Let’s face it: Candy Crush sucks. It just does. I’ve never even touched it, yet that fact hasn’t escaped me. This distaste might have something to do with the fact that the game is designed to cause players to spam their friends on Facebook with invites, I’m really not sure. All I know is, the game is absolute rubbish.
As it turns out, the developer behind the game is just as rubbish.
Early last year, Candy Crush‘s developer King applied to trademark the word ‘CANDY’, and this month, the developer was granted that trademark. Following that a-OK, it wasted no time in contacting other developers that have published games on Apple’s App Store with ‘Candy’ in the title, and as these threats get routed through Apple’s legal department, they have to be dealt with.
I’m sure the problem here is obvious: King is a massive company, and it has tons of money. Indie developers, then, are not going to contemplate fighting this creator-of-rubbish. Generally speaking, most indie studios are just getting by – they’re certainly not going to have the sort of money that’s required to fight, and much less win, this sort of battle.
It was disturbing enough that King could manage to trademark a simple English word, but as Rock, Paper, Shotgun points out, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It seems that King also has the word ‘Saga’ currently pending for trademark rights… a word that’s been used in a hundred game titles already.
Even though King doesn’t have current rights to enforce a “Saga” trademark, it’s already issued at least one complaint, to developer Stoic, regarding its game The Banner Saga. This is a game that’s based on Norse mythology, so if there’s any game deserving of using the word “Saga”, it’s this one. But no – despite the game having absolutely no resemblance to Candy Crush Saga, King has issued a notice of opposition against the game.
RPG has a couple of good details about how foolish King’s claims are, but the ultimate point is that the company has absolutely no right to oppose a simple English word that has been used in titles for ages. Given the fact it managed to trademark “Candy”, it wouldn’t be surprising to see other developers attempt to trademark simple English words as well. In fact, it’s been done before – remember when Bethesda battled Mojang over its game Scrolls? With King’s move here (no pun), this kind of thing is no doubt going to become more common. It highlights just how ridiculous the United States Patent and Trademark Office has become (as if we needed a new example).