OK, now switch those green and yellow candies and you get… a successful trademark application! Perfect!
King, the developer of popular mobile game Candy Crush Saga, recently filed a trademark application for the word “Candy” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). On Jan. 20, the USPTO accepted the company’s request, allowing King to go after other games that similarly use the candied treats style.
King says that its goal is not to go after every company that uses “Candy.” However, the company has recently petitioned Apple to remove other games that use “Candy” in a similar style to Candy Crush Saga, as King claims the other games are a violation of its IP rights.
“We have trademarked the word ‘Candy’ in the EU, as our IP is constantly being infringed and we have to enforce our rights and to protect our players from confusion,” a King spokesperson told GamesBeat. “We don’t enforce against all uses of ‘Candy’ — some are legitimate, and, of course, we would not ask app developers who use the term legitimately to stop doing so.”
According to GamesBeat, one particular game that should expect to be in King’s crosshairs is All Candy Casino Slots — Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land. King believes the game intends to deliberately confuse App Store customers, especially with its icon.
“[The game's] icon in the App Store just says ‘Candy Slots,’ [which focuses] heavily on our trademark,” said a King spokesperson.
Other developers have 30 days to file an appeal with the USPTO to claim that the trademark will hurt its business. But even so, this trademark acceptance should be seen as a major victory for large mobile game developers. Many smaller companies attempt to deceive customers through “copycat games” on the App Store, but the USPTO has now given larger developers the power to go after these copycat games.
For more on the burgeoning intersection of mobile apps and law, check out these InsideCounsel articles: