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Developers protest Candy Crush maker's 'candy' trademark with hackathon

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Independent game developers are fighting back against Candy Crush Saga developer King's attempt to prevent other companies from using the words "candy" or "saga" in any game-related context by releasing a flurry of candy-themed games.

Candy Jam


Independent game distributor itch.io organized the event, called Candy Jam, as a sort of peaceful protest against King following news that the company was asserting trademarks covering the words "candy" and "saga" against smaller developers. The hackathon was created, its website says, "because trademarking common words is ridiculous."

Organizers are calling on smaller developers to create and release candy-themed games between now and Feb. 3. Developers are asked to "make a game involving candies" and "consider using the word 'candy' several times."

King purchased the trademark for the word "candy" in Europe from a now-defunct company and had filed an application to duplicate that trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The company already owns trademarks for "saga."

Following those transactions, King began sending cease-and-desist letters to developers using those words in their games. Among the recipients was Stoic, makers of Banner Saga, a popular viking-themed role-playing game, who had applied for a trademark of their own.

A firestorm of publicity accompanied the letters, and King representatives attempted to tamp down the blaze by posting an open letter to the community regarding intellectual property.

"At its simplest, our policy is to protect our IP and to also respect the IP of others," the letter reads. It goes on to compare the "candy" trademarks to those of more famous companies like Time Magazine, Sun Microsystems, and even Apple.
post #2 of 37

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #3 of 37
Interesting - but isn't the trademark of Time Magazine restricted to news publications? or perhaps any for of publication? and not just the word "Time" itself? For example if I wanted to publish a magazine about watches and clocks and call it Time Magazine then I don't think that would fly - but if I called it Time Pieces Magazine or The Magazine of Time, would that be okay?

Similarly with Apple, despite the long battle between Apple Computer/Apple Inc and Apple Corps Recording Studios, could I not setup a retail store specializing in selling apples of every variety from around the world (talking about the fruit here folks) or would that be considered a violation (provided I didn't try to make it LOOK like an Apple store)? but if I set up a computer sales and repair shop and called it Apple then I would be in trouble?

I am not sure if "candy" and "saga" and "crush" are more or less common in everyday usage than "apple" and "time" and "sun" but it does seem like a stretch to me to claim that a game called Candy Racers for example would be confused with Candy Crush unless the former did their best to mimic the look of Candy Crush.

I suppose its a good thing (or is it?) or is it that I am not a lawyer or judge involved in such cases because I would be inclined in many of these cases to say "ya'll are being ridiculous, stop wasting my time and go play nice"
post #4 of 37
I am concerned Candy can be trademarked but then again so many bad Devs would seek to capitalize on Candy Crush's popularity to confuse consumers.

Ugh! Not sure what's right?!
post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by King, the Dickhead Developer View Post

"At its simplest, our policy is to protect our IP and to also respect the IP of others," the letter reads. It goes on to compare the "candy" trademarks to those of more famous companies like Time Magazine, Sun Microsystems, and even Apple.

 

My litmus test is: What would happen to you if you said this to a group of five dudes in downtown Oakland. 

 

You'd get your ass beat, that's what. Just because you have Harvard lawyers writing your pretty copy doesn't make it any less thuggish. Thuggish behavior should be met with a punch to the face, is what I say. 

post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

My litmus test is: What would happen to you if you said this to a group of five dudes in downtown Oakland. 

You'd get your ass beat, that's what. Just because you have Harvard lawyers writing your pretty copy doesn't make it any less thuggish. Thuggish behavior should be met with a punch to the face, is what I say. 

Are you saying street thugs don't honor trademark laws?
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Interesting - but isn't the trademark of Time Magazine restricted to news publications? or perhaps any for of publication? and not just the word "Time" itself? For example if I wanted to publish a magazine about watches and clocks and call it Time Magazine then I don't think that would fly - but if I called it Time Pieces Magazine or The Magazine of Time, would that be okay?

Those examples should be finee, there is after all a Time Out magazine.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Interesting - but isn't the trademark of Time Magazine restricted to news publications? or perhaps any for of publication? and not just the word "Time" itself? For example if I wanted to publish a magazine about watches and clocks and call it Time Magazine then I don't think that would fly - but if I called it Time Pieces Magazine or The Magazine of Time, would that be okay?

