King.com Limited, Creators of Candy Crush Saga Trademarks The Word ‘CANDY’
Here's a head-scratcher: King.com, creators of the popular online game Candy Crush, has managed to trademark the word "Candy". It might seem bizarre that such a general word could be trademarked, but because it's being applied specifically to gaming (and clothing, for some reason), it's allowed to go through.
What this move means is that if you were to create a game with the word "Candy" in it, King.com would have the right to ask you to change the name; if you were to refuse, it could explore legal means to get it done. The company's trademark was filed about a year ago, but granted just last week. As we can now see, the company wasted no time in sending out its threat letters, with reports of many who publish their games through iTunes receiving letters via Apple's legal department.
One targeted developer took to Reddit to post the emails he was sent from King.com, and sure enough, just because his game had "Candy" in the title, King.com wanted it changed. It's worth noting that "Candy" is the only similarity between the two games - had "Crush" been in there as well, King.com's argument would have been a lot stronger.
That said, this particular developer named their game in such a way that it hits nearly every keyword in the book (its full name is All Candy Casino Slots - Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land), so I'd be willing to bet that implementing "Candy" in the name isn't that much of a coincidence. However, that doesn't detract from the fact that merely using a common English word in a title can have it taken down from an app store, which is the route Apple would have to take if the developer didn't fight back (and at last check, legal costs are expensive).
The situation is depressing, because if a developer wanted to create a completely unrelated game but implement candy into the title (which, let's face it, is not a huge stretch), they're going to receive a letter asking them to change it. That, to me, is ridiculous.
What this situation needs: Hasbro releasing a mobile version of its Candy Land board game. That'd no doubt make things a little more interesting.