candy crush logo

Social games developer King, perhaps best-known for its wildly popular Candy Crush Saga match-three game (free in the App Store, currently #9 on the free apps chart), has filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seeking to trademark the word ‘candy’.

And guess what? King won the trademark last week and is now asking fellow developers to remove games with ‘candy’ in their name. The full story is right after the break…

According to Gamezebo, the Candy Crush Saga developer is already sending its legal sharks after several developers who they claim infringe on the ‘candy’ trademark.

King presumptuously took aim at developer Benjamin Hsu, the brains behind a free, oddly-titled iOS slot machine game, All Candy Casino Slots – Jewel Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land.

This is what the company’s lawyers wrote in a letter to Hsu:

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. The addition of only the descriptive term “SLOTS” does nothing to lessen the likelihood of confusion.

The registered claim to the word ‘candy’ covers video games and clothing, indicating that King is considering selling Candy Crush-themed merchandise.

The best independent developers can do is hire a lawyer to argue they don’t infringe by providing evidence proving they came up with a name for their app independently.

Most developers, however, don’t have the financial resources to take on King. The message is clear: steer away from using the word ‘candy’ in your app name or else…

Talk about legal bullying!

If you ask me, someone should have that trademark invalidated.

apple-candy-crush-cnn

King’s move is similar to Facebook-owned Instagram, which recently updated brand guidelines to prohibit third-parties from using ‘Insta’ or ‘Gram’ in their app names.

In a similar move, FarmVille creator Zynga back in 2012 took PyramidVille developer to court, citing consumer confusion stemming from the app’s name.

As of November 2013, Candy Crush Saga racked up half a billion downloads on Facebook, iOS and Android. The game is available free in the App Store.

Who knows what other common words will get trademarked in the App Store…

I still don’t understand how anyone can trademark a word like ‘candy’.

Isn’t this patent trolling?

  • La Cucaracha

    I guess ill have to stop working on my instacandyvillegram game 🙁

  • jp2002

    Candy patented. Close all candy shops or pay royalty to king entertainment for their patent. I think disney will have to pay royalty too for the extensive use of candy in wreck it ralph!

    • Nate McKelvie

      I’m not positive on this, but I believe the patent only applies to digital apps

      • jp2002

        yes. I was just typing it out. The registered claim to the word ‘candy’ covers video games and clothing

      • Nate McKelvie

        Clothing too? I didn’t know that one, that’s a big opportunity for major patent trolling, I’m sure a lot of clothing has candy written on it, especially kids clothing

    • appl3h4ck3r

      i think you might have to pay royalties now that you said ‘candy’ in your comment….oh crap now i do too OH NO! pfftt haha whatever King entertainment

    • Ignacio Irigoyen

      wrack it ralph, was made by Disney, no one is crazy enough to go against Disney, not even King

      • Uhm, people are crazy enough to go against Apple…Disney shouldn’t be any harder.

      • Brandon Miranda

        He’s back!

    • Raechel Mclain

      lol!

  • Mustang5Oh

    How the hell was this idiot given a trademark on the word candy? He, nor his team invented the word. What a jerk.

    • John

      Just like how Cadbury want to trademark the colour purple.
      Just stupid.

    • The same way Apple was given a trademark of that fruit…

      • appl3h4ck3r

        ha i remember that. a god-given fruit and apple now owns the rights to it hahah smh

      • jp2002

        And they got a taste of their own medicine from the company that owned Beatles record rights, apple corps i think!

      • Andrew Roth

        Yes, they did.

    • Your Mother

      not much different than the iDiot that got a trademark on rectangles with rounded corners.

  • John

    This is disgusting.

    More evidence that King are selfish and greedy.
    It’s not enough for them to make the game *just* hard enough that people are roped into spending shitloads on the game but now they want to screw out the little guys–Why don’t they do something productive like take on the knockoff Candy Crush games on the market.

    • RarestName

      Their iAP system is exploitable.

      • appl3h4ck3r

        always a plus!

  • Haha, seriously? Devs have been really inspired and are now following in the patent troll foot steps of the patent troll king…

  • Jason Baroni

    That’s a sugar crush!

  • Jed_133

    It’s stuff like this that both sicken and annoy the crap out of me. i can only hope that the patent gets pulled or that these guys get screwed in a royal way. That’s a complete b.s. patent..

    • Andrew Roth

      Lol… royal… they’re King…

  • xSeriouSx

    Watch out chicks, don’t get caught with “Candy” on your pants, or you know what’s coming…

    • Aden Bauer

      they will sue your ass

  • jacob wolin

    Ok so we can now patent words and get away with ruining peoples hard earned works, and a lot of the works he will go after have probably come out before candy crush

  • Hyr3m

    A trademark is not a patent. A copyright is not a trademark. A patent is not a copyright.