Yes that should be ok since they're not competing in the same market, for example the U.S. has Apple Bank.

https://www.applebank.com

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post #9 of 37
One large corporation fought another much smaller one for use of "Lindows" artificial word because it was too close in sounding to certain home construction element they produced (but it was in context of operating system). I cannot name that corporation for some reason. Oh I fear... The little once had to change Lindows to Linspire. I think the big corporation may start trademarking "red" for the name of place where they have their headquarters as this could be also some sort of conflict found by wisdom of commercial judges and attorneys.
post #10 of 37
I think the only thing that sucks is we all have to wait for these Patent, Trademark, Copyright Trollish activities to blow over in the next 20-30 years, so we have to drudge thru this for the future of societies' children, when the population gets to be 15-20 billion people, but yet 1 person will try to own the word Candy in whichever context, or the word Time, etc...

I'll be dead by the time I will be able to use the word "Circle" or "Square" legally, I am sure someone owns that all out, so I don't even try...

Pathetic times right now for creativity... all because you can't title your work: "Candy Time" by -Artist Name

My whole argument to the situation is that person or even family, did not INVENT or CREATE the word CANDY PERIOD.

So here they go putting their quarter on the video game machine...
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post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Are you saying street thugs don't honor trademark laws?

Just ask Eminem.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciekskontakt View Post

One large corporation fought another much smaller one for use of "Lindows" artificial word because it was too close in sounding to certain home construction element they produced (but it was in context of operating system). I cannot name that corporation for some reason. Oh I fear... The little once had to change Lindows to Linspire. I think the big corporation may start trademarking "red" for the name of place where they have their headquarters as this could be also some sort of conflict found by wisdom of commercial judges and attorneys.

 

Actually, Microsoft lost their legal battles against Lindows. Eventually, they did settle but in no way did Microsoft win anything through a court room. In fact, they backed off the legal strategy because they started to fear the Windows trademark would be ruled as too generic.

 

In the instant case, I find it highly doubt that "Candy" would be upheld as a legitimate trademark as it is an extremely generic term by itself. The problem is that to get to the moment and have a trademark (or patent or copyright) declared invalid by a court, someone has to invest a lot into legal fees.

post #13 of 37
I wish the makers of the board game Candy Land would smack Candy Crush with an app of their own.
post #14 of 37
Of course the irony is that CCS is just a derivative rip off of so many puzzle games. I'm quite peeved off because we've had to change the name of our up and coming RPG that just happened to end in saga. The name was more of a nod towards 90's era of jRPG rather than this cash grabbing pap! Oh well..
post #15 of 37

Just like Lodsys who were pushing around the app makers who used in-app payments, Apple should intervene for the small app developer.

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post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Similarly with Apple, despite the long battle between Apple Computer/Apple Inc and Apple Corps Recording Studios, could I not setup a retail store specializing in selling apples of every variety from around the world (talking about the fruit here folks) or would that be considered a violation (provided I didn't try to make it LOOK like an Apple store)?

 

You've left out some important details like what you would name the store and what the logo would be.  Apple will most certainly sue a grocery store if that's what you're asking.

 

A.pl vs. Apple: Polish Grocery Store Finds Itself in Tech Giant's Legal Crosshairs

post #17 of 37

I would certainly defend their trademark of the name "Candy Crush Saga" in its entirety. And would support their defense of it if someone named a competing game "Candy Stomp Saga", or "Candy Bash Saga", or "Candy Saga Smash", or anything else that would literally cause confusion in the brand.

 

But I call "PRIOR ART" on the individual words in context nonsense.

 

For example: anyone ever play the board game "Candy Land" (aka "Candyland") as a kid?  Well, they also have an electronic version of the game (aka a "software" version) that sells on Amazon even today. Do those CCS people get to demand a license for the use of the word "Candy" in a gaming context from them? 

 

Hell no. They were around before the CCS people were even born!

 

Trademark the full name, and only the full name. If the copycats are naming close enough to cause confusion, then yes, take issue. Otherwise, nah. "Candy" and "Saga" are public domain words. Enough of this silliness please!

post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

 

One of the top ten worst songs ever...

post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Ski View Post

Of course the irony is that CCS is just a derivative rip off of so many puzzle games. I'm quite peeved off because we've had to change the name of our up and coming RPG that just happened to end in saga. The name was more of a nod towards 90's era of jRPG rather than this cash grabbing pap! Oh well..

