After drawing the ire of many gamers — perhaps even all gamers — with their attempted trademarking of the term “candy” when used in video game software, Candy Crush Saga developer King has decided not to pursue that trademark any further…at least in the US. They believe that a recent acquisition adequately protects them when it comes to protecting their Candy Crush brand.
King originally filed for the “candy” trademark back in February of 2013, but word of it only arose earlier this year. A substantial amount of gamer backlash soon followed word of King’s application, with many believing the developer to be nothing more than a “game-cloning factory.”
That trademark application is of no matter now that King has filed for a trademark abandonment. They confirmed the news to Kotaku with the below statement:
King has withdrawn its trademark application for Candy in the U.S., which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher.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.
Whether that backlash informed King’s decision to abandon the trademark is unclear. Their claim is that the decision stemmed from the developer’s recent acquisition of Candy Crusher, but that isn’t necessarily the full story.
See, Candy Crusher was one of, if not the, first games in the Bejeweled-meets-Candy genre. It pre-dates Candy Crush and even Candy Swipe: the game that some believe Candy Crush Saga was originally cloned from.
Either way, with Candy Crusher now under the King umbrella, the developer ostensibly owns the right to sue any copycats, thereby nullifying the need for a “candy” trademark. However, since Candy Crusher is a domestic game, King is still pursuing the trademark in the UK.
While it might seem, at a glance, that King has seen the error of their ways, it appears they have just found a new path towards asserting their dominance. They haven’t dismissed their trademark dispute against The Banner Saga — as far as we know — and are still fighting Candy Swipe creator Albert Ransom’s claims they copied his game.
King is also looking to go public later this year, and any undue bad press headed its way has the potential to hurt the success of that IPO. Very few people will want to invest in a company that regularly draws criticism from gamers. Well, provided that criticism affects sales. The trademark abandonment might mean some things have changed, but we don’t expect this is the last time King makes the news.
Do you see King’s trademark abandonment as a positive? Has the company tarnished the reputation?