King bows to pressure and withdraws "Candy" Trademark for Candy Crush Saga

Written by Alex J. Fierro

King, the company behind Candy Crush Saga, has withdrawn its copyright claim of the word "candy".

I don't think anyone could have predicted the meteoric rise of the simple game Candy Crush Saga. If you're unfamiliar, it's a puzzle adventure game for mobile phones including iOS and Android. It's simple, it's fun, it's pretty to look at. The colors and animation are gorgeous and it's addictive as, well, candy.

But King hasn't played nice lately. King.com took out a trademark for the words "Candy Crush Saga". OK, that make sense, but now they've attempted to use that power to prohibit other games from using the word "candy" in its title. I can kind of see where they were coming from. The popularity of Candy Crush led to a ton of rip-offs trying to use brand confusion and trick users into downloading their app instead. But some other apps found themselves in the crosshairs and were being threatened over the title of their apps. Some of which had come out before Candy Crush ever did.

This led to a nasty backlash by other developers. In protest, they released a barrage of apps in an organized push called "CANDY JAM". Games such as "CAN D", "ThisGameIsNotAboutCandy", "CanDieCanDieCanDie" and so forth were hastily pushed into the marketplaces as part of in an attempt to get some exposure regarding the candy copyright claim.

Well, looks like it wasn't a total waste as King.com has officially withdrawn its U.S. copyright claim. In an official press release, a spokesman stated: King has withdrawn its trademark application for Candy in the U.S., which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher.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.


Screenshot of CANDY JAM campaign
Screenshot of CANDY JAM campaign

We can see that European developers still aren't out of hot water just yet, but it's definitely a step in the right direction for the CANDY JAMMERS. I don't really know how to feel about it. I want developers like King.com to be able to protect their trademark. They built it. Candy Crush Saga is their property, but suing people for using the word "candy" may be a bit extreme. I wish their could be some common sense so that we could prevent the obvious rip-offs trying to cash in off the trademark whilst protecting existing games and allowing other games based off candy to exist. It seems like a slippery situation. Luckily, at least in the U.S., it seems to be over for now.