Candy Crush Saga and CandySwipe; Kill It With Trademarks
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.