“Candy Crusher” Paves Way for King in U.S. Courts
King Games, makers of our beloved Candy Crush, has come under fire recently for its increasingly controversial decisions–first for trademarking the words “candy” and “saga” in the United States and Europe, then for taking legal action against game developers who many feel have done nothing wrong. These controversies may die down a little now that King has filed paperwork to withdraw their trademark on the word “candy” in the U.S.
There are many ways to interpret this move, especially since King filed for an IPO not long ago, but before we jump to conclusions, let’s read King’s statement on the matter:
“King has withdrawn its trademark application for Candy in the U.S., which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher.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.” (via Neoseeker)
For those of you who are lost, we’ll explain. Candy Crusher is an app that was made in 2009 for Blackberry devices and which had no relation to Candy Crush. However, by owning the earlier trademark, King can now claim to have the rights to candy-based games as of 2009. This means that any games with similar themes made after that year could be seen by U.S. courts as being in violation of King’s intellectual property. If that sounds pretty sneaky, that’s because it is.
It seems as though King wants to repair its reputation in the public eye after its fights with many independent developers have left it looking like a bully. Though King’s actions against games like CandySwipe and The Banner Saga certainly haven’t diminished its user base, no company wants to make this many enemies. But since King will clearly hang onto its ownership of “candy” in Europe, and its headlock on the word “saga” is still very much in place. We think it’s more likely that King feels more legally secure in the U.S. now, and just wants to focus more of its legal attention on European “infringers.”
What do you think about King’s legal “saga”? Will you keep playing Candy Crush, swear off buying boosters, or leave the game altogether? Tell us how you feel in the comments!