Candy Crush Saga and CandySwipe; Kill It With Trademarks

Candy Crush Saga strikes again, this time on a game they may very well have ripped off.

If you hated Candy Crush Saga before King filed shady trademarks on the extremely common words like 'candy' and 'saga', well, I'm about to give you reason to hate them even more.

This morning, the creator of the 2010 mobile game CandySwipe wrote an open letter to King, congratulating them on their diligence in ruining the hopes of anyone even thinking about creating a game with any sort of sweet candy semblance.

In this letter, Albert Ransom details his game and its purpose, which was to serve as a memorial for his late mother. It's a fairly successful game that earns him a decent amount of money--enough to feed his family. Developed and published in 2010 on the App Store, CandySwipe appears to be a much more dated version of Candy Crush Saga; to the point where many players confuse the two, or even say that CandySwipe ripped off King's rendition.

The opposition Ransom filed for King CANDY CRUSH SAGA trademark detailed how this damages his product:

“Furthermore, consumers are leaving 1 and 2 star ratings along with negative comments within Opposer’s game’s public, "ratings and comments" sections within the said trade channels. Consumers are claiming they were looking for, and expecting Applicant’s game, CANDY CRUSH SAGA, and expressed their disappointement when they realized, Opposer’s game, CANDYSWIPE is not associated with Applicant’s game. As a result, Opposer’s game is potentially being ranked lower within the said trade channels due to the negative feedback generated by this confusion; thus, causing damage to Opposer’s mark.”

Given that CandySwipe was created in November, 2010, it's impossible that Ransom created a Candy Crush Saga ripoff. In fact, it's more likely the other way around; though now that King has registered some incredibly shady trademarks, Ransom will be the one who suffers, even though his product was trademarked first.

King claims that their trademarks aren't meant to infringe upon the creativity of talented developers, but this goes to show the exact opposite. Ransom plans to file opposition for King's trademark to 'candy,' and rightly so; trademarking such a common word would create legal hellfire over developers who have the audacity looking for a sweeter theme.

Former Staff Editor

whale biologist.

Published Feb. 12th 2014
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    I wonder if King will try to throw punches with the big boys and take on Square Enix, they just launched a teaser site for a new SaGa game.
  • Chai Chien Liang
    I don't think it is appropriate to leave ratings without playing the game, what can a bad search result do anyway?
  • WesleyG
    There's an important part of this story being left out here: why the Candyswipe developer is giving up. You see, Candyswipe had filed for a trademark back in 2010, so he's been fighting Candy Crush Saga for about a year now over the trademarks. How does Candy Crush Saga respond? They go out and buy the rights to a game that has nothing to do with this: Candy Crusher. Why did they do that? Because it had the word Candy in it and it was created in 2004.

    Now with the rights to a game created before either of them, Candy Crush Saga is moving to repeal Candyswipe's trademark claim to their own name because Candy Crush owns an earlier trademark. Ransom mentions it in this quote from the open letter:

    "Now, after quietly battling this trademark opposition for a year, I have learned that you now want to cancel my CandySwipe trademark so that I don't have the right to use my own game's name. You are able to do this because only within the last month you purchased the rights to a game named Candy Crusher (which is nothing like CandySwipe or even Candy Crush Saga)."

    Any claims Candy Crush Saga had that they're just protecting themselves is null and void now that they've actively bought a trademark to defeat a trademark. It's clear now the goal is the elimination of all competitors, legitimate or not. It's companies like this that are going to kill the mobile game market.
  • Katy Hollingsworth
    Former Staff Editor
    Couldn't agree more.
  • Mary Yeager
    Senior Intern
    Think Ransom should go after King to hit him where it hurts. I remember playing Candyswipe long before CCS got huge.

    A little off topic, but I love the apple-eating droid above. :D
  • Andrew Wynans
    Featured Contributor
    Well there are a couple of reasons to hope for a good result here. First, if there is still opposition, then the USPTO has not registered the trademark yet. Second, if Candyswipe was using it's title prior to Candy Crush Saga, 1) King may only be able to register the full title "Candy Crush Saga" which would not give him any rights in the words "candy" or "saga" when if comes to video games and 2) he won't be able to stop Candyswipe from using it's title.

    I also seem to remember there being some wrinkle regarding trademarking titles to creative works, but it's been too long since my law school trademark class for me to recall what it was...
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Yes this definitely makes me upset.

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