    Just like Apple with some of their patents. It’s utterly pathetic that King would be granted this trademark though… Will someone please make a clone of Candy Crush and call it Veggie Crush ? Or better and trendier yet : “Écrase Bonbon” ?

    In 20 years, all <10 letters acronyms and major English and French nouns (starting with foods) will be trademarked… Will the biggest trending app in 2034 be "Zadxylxky" ? Can we please stop with the patheticness of patents/trademarks ?

    King, you created the nth bejeweled clone (oh sorry… "-inspired game") and got lucky. Don't get cocky now because as you have risen, you shall disappear. Especially if you pull shyte like this.

    • jp2002

      After reading your comment I’m inspired to create veggie crush!

      • iOops

        And, I, with tooth crush right behind you.

      • James

        scandylous. see what i did there?

  • ConduciveMammal

    This is what happens when companies gain some form of notoriety in the world and it’s disgusting. The very least they could do is simply ask developers of such infringements to put some sort of notice within their app description that tells the customer that it’s in no affiliated with the trademark holder. To demand that they completely change their branding based on one word is bullshit. Let’s hope Apple doesn’t come after iDB for their use of the “i” or Cult of Mac for using the word “Mac”. I hate law, I think it always sets out to put a dampened everyone’s party.

    • Hyr3m

      Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges.

  • appl3h4ck3r

    Seems like to me this just big name developers trying to weed out competition in the App Store. Which is unfiar to those trying to make money with their apps (or get downloads at the most). Fair business is no longer a practice in America anymore and bcuz government likes to support big business 100% and stomp on the little guys, there is almost no hope, if any, that small time developers will have a chance against fighting the big guys. Copyrighting a word is childish, immature and just plain wrong bcuz its a word in the dictionary.. like honestly how far does someone need to go to achieve complete control? (apparently pretty friggin far) no hope for this country or the human race anymore. I think i’m going to convert to a cat at this point…

    • Hyr3m

      Mew ?

  • Ben Thorne

    I’m uninstalling. This is ridiculous patent trolling for sure.

    • Discoveryman

      If we all uninstall the game, then.. Just then… the Creators of this game will stop this B**S**t

  • Dan

    The fact that this game is so popular is a sign that the end is near…

    And there was war in the App Store: King and his candy lawyers fought against the developers; and the developers fought King and his candy lawyers, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in the App Store…

  • Maxim∑

    I have never played candy crush

    • James

      its like a ripoff of bejeweled.

  • Sean Clark

    We need to patent the name “Andy” and then send a cease and desist to Candy Crush for unlicensed use of the name.

  • sambuzzlight

    wow.. patents… sigh next thing you know they are forbidding people to say certain words…

    • marco1993

      It’s not patent it’s a trademark

  • Vivek Raja

    Change you’re title of this article, to ‘
    Candy Crush Saga creator trademarks ‘candy’, goes after App Store devs

    • Dani Hayes

      Change “you’re” to “your”. Lol.

  • Zaidan Umar

    Someone else should trademark ‘crush’!

  • Ernie Marin

    First apps with the work candy on it, next Cotton C***y.

  • Dani Hayes

    Same as the asshole that did the to “tower defense” games.

  • felixtaf

    He is trying to start business with candy crush merchandise. He can get trademark for his app name. Not, “candy” alone…

    For people who are confused, patent is different from trademark.

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    I think I’m just going to take out a patent on every single letter of the alphabet and sue the developers of every single app in existence…

    • marco1993

      If you get the trademark for the alphabet then u can sue everyone who uses the English language and many other languages that use the English alphabet lol

  • Discoveryman

    Candy Crush removed from my iPhone… enough idiocy about trademarks…

  • CaffeinePizza

    everyone just delete Candy Crush from your devices as revenge. let’s do it old school.

  • Royce Otero

    I believe there just talking about app games. Not anything else

  • Latrese

    Maybe I’m wrong but i don’t feel so bad using iAPFree on their game anymore,seeing as how they have no problem yanking money out of fellow developers pockets….

  • Albert

    Yea, this is absurd. I don’t how the geniuses at USPTO let this get by them…Probably same way Apple gatekeepers let certain apps get into the App store. And I’m not bashing Apple here. The fact that one can obtain a TM for a common word as “candy” is asinine. If this is the course the law is headed, it’s just a matter of time before the USPTO grants a TM for the word “Run” and effectively invalidate thousands of runner apps and endless runner games in the App Store.

  • Brandon Walker

    so then why can’t the makers of CandyLand sue CandyCrush for making a brand so similar to it?

    • James

      lol that would be funny.

  • chris125

    Wow it amazes me things like this can get trademarked. And what a total d-bag to go after developers who aren’t even similar games.

  • James

    That is just stupid. By the way, hope they don’t plan on going global because the UK already has a brand named Candy Clothing. And in the US, Kohl’s has Candie’s.

  • Pat Hayes

    What about Candyland?