King moves to abandon 'candy' trademark in the US

King moves to abandon 'candy' trademark in the US
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

February 26th 2014 at 10:47AM

Candy Crush maker quietly files to drop rights to the sweet word after a saga of bad press

King, the social game studio behind runaway mobile hit, Candy Crush Saga, has abandoned its application to own the rights to the word ‘Candy’.

The US Patent & Trademark Office received a request from the game maker requesting a withdrawal of its application, Kotaku spotted.

Despite the sweet-loving company filing for rights to the noun in February last year, it only came to wider attention in January, when the maker of All Candy Casino Slots – Jewel Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land published emails from King’s legal team declaring trademark infringement.

At the time, a King spokesperson claimed the game’s overly wordy name and App Store icon – called ‘Candy Slots’ – were an attempt to exploit other companies’ IP and boost its own search rankings.

Soon after, the firm when after The Banner Saga, a PC Tactical RPG which the Candy Crush-maker accused of being “deceptively similar” to its own titles.

Outraged by King’s move to trademark the word, a number of independent developers began ‘trademark trolling’ by purposefully using the word in their ‘CandyJam’, which invited developers to make games involving candy.

The influx of bad press drew the attention of the International Game Developers Association, which publicly accused King of engaging in "predatory efforts" to protect an overreaching IP.

This filing to withdraw comes on the day that the trademark office went ahead and published King's legal opposition, which allows other parties to contest and potentially stop the trademark from being registered.

A spokesperson for King told Develop: “King has withdrawn its trademark application for Candy in the US, which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher. Each market that King operates in is different with regard to IP. We feel that having the rights to Candy Crusher is the best option for protecting Candy Crush in the US market. This does not affect our EU trademark for Candy and we continue to take all appropriate steps to protect our IP.”