As of February 24th, 2014, Candy Crush Saga developer King has officially abandoned its trademark application for the word “Candy” in applications, games and more.
Given that the U.S. Patent and trademark Office approved the application initially last January, there may be a much deeper purpose to the repeal – today was the first day that the “Candy” trademark was enabled for legal opposition. Should the community react similarly to how they have in weeks past, removing the trademark could be the best thing King could have done since the creation of the Candy Crush Saga began.
How does this make sense for King? The gaming community fought back against the initial trade mark by hosting a game jam; Candy Jam. Featuring over 450 games produced by anyone who knows how to code, and holds a deep distaste for generic trademark applications, the Candy Jam was developed in direct protest of King’s application, and is likely to have lead the charge in pushing King’s decision this week.
“We are protesting against a system which allows and promotes actions like King’s behavior towards The Banner Saga,” Candy Jam co-founder Laurent Raymond told Wired.com. ”As the actions of King and others have demonstrated, there’s obviously too much room for abuse … This is about where to create limits so that it doesn’t harm too many people, and about a company ignoring any form of ethics.”
Furthermore, King found opposition within the International Game Developer’s Association:
As an advocacy organization for game developers, the IGDA diligently monitors issues that may restrict a developer’s ability to create and distribute his or her work. After reviewing the Trademark filing and subsequent conduct by King Inc. in relation to its popular game, ‘Candy Crush Saga,’ we feel we should comment.
While we understand and respect the appropriate exercise of Trademark rights, King’s overreaching filing in its application for the Trademark for its game “Candy Crush Saga,” and its predatory efforts to apply that mark to each separate word contained in that name, are in opposition to the values of openness and cooperation we support industry wide, and directly contradict the statement King’s CEO, Riccardo Zacconi, made on 27 January. Our Business and Legal Special Interest Group will be providing a more comprehensive analysis of this issue from its perspective soon.
It is easily within the best interests of both the company’s legal division, and the world’s trademark process that King drop such a generic application. We should all be very excited to see the company withdraw before things got more out of hand than they already are.