King Trademarks Candy And Goes After Games That Use It

Candy Crush Saga creator, King, has trademarked the word "Candy" and is now contacting other game developers asking them to remove it from their game titles.

One of those developers is Benny Hsu, the indie developer behind All Candy Casino Slots. Believing that "All Candy Casino Slots" is clearly different from "Candy Crush Saga," Hsu contacted King who refuted his argument.

"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," Sophie Hallstrom, King's IP paralegal told him in an email.

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

It doesn't really matter if King's claim is reasonable or not, it is unlikely to be challenged in court. "Myself and other indie developers don't have the money or resources to fight back," explained Hsu. "I plan on changing the name if that is what I must do."

King has sent out a clarification for its position on the issue.

"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. 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."

"The particular App in this instance was called 'Candy Casino Slots - Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land', but its icon in the App store just says 'Candy Slots', focussing heavily on our trademark. As well as infringing our and other developer's IP, use of keywords like this as an App name is also a clear breach of Apple's terms of use. We believe this App name was a a calculated attempt to use other companies' IP to enhance its own games, through means such as search rankings."

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