 

You must be able to find previous computer games that used "saga", no?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Panzer-Dragoon-Saga-Sega-Saturn/dp/B000FT61OU

http://www.amazon.com/Unlimited-Saga-PlayStation-2/dp/B00009ETL0

 

What do these folk have to say about "candy" trademarks??

www.candystand.com

 

or here....

http://coolmath-games.com/0-oh-my-candy/index.html

 

just search Google your self for "candy games" and see all the hits.

post #20 of 37
You'd think the construction of the name would distinguish it without trademarking its components. Can you imagine trademarking the components of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post
 

 

One of the top ten worst songs ever...

 

Wrong.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #22 of 37

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #23 of 37

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
 

 

Wrong.

 

Justify thyself!!  :lol: 

 

Can't be worse than Blotto's "I Wanna be a Lifeguard"

post #25 of 37

:wow:

post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post
 

 

You must be able to find previous computer games that used "saga", no?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Panzer-Dragoon-Saga-Sega-Saturn/dp/B000FT61OU

http://www.amazon.com/Unlimited-Saga-PlayStation-2/dp/B00009ETL0

 

What do these folk have to say about "candy" trademarks??

www.candystand.com

 

or here....

http://coolmath-games.com/0-oh-my-candy/index.html

 

just search Google your self for "candy games" and see all the hits.

 

 

--

 

I decided to ask King.com directly , hopefully they'll respond.

post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post
 

 

My litmus test is: What would happen to you if you said this to a group of five dudes in downtown Oakland. 

 

You'd get your ass beat, that's what. Just because you have Harvard lawyers writing your pretty copy doesn't make it any less thuggish. Thuggish behavior should be met with a punch to the face, is what I say. 

Oakland has nothing over Fremont (and it's resident thugs) :P

post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
 

 

You've left out some important details like what you would name the store and what the logo would be.  Apple will most certainly sue a grocery store if that's what you're asking.

 

A.pl vs. Apple: Polish Grocery Store Finds Itself in Tech Giant's Legal Crosshairs

 

Good point - if I called it The Apples Store or The Applestore and has full glass front etc that would certainly be asking for trouble - but if I called it Apples Galore and made it look like a tree house maybe not so much. 

 

Regarding Candy Crush - isn't that just a rip off BeJeweled and half a dozen other games of exactly the same strategy but with different graphics?

post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post
 

 

Regarding Candy Crush - isn't that just a rip off BeJeweled and half a dozen other games of exactly the same strategy but with different graphics?

 

Yup.

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post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post
 

 

Good point - if I called it The Apples Store or The Applestore and has full glass front etc that would certainly be asking for trouble - but if I called it Apples Galore and made it look like a tree house maybe not so much. 

 

Regarding Candy Crush - isn't that just a rip off BeJeweled and half a dozen other games of exactly the same strategy but with different graphics?

Trademark laws is funny in that when it states that a word is generic, it only applies to the business it's used for. So Apple Inc. and Apple Records can get a trademark on the word "apple" because the word "apple" is not a generic term in the computer or music business. But the word "apple" is generic when your business is selling apples. So chances are, you will not be able to trademark the word "apple" by itself for a store that sells apples. Otherwise it would lead to you being able to sue any store selling apples with the word "apple" in their name. But you can get a trademark for something like "The Candy Apple Store" or "The Apple Orchard". This will not give you any rights to just the word "apple", "candy" or "orchard" when it pertains to any businesses that sells apples.

 

Apple most likely cannot stop any businesses selling apples from using the word "apple" in their name because "apple" is a descriptive word for the business they are in. It would like if Apple Computer can stop any computer business from using the word "computer". Now if the business was selling plumbing supplies or footwear and wanted to use the word "apple" for their store name, then Apple Inc. can argue that the only reason why "apple" is in the their name is to capitalize on their now famous "Apple Store" trademark. So Apple Inc. will most like win in this case. Even though the word "apple" is not generic for the plumbing or footwear business, it's also not descriptive. But the outcome would be different if there were no Apple Stores that the consumers can confused it with. Now the logo is another issue in itself. 

post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by focher View Post
 

 

Actually, Microsoft lost their legal battles against Lindows. Eventually, they did settle but in no way did Microsoft win anything through a court room. In fact, they backed off the legal strategy because they started to fear the Windows trademark would be ruled as too generic.

