news\ Jan 21, 2014 at 9:26 am

Candy Crush Saga dev trademarks 'Candy'

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Candy Crush Saga developer King has trademarked the word "Candy." The trademark application was first filed in February of last year, but was finally approved on January 15th. There's still a 30-day window for companies to oppose the trademark, but already King has begun contacting developers that they believe are infringing on the trademark.

Benny Hsu, the man behind All Candy Casino Slots - Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania, has reportedly already received a notice of infringement. According to Gamezebo, Hsu received the notice and King was firm in its response.

"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 Hsu, in an email published by Gamezebo. "The addition of only the descriptive term "SLOTS" does nothing to lessen the likelihood of confusion."

King defended its decision to enforce its new "Candy" trademark because "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," a spokesperson told GamesIndustry International. So how can they explain the infringement notice to Hsu?

"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', focusing 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 calculated attempt to use other companies' IP to enhance its own games, through means such as search rankings."

This certainly isn't the first time we've seen a trademark dispute over such a common word and it probably won't be the last. As the gaming scene becomes more and more crowded, companies will continue to try and protect their brand -- even if it means trademarking something as common as the word "Candy."

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