Candy Crush Saga Owner King Finally Stops Trying to Trademark the Word “Candy”
This calls for a rousing chorus of celebration from the Lollipop Guild.
After provoking the ire of pretty much everyone on the Internet (not that they hadn’t already provoked it with their incredibly addictive, impossible-to-beat game), the company behind Candy Crush Saga appears to finally be backing off from the ridiculous trademark petition it first applied for in February of last year.
According to documents posted by the U.S. Trademark office and uncovered by Polygon, “the applicant hereby expressly abandons the application for trademark registration made.” The documents were filed yesterday on February 24, 2014, in response to a trademark that was originally filed on February 6th, 2013 and approved on January 5th of this year. This type of approved trademark would have given King exclusive rights to use the word “candy” in video games, on clothing, and on a whole bunch of other kinds of merchandise.
Not soon after the trademark was approved, King started to throw their weight around and challenge already existing games with the word “Candy” in their title. First they bought out Candy Crusher, then went after Candy Swipe‘s trademark, and then they even attempted to lobby against the game Banner Saga for using the word “saga” as well.
As retaliation, a number of game developers got together and created Candy Jam, a campaign designed to call out King’s ridiculous tactics by creating games with the words “candy” or “saga” in their titles, Candy Catch, CandyScrolls, ContraCandy, and The CandyMancer Saga.
It appears that the campaign might have worked, because King is officially backing down. In a statement to Kotaku, a spokesman said the following:
King has withdrawn its trademark application for Candy in the U.S., which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher.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.
However, as the above statement notes, King’s still gunning for that trademark over in Europe. So get on those candy-themed apps, European game developers.