates in is different with regard to IP. We feel that having the rights to Candy Crusher is the best option for protecting Candy Crush in the U.S. market. This does not affect our E.U. trademark for Candy and we continue to take all appropriate steps to protect our IP."
In addition to using their candy crush trademark and continuing their defense of candy in Europe, King will also continue their campaign to stop Stoic, makers of the strategy-RPG The Banner Saga, from using the word saga. You know, because of potential confusion, not because King is being an obnoxious tyrant.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Christenson, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 4:21pm

    which NORSE saga?

    We are clearly stuck in one here, big grin! Thanks Mr Bode!

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 4:50pm

    Don't let Horatio hear this. He'll be crushed to learn he can't use the word saga. Maybe he can stop at the candy store to help himself feel better.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 5:58pm

    I never even knew the game was "Candy Crush Saga" until they started suing people. I thought it was just "Candy Crush". The shorter name would be an improvement, IMO.

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

  4. icon
    DB (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 7:44pm

    Wait.. they just acquired an earlier trademark and are using that against other games with 'Candy' in the name?

    Yet somehow they weren't infringing the earlier trademark?

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

  5. icon
    Spointman (profile), Feb 27th, 2014 @ 12:14am

    The statement refers to the trademark as "Candy Crusher" (unless that was a transcription error). Wouldn't that be legally different from Candy Crush? As in, it wouldn't even cover their own game.

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

  6. icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 27th, 2014 @ 2:28am

    Hmmm... I've seen figures of over $700k dollars per month. Considering it barely has any adds (other than for other games from King) then there are shitloads of people burning money at King's fires for essentially what is a game based pretty much on luck. I had a whole level solve it by itslef without me touching the screen once and my gf spent 15 minutes looking at candies crushing themselves before establishing a score that put her on top of the list of friends that played with 5x the second place. If the game doesn't want you to finish a level you won't finish it no matter how much you spend in boosters (disclaimer: I've spent none). We play with our friends just for the lulz. But it seems there are people out there that take it seriously.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2014 @ 7:21am

    Yay they withdrew the overly broad trademark in the US in favor of a slightly less broad trademark that they will still use to screw everyone over because they can.
    Anybody have an electromagnetic pulse weapon I can borrow?

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2014 @ 7:37am

    The reason King backed off the Candy trademark lawsuit situation was because they realized if they lost, they lost ALL their claims against everyone they wanted taken down.
    (Including a few developers they'd previously tried to buy-out but got turned down).

    By going after each specific developer individually on "different grounds", if one case gets knocked out, the others can proceed regardless.

    The end-plan is to "make developers an offer they can't refuse" where King gets them to either get absorbed by their company OR sell their current portfolio to King.

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

  9. icon
    Idobek (profile), Feb 27th, 2014 @ 7:57am

    Monarchs around the world unite!

    A company named "King" is attempting trademark common words? Perhaps we can persuade a few actual Kings to send a cease and desist.

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

  10. icon
    JustMe (profile), Feb 27th, 2014 @ 8:36am

    Thanks for reminding me

    To support anyone these jive turkeys sue. Heading out to find Banner Saga thing and CandySwipe now.

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

  11. identicon
    Ragnar, Feb 27th, 2014 @ 8:15pm

    Saga board game published in 1980

    1980, TSR publishes board gamed named simply "Saga!"

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

  12. identicon
    Fayt S., Aug 1st, 2014 @ 12:57am

    The point isn't the fact that it's about a game but about legal copyright laws and one company deciding that they want to monopolize on two common everyday words and push against games and products that have the word but have not one planck of relation to CCS such as Banner Saga which I won't say is the best game out there. They even called into a legal suit a rock group called The Bubblies cause the name could be confused with Bubble Witch Saga. Now permit me to try and avoid wanting to flame but there are two issues in that statement. Number one, last I hear unless I'm wrong, Bubble is not trademarked otherwise there are a laundry list of companies that use the word that owe the King company since the 1930's, and two, It's a GD musical group. How do you confuse a musical group with a game that is the very definition of insanity. That is where the answer lies. In definition by, insanity is mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct ones affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior. Such is to say that in any psychologist's chair, the heads at King games would indefinitely qualify as insane for the fact that they believe that they can push trade law and not expect any backlash from a digital community. They live in a fantasy world of "Candy" in which the King "Saga" is the only one and soon the world of reality will "Crush" them as just like with any object, when one gets frustrated and/or bored, they will erase their Crush and Bubble sagas for something new from some other company.

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

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