 

In the instant case, I find it highly doubt that "Candy" would be upheld as a legitimate trademark as it is an extremely generic term by itself. The problem is that to get to the moment and have a trademark (or patent or copyright) declared invalid by a court, someone has to invest a lot into legal fees.

 

If I recall, Microsoft actually bought out the company and then shut it down rather than risk going to trial and losing. (Funny though, that googling it don't bring up much about the suit at all.) I think Microsoft paid way more than what the company ever hope to make selling "Lindow". Almost like how Apple Inc. bought out the "Apple" trademark from Apple Records. Only Apple Inc. licensed back the trademark to Apple Records, so it's is still around with the same name and logo. Apple Inc. just wanted to put a stop to all the Apple vs Apple court cases that seems to pop up every time Apple Inc. venture into a new business. 

post #32 of 37
King is an evil company, sorry.

If you have an iOS or Android device you've probably been spammed to hell with redirects to candy crush saga so they can stay at the top of the app stores "most viewed" listings. I have plenty of complaint emails about them hijacking traffic from ad-supported sites.

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/EDJTbPaW5dg%5B1-25-false%5D
"There seems to be a javascript redirect affecting a lot of website forums and such on mobile chrome. Is anyone doing anything about this at all? Its sending users to the Playstore to dowload Candy Crush Saga app."

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4895878?start=30&tstart=0
" Websites that I have used for years and never had a problem before now all open up to candy crush saga. Like ign.com, wptv.com, cnet.com, etc. I try it on other iPhones with no problem. Simply load a web page and it reloads to an adtrack.king.com/modules/adTracking address, there's more to it, but when I click on the URL bar the address disappears so I'm not able to see the full address plus it loads like three or four other address within a second before the adtrack.king.com address loads. There have never been any banners or ads that popup for me even to click on. I don't know how else to explain it. There are NO ads! And no my phone is not jail broken. "

https://www.flickr.com/groups/htc-one/discuss/72157633535029198/
"HELP!!! every 15 minutes i get a notification to download candy crush ..I dont' want to download it!!! has anybody else had this happen? i'm a very new htc one user...and old..pls help... "


Seriously, this kind of behavior makes Zynga look like a saint. King may deny the allegations, but someone on their side had to approve this behavior otherwise it would never have been in the ad network in the first place.
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misa View Post

King is an evil company, sorry.

If you have an iOS or Android device you've probably been spammed to hell with redirects to candy crush saga so they can stay at the top of the app stores "most viewed" listings. I have plenty of complaint emails about them hijacking traffic from ad-supported sites.
 

 

Nope, because I never allowed myself to be suckered into using the Chrome browser on any platform apart from the Android phones I own and rarely use.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Just ask Eminem.

 

M&M?

 

Dude, you just infringed against the 'C' word!

 

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post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

 

Nope, because I never allowed myself to be suckered into using the Chrome browser on any platform apart from the Android phones I own and rarely use.

 

Well good for you.  But this happens on iOS Safari as well.

post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColonelMustard View Post

Well good for you.  But this happens on iOS Safari as well.

I've never seen it.
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post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW View Post
 

 

If I recall, Microsoft actually bought out the company and then shut it down rather than risk going to trial and losing. (Funny though, that googling it don't bring up much about the suit at all.) I think Microsoft paid way more than what the company ever hope to make selling "Lindow". Almost like how Apple Inc. bought out the "Apple" trademark from Apple Records. Only Apple Inc. licensed back the trademark to Apple Records, so it's is still around with the same name and logo. Apple Inc. just wanted to put a stop to all the Apple vs Apple court cases that seems to pop up every time Apple Inc. venture into a new business. 

 

Xandros bought them out then discontinued it a short time later.  Microsoft came to an agreement for a sum of money and the Lindows trademark was transferred to Microsoft and Lindows rebranded to Linspire.

 

The Click'N'Run environment Michael Robertson created was a great idea and was supposed to be released for other Linux distributions, but haven't seen it anywhere.  Real shame.  It remembered what you had previously installed, had free and paid applications (and a method to purchase them), and allowed you to keep lists of applications for 1 click installs for times when you are setting up a computer and want a certain suite of apps.  Maybe if we looked around, we would find something else like that????

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