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

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member

    image

  • Reply 2 of 36
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    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"
  • Reply 3 of 36
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,791member
    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?!
  • Reply 4 of 36
    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. 

  • Reply 5 of 36
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,791member
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 36
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    lilgto64 wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    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

  • Reply 8 of 36
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 713member
    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...
  • Reply 10 of 36
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    jungmark wrote: »
    Are you saying street thugs don't honor trademark laws?

    Just ask Eminem.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    focherfocher Posts: 673member
    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.

  • Reply 12 of 36
    I wish the makers of the board game Candy Land would smack Candy Crush with an app of their own.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    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..
  • Reply 14 of 36

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

  • Reply 15 of 36
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member
    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

  • Reply 16 of 36

    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!

  • Reply 17 of 36
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,467member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

     

    image


     

    One of the top ten worst songs ever...

  • Reply 18 of 36
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,467member
    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.

  • Reply 19 of 36
    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?
  • Reply 20 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

     

     

    One of the top ten worst songs ever...


     

    Wrong.

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