Many of us know Candy Crush Saga as the annoyingly ubiquitous mobile game that’s made a ton of money for British software developer King. However, it looks like Candy Crush Saga is gearing up for a second career as an intellectual property troll. GameZebo reports that King has successfully trademarked the word “candy” as it relates to both games and clothing and is issuing takedown notices to mobile apps that use “candy” in their titles.
Benny Hsu, the developer behind the game All Candy Casino Slots, tells GameZebo that he and other developers with candy-related games have been targeted by King, a development that has left them “frustrated” because their games aren’t at all comparable to Candy Crush Saga. IP attorney Martin Schwimmer, however, advises all games that receive takedown notices to contact a lawyer to figure out whether King actually has a legitimate claim against them or whether it will be easily dismissed.
“As to how far King can enforce its rights, it will be a function of how strong its mark has become, and how similar the third party name is,” Schwimmer tells GameZebo. “It would likely be able to enforce its rights against marks that are connotatively, phonetically or visually similar, for games that are conceivably competitive. King can’t go after candy companies because candy companies don’t use the term CANDY as a trademark — they use it to identify their